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  • Competition take away?

    Hi gang,Im one of the newbies here and i was pondering a new business question.Would it be a good or bad idea to go knock on the doors of people that you know hire other mowing co.? In other words is taking your competitions customers away from them not good?I think business is business and they probably would do it to me but doing that could get you a bad reputation and other troubles that would hurt your business.Also has any one ever talked to a competitor and worked out any business deals such as trading customers or give referrals to each other? I have 4-5 mowing co. in my community and i was pondering whether or not to try and work with them or fly under the radar and do my own thing.....

  • #2
    Everyone here will tell you, "there is enough work for everyone"...

    Trying to convert homeowners who already do the dirty work themselves is pretty difficult. In a way, it's smart to focus all of your advertising on those who already hire lawn maintenance services, the odds of them hiring you start at 50/50.

    The only thing to lookout for is competitor retaliation. If you aren't legal, the worst they can do is report you. It's best to make it seem as though you weren't intentionally going after their clients. With that said, don't tell their client your plans, they could be loyal to the company they hired and warn them.

    Just keep sending advertisements to them until they bite. If your price is lower, they will most likely nag their current service provider by saying, "other companies want to charge me less, why can't you lower your price?"... etc.. hehe.

    Last edited by CHEESE2009; 01-05-2012, 12:05 PM.

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    • #3
      I wouldn't specifically target them. If you go to their door to talk to them, talk to everyone that answers the door in that neighborhood, if you flyer their home flyer all the homes in the area, but i wouldn't drive to a home i know has another company and ONLY talk to them.

      Whether or not another company would do that to me is not my problem, it's theirs. I won't lower my morals and standards because someone else does. I raise my standards so others either fall by the wayside or have to raise theirs along with me.

      Actually, I just started a flyer campaign and walked by a couple homes that had lawn care signs from another company on their lawn. Karma is a b*tch i ain't gettin on her bad side.

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      • #4
        Not completely related but I had a spotlight in a bank with flyers, cards, all set up looking pretty. I was busy with my mower and missed 10 calls from someone. I called them back and it was another lawn care company complaining that someone stole his lawn signs. I told him I dont know what the hell your talking about and if I ever see you face to face we're going to have a problem. So I go by the bank the next day. I had five card holders with business cards missing. He probably got me for $60 in material. This was over something I had nothing to do with. Not even sure how he connected my business display to his missing signs.

        So say your targeting one of these homeowners and the other companies sign goes missing. Since you were the other company fishing around you might get held responsible. Someone else might lowball the account and steal it away then they think you did because one of your postcards was seen.

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        • #5
          As long as you don't mind if someone else knocks on your customer's doors then I guess it's ok. Just saying don't be a hypocrite.
          Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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          • #6
            Would it be a good or bad idea to go knock on the doors of people that you know hire other mowing co.? In other words is taking your competitions customers away from them not good?
            This is a very interesting questions and I am wondering what was your thought process leading up to this question?

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            • #7
              All fair in love and war as long as you do not


              LOWBALL

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              • #8
                Where I live it we kind of have a mutual understanding with each other that we don't go around stealing each others clients. Each of us may specialize in certain field areas, while all of us doing the same general services in other areas. For example, I specialize in pesticide applications, but still can do maintenance work, while the other company may specialize in maintenance work, while perhaps doing some fertilizing here and there. We help each other out by refering clients to their specialized area, while also not taking any additional work from their clients.

                For example, I had a lady that I do snow removal for contact me about doing her shrub pruning, when in fact I knew the other company did it. This is basically the conversation

                Lady: Would you mind pruning my shrubs next year, the other company never got to them this year?

                Me: I know they have been very busy lately. So this is what I suggest you do. Give them a call up. Find out what is wrong, and if you are still not happy afterwards with their reasons then I will take care of it for, but you need to first call them.


