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Window Cleaning Issues - Canvassing, pole systems, pricing, problems, etc.

Should I expect to get agro from competitors?

Posted by salven (salven), 13 January 2004
hi I'm new †to this forum and window cleaning, I was wondering what kind of hassle I would get from existing cleaners if I was to canvas up a new round , I would not be canvassing existing customers but only houses that are not being cleaned already.I have heard some stories about new cleaners being given a kicking to warn them off, is this true. I live in the east of scotland

p.s sorry if this post is a bit long
Posted by wrighty (wrighty), 13 January 2004

I have heard of window cleaner threatening and chasing competition away but it depends on yourself I gues - I have never had any hassle and I think that this would be very rare.  Go and canvass and just make it clear if a window cleaner asks what yoo are doing just say I want the customers you havent got cos there is loads of work out there andalot of window cleaners chat to each other so let me know how you go on.


Posted by peterf (peterf), 14 January 2004
Where about in the East of Scotland are you Salven?

Posted by salven (salven), 14 January 2004
I am originally from glasgow, and thats where i heard about agro, i now stay in glenrothes, where its a bit more quieter
Posted by peterf (peterf), 14 January 2004
I live in Broxburn just over the Forth Road Bridge; we all get on fine together here.  I wouldnt think you will have any problems where you are now.

Knock a few door in a housing estate and you will soon know if there is already a window cleaner, if there is just move on to the next one.  If you see any window cleaners stop and have a chat they may help you out.


Posted by salven (salven), 14 January 2004
thats sounds fine peter,but does that mean if someone is working an estate all of that estate is his ?
Posted by peterf (peterf), 14 January 2004
on 01/14/04 at 11:35:34, salven wrote:
thats sounds fine peter,but does that mean if someone is working an estate all of that estate is his ?

No, but it is much better to move on to another estate where there is no window cleaner. If you are going to knock doors there is no point in wasting time knocking on doors that are just going to say sorry but we have someone cleaning our window already, it will be more profitable knocking on doors where they say yes please when can you start.


Posