not good practice?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mjohnson1, Jun 30, 2006.

  1. mjohnson1

    mjohnson1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    one of my current customers referred me to her freind to start a maintenance schedule so i thought great, called her up, and it turns out shes already got a guy... says he's "too expensive" and he only comes once a month, lets the grass grow up etc. so my question is is it uncool to go in behind this guy and take his contract?
  2. tutti1956

    tutti1956 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    I would say not at all uncool. Apparently she is not happy with her current LCO, mentioned it to her friend and she obviously told her she was happy with you. Good customer service gets and retains customers.
  3. 2menandamower

    2menandamower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 247

    That is how I get most of my customers. THey are unhappy with their current LCO so they call me and I give them a quote and they hire me. Then I do a good job and they like me and tell a friend and then they call me and they too hire me. Pretty soon I have more business than I can do and have to hire help and then the little LCO is out of business and I keep growing and then I become the only LCO in the world and then.......OK let's stop at the "keep growing" part. It is not at all uncool to get a customer from an LCO that is not doing a good job. It happens all the time that is why it is important to remember "when you leave a property you are leaving a photo/business card......."
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Since you are new, you likely will not see it right away but I can almost guarantee that later down the road it will dawn on you the understanding of EXACTLY why this current Lco is doing things the way he is doing them.

    Yeah, it looks wrong, oh bad bad Lco, hey man, I done been down that road and I done found out more than a few times without the customer explaining another thing OR the other Lco telling me, I SAW exactly why that crap was the way it was.

    This is probably the PERFECT example why this rule exists: NEVER steal another Lco's work.
    While some may think you shouldn't steal the work because the other Lco might take revenge, the truth of it all is the other Lco will likely be so relieved, he would show up to THANK you but the reason he won't do that is he doesn't want you to figure it out any time soon because otherwise this customer just MIGHT call him again and he don't want nothing to do with this no more.

    You do what you want, but I would only charge SLIGHTLY less, or you will get had. Because I can guarantee you two things:

    - The CURRENT Lco *ALWAYS* charges too much and does a poor job.
    - Some other Lco way long time ago *ALWAYS* did a great job for a ridiculous low price.

    It's just one version or another every time, I'd quote this one a good one myself but definitely do NOT lowball because you will most likely regret this decision no matter what you do unless you can get out of it (which is why the situation is how it is).
  5. Sandgropher

    Sandgropher LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 901

    I would be finding out what she thinks is to expensive, you might find she is paying a lot less than what you would charge, i dont like the sound of this for some reason good luck.( i find when some body says the other guys was expensive , they want a cheap price)
  6. scagwildcat

    scagwildcat LawnSite Senior Member
    from nw. ct.
    Messages: 507

    think of it this way, if she calls you, great! but if you follow this guy around all day and talk to his clients and tell them that you will beat his price, thats un-cool. your getting a new client because she chose you!! no harm done, if shes not happy she calls someone else, his loss your gain, good luck to you...
  7. ALL Around Xteriors

    ALL Around Xteriors LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    I'd try to find out more about the current LCO. Like topsites said he might be trying to get rid of this PITA customer by doing a bad job. But on the other hand this might be i nice break. Good luck

  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Just take the job at whatever price YOU have to have. As far as it being the customer that is at fault, I don't agree with that. There are just too many unreliable services out there, and many of them DO try to overcharge. Don't feel bad about taking it, YOU were called. If you were taking your car or truck to a shabby mechanic that wasn't doing what he was supposed to, and not taking care of your vehicles, should another DEPENDABLE mechanic have doubts about doing your stuff right because some shabby operator was working on it?
  9. mjohnson1

    mjohnson1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    why in the world would he do a bad job and have a customer talking bad about his company just to get rid of them? just tell them you cant do it anymore
  10. TurfProSTL

    TurfProSTL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 693

    Go there and bid it like you would any other job. Your price is your price. Be sure to detail what your price includes, extra stuff being extra. I'd also go a step further and ask what this prospective customer disliked about the current LCO's work, so you don't repeat the poor service.

    Good luck.

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