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Inquiring about previous company?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JBradshaw00, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. JBradshaw00

    JBradshaw00 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Is it unprofessional to ask a customer about the previous company that took car of his lawn?

    Example: I just put an estimate on a full maintenance lawn because the home owner was unhappy with his guy because he rutted up his yard pretty bad and seems that you can see everywhere he turns. I wanted to ask who it was but I didnt for the fear of being unprofessional.

    I also have asked a few people what they were paying their previous company.

    What do you guys think?
  2. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,673

    I ask these questions too.
  3. Jimslawncareservice

    Jimslawncareservice LawnSite Platinum Member
    from mn
    Messages: 4,143

    I don't ask directly. If they say they were not happy I ask what things they were not happy with. I also ask if they have a price in mind. Eventually you'll find out who was mowing it. Most can't hold it in after a while. But I know who mows what around if the company has been around a while. Also instead of asking if they prefer a day out gets mowed I ask what day did did the other guy mow it. If I get an answer like he mowed it Mondays and they didn't like it and they would be mowed early in the week by me I know its going to be trouble.
  4. 123hotdog

    123hotdog LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    I never ask what the former company mowed it for. That portrays you as inexperienced and not knowing your market. Instead focus on your own numbers and know what a profit your trying to make and price it accordingly. For more than a decade way too many Johnny Come Lately s have been dipping in and out of this business driving prices down. If you price the job and get the speech that the last guy mowed it cheaper, simply inform them that "if they were happy with the last guy you wouldn't be standing there" . I do however always ask what the last company did wrong.
  5. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    I ask simply because it's the shortest way to get to what I'm trying to figure out, heck with everything else, I need to know something here and I don't want to spend all day in these people's yard so here goes, three seconds later I am usually done guessing around, simple and practical, that's how I see it.
  6. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,616

    And the correct way. Why waste a week to get a 1 minute answer. If the former company was a professional outfit that you are familiar with it may be an indication the the customer is a PITA and you may want to bid high.

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