How to aproach?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by scagman, Oct 23, 2002.

  1. scagman

    scagman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    Well, I live in a pretty small town and a strip mall with a big safeway was built in the last 2 years. They, whoevers in charge hired a bunch dummys with a crap setup and two unproffesional looking guys to maintain. Me, my wife and our little boy were walking on the paved trail that goes in front of the strip mall today. I was looking at the grass and it looks like Sh%$. Its totally obvious that they have probably never sharpened the blades and it looks like one side of the mower is cutting way lower than the other side. All the sidewalks are done with trimmers and that looks like sh%$ and there are also clumps of grass everywhere. Now this is a big account and I want it bad, its right in front of the main street and I think that I could offer a better service. They use old Bobcats. I dont, I use a nice mower with nice sharp blades. My mower also doesent scalp and its able to give a nice manicured look with stripes, which in my experience they want. I would like to go into safeway and ask whos in charge of maintenance. Should I ask him to come out so I could point things out to him, or should I just ask to submit a proposal for next season with a nice cover letter explaining a few things about the current services being performed. I dont mean to be a loballer, but this is a very small town and there is no reason for some crap service to come in and do shotty work and then get away with it.
  2. Mykster

    Mykster LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 668

    I would go to the Manager and ask them if you could talk to who's ever in charge for the maintenance or point you in the right direction for doing so. I don't know if I would tell him/her that the services they are receiving aren't what they should be. If the place looks that bad, maybe they're not happy with the present LCO and would be happy to accept a bid from your company. You got nothing to lose by asking, but possibly a new acct. if you do. I

    I did the same thing last year. The guy who was doing this property wasn't cleaning up after himself and wasn't doing a good job and thought I could offer a better service, so what the hell. I talked to the manager and come to find out they were'nt happy with his service either. I didn't tell them what the other guy was or wasn't doing, I asked the Mngr. if their property was being maintained and told them I was interested in submitting a bid for their property. They were more than happy to let me bid. I got the acct. So it paid off. I did however drop the acct. cuz they were PITA's. Maybe the other LCO thought that too since I found some other properties he maintained and he did a good job there.

    What small town do you live in? Last time I drove through Tacoma it was pretty good size.

    LLMSERVICE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 96

    My advice would be to find out who the manager is and to send in a cover letter, introducing yourself and outlining your services, focusing on quality and mention in how you'll work in a professional manner to reflect their image. Attach a business card and perhaps even a basic, unsolicited quotation for services. Than follow up in person.

    However, my experience is that price is more of a factor with commercial accounts watching their bottom lines than with my residential clients where more of them want quality.

    I have a little lure brochure I give to clients outlining what they get for what they are paying. It outlines what equipment I use, what level of service they can expect, etc and I leave it with the quotation. It seems to have worked for me.

    Good luck!
  4. Mykster

    Mykster LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 668

    Ooops, I meant Puyallup.
  5. mowngrow

    mowngrow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 275

    go and talk to the property manager in person(works best) if you cannot get him/her in person use the phone. find out if they are on a contract if so when is it up and submit a bid they will euther say yes or no. i would not point out little things that the currnt lco is doing(not in good taste)let the prop manager point them out to you
  6. AGG Lawn Maintenance

    AGG Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Senior Member
    from Elberon
    Messages: 422

    I agree. Never black ball a company. Just go in and contact the manger. Sumit a bid and follow up with them. Sometimes even if they don't call you right away, they will keep your bid on file. I couldn't tell you how many cold bids I put in each year. You might not get everybody but you will pick up a few. Good luck.
  7. Art Stubbs handy 58

    Art Stubbs handy 58 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 132

    try using your brag book, if you have some pics of some of your your accounts, send them along with your proposal....proof is in the pudding....:)
  8. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,405

    You say never black ball a company. Maybe that company needs to know that they do crappy work. Whats wrong with saying you can do a better job than they are, and thats why you are submitting because the property is below standards(look like crap)?

    Would you submit a bid on a job that the current company does excellent work? and expect to close the deal?
  9. bubble boy

    bubble boy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    as long as you're showing what you would do better, as opposed to what they are doing wrong (there is a difference) it's all good

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