                Then I get on the phone and call the other company up "hey, Mrs. Smith is not happy you missed her shrubs, you need to contact her ASAP"

                We basically stratch each others backs.
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                • #9
                  Several reasons why i asked the questions are; i was thinking i could gain knowledge from a customers perspective such as what they pay what they expect and are they satisfied.If they are not happy with last seasons mowing co. there's a good chance they are looking to replace them any way so why not me.Also some guys drop smaller jobs or ones that require dealing with a fussy customer and i just may get the job that some one else may of gotten.I also happen to know of a hand full of customers that hire the biggest two mowing co. in town and they are paying top dollar for mediocre work and maybe they are looking to save a dollar and get better service.Having said all that and reading the post on this site i think i will attempt to get my own and just drop a flier off to those folks and see what happens..Thanks for all the advice..Brian

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                  • #10
                    One of my very first clients contacted me via my ad on Craigslist. I went to give him an estimate and he liked what I had to say and I got the job. The next day his next door neighbor contacted me and asked if I'd like to do their lawn as well. (Awesome!) Two weeks later the person next to THAT asked if I was interested in mowing HIS lawn.

                    About one month later, a lady across the street said she had been watching me work and liked how I did things - "how much would you charge to cut my lawn too?" she asked. I quoted a price and that made four clients on that street. The following day, she called and said that her next door neighbor wanted me to stop and give HER an estimate as well. Apparently the regular crew she was paying had jacked up her price by $10 and on top of that, they were often rude, and when she overheard them complaining and using vulgar language while they were working, it was the last straw - I got HER as a client as well. THEN, another lady next to her asked for a quote for her TWO homes.

                    As it turns out, ALL but ONE of these clients had been using the same service as the lady I mentioned above and without me even knowing it, I "stole" all their clients on that particular street.
                    All I did was work hard and act like a professional should act. Apparently I am charging less as well, but overall, I didn't have to go out of my way to take any of their clients - they pushed them to me without even knowing it.

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                    • #11
                      I am with hedge. If you go in and knock or leave material on every house and then one customer starts a bandwagon effect like he had that is not at all you fault. They like your quality and your attitude towards your work and them thats what sells. Sometimes your less, even, and sometimes I am more but in the end people sometimes like the way I address them, sir maam, yada yada. I look a lot younger then I am and a lot are shocked when I tell them my age (after they muster up the courage to ask) but I use it to my advantage and work my butt of to make people happy giving me more referals.

                      I say don't target these people but attack a street if I get multiple people on a block I knock a few bucks off of everyone for the less travel time/fuel to get to the next job. It makes it easier on me all around.

                      In the end like Ducky said all is fair in love and war. I do recomend friends in the business for things I don't do but if one of their customers isnt happy and they call me I will take the work. I had one go well Johnny's does it for 10 dollars less a cut....do you know johnny? I say nope but there must be a reason why you called me if you would rather pay 10 dollars less and deal with him not showing up, poor work ethic, not making you happy or whatever prompted you to call me then go ahead and call Johnny back and have a good day. He said when can you start.
                      Liberty Landscaping LLC
                      www.libertylndscpng.com
                      Woodbridge, NJ

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                      • #12
                        Thats exactly what im thinking.I know that some customers of other mowing co.are not 100% satisfied and i may get lucky and land a few of those clients but i wont know unless i let them know i exist and can do the job.My conscience tells me dont tread on your fellow mowing brothers but heck if they are going to be replaced any way.....why not find out

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                        • #13
                          Oh I just remembered there is a flyer in the lawn care flyer template section that is designed for this.

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                          • #14
                            This topic really makes me cringe. The idea of "how can I steal customers" is very...icky.

                            I've had people ask me to take a look at their property (neighbors of clients), and ask about certain areas, namely moss. They somewhat complain to me that the company doing the work hasn't taken care of the moss.

                            I tell them that I'm not in the business of stealing customers, and that I would hope other companies do that same for me, and that they should talk to their current company about when they had planned to treat it. I mention that they might have a certain day or week they are plan to put chemicals down.

                            I don't really know what else to say...

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                            • #15
                              This topic really makes me cringe. The idea of "how can I steal customers" is very...icky. ...
                              What makes you think the customers belong to you? It's the same failed philosophy of selling a customer list along with equipment as if they somehow belong to the new business owner.

                              If the customer calls you, I say give them an estimate. If one of my customers call you and you offer better quality, better reliability or a better price then they have every right to hire you.

                              I do have 3 friends that I try not to compete against and if it happens I give them a courtesy call to explain the issue and ask them to try to correct it before I make a bid on the job. Otherwise capitalism works for the betterment of all involved.

                              I personally don't go around starting wars by purposely targeting other companies customers but if they call me I'll take the job. I'm not a hypocrite about it though, if they take all my work and shut me down, I'll put in an application with them the next day.
                              Last edited by mark123; 02-02-2012, 11:20 PM.
                              Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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