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Scrub or is he Desperate?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mklawnman, Mar 29, 2003.

  1. mklawnman

    mklawnman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 634

    Today we got a flier from a lawn care firm, in the area that I've never heard of. So they are new, his flier is in a written format, all typed out in a letter form. He describes what he is currently doing, air traffic controller but also does lawn mowing, and says that he will CUT YOUR GRASS FOR FREE, for the first time, so the customers can see the quality of work he does and also it gives him an idea of how to bid the property. He also refers to other LCO's about how they charge a flat rate per month, which he says isnt fair. He charges per service. Though he does make a not that if someone already signed up with that he says to keep this around for next season. So he respects others??
    I just started going bezerk when i read this letter he made, almost like he is desperate to get customers so he will be willing to cut for free the first time. I just cant see this guy making money if people call him up, he cuts once and boom no more responce and he then doesnt cover his opperating costs?? To me doesnt seem professional?? I usually look at a property and give them a estimate for how much time it will take or how much for the job, nothing free.
    Theres no such thing as a free lunch!:D
  2. Husker1982

    Husker1982 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 480

    Desperate Scrub!
  3. mklawnman

    mklawnman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 634

    Oh one more thing, he also says he's looking for those families who have loved ones overseas in the military, and that he'd offer his service to them for the entire season FOR FREEE! no joke here, thats what it says. Now my question is how can you prove it????? :rolleyes: He says he has served in the arm services already.
    Im not threatened by him, I have great customers and have been picking more up along the way here, but I wont do any service for free except estimates.
  4. Shuter

    Shuter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    He may be new to this game and not understand that as respectable business owners we should work together. You never knock the work or quality of a competitor. Maybe you should contact him and explain some things to him
  5. mklawnman

    mklawnman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 634

    Well I'm not trying to knock him, just after reading what Jim's thread was about competition and being different I respect those who are in the field with me. But I guess their will be those people that just don't totally know the relms of being a professional yet, I guess his letter is intended to get to the potential customer as if they are friends already. In my mind it doesnt look professional, obviously he's new to the field, and maybe I've been reading too much on here now that when i see something like this letter/flier that I freek cause it just looks so scrubish??
    I also think this flier has way too much wording on it that it just doesnt get to the point that you have to read the whole thing but well who knows maybe ill see him around??? Im out trying to sell my services too but nothing i have is free.
  6. Organic-man

    Organic-man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 73

    I tried that thing too this year. I said if the customer thought my mowing was crappy he could have that mowing for free and go sign back up to the old company. I have yet to see if it works or not. I only did this to get my foot in the door. After this I won't do anything for free, unless it is for a serviceman. But it is not like I am taking away a good company's business. I did this where many real scrubs maintain currently. They have the people content with spinouts, heavy thatch, and everything else that characterizes a good scrub. Did I do something wrong? I do not think it is fair to cut a lawn for free just to see what you should charge. I bid close to the competitors before hand, sometimes higher.
  7. J & J Mowing

    J & J Mowing LawnSite Member
    from KS
    Messages: 45

    For every 9 pizza's I buy I get the 10th one free.
    For every 9 L.O.F. I pay for the tenth, one is free.
    Maybe he is on to something,
    If he does scrub work he wont be back, but it sounds
    like he wants to make it work.
    Power to him.
  8. Casey

    Casey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 142

    At least he's not paying them to mow their yard. Hell Mitsubishi will sell you a car no payments no interest and pay you $50 per month for the first year. Wonder if GM and Ford are crying, if it works for him, so be it, at least he had enough class to tell the potential customer to keep their current LCO for the season, would you do the same if you flyered someone's house and they asked you for an estimate.
  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Hmm... If I didn't know any different (and I don't), I'd almost be inclined to think it was someone from here, or has been here before. The reason I say this, is that everything you described on the flyer has been discussed here. As far as the "free first mowing" deal goes, yes, perhaps it is a way to get ripped off if he's not careful, because there are alot of people out there who would take advantage of people like that. The fact that he mentions holding on to the flier in case the current service doesn't work out, or until next year (same thing), well, that's just marketing. Atleast he's not repeatedly knocking on the doors or repeatedly calling until the customers just cave, like the big green co.'s do. And the wordiness, I realize he's probably not an English major, but he does have it written, and he is out there getting thm out. I realize this is YOUR neighborhood, and it's where YOU live, so it's all the more offensive. However, I don't think he is canvasing that neighborhood to work against you in any purposeful way. I'm sure he doesn't even know you exist, or atleast live there, as he gave you a flier, too. I don't see many co.s giving other co.'s their fliers.:D Anyway, you just don't know his situation. He may be just getting into it, he may be trying to feed his family, or- he may be making a transition in his life. To any extent, it doesn't sound like he's really in the same caliber as you, anyway, judging by your equip. list (nice). You may want to contact him, find out where he's from, and you can possibly pass some of your less desirable work on to him that he'd be glad to take on - especially if it's closer to wherever he's based. I do this all the time with other services I see.
  10. adrianvbarrera

    adrianvbarrera LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    I agree with you.

    It sounds like that person has been reading and keeping up with the posts on this forum.


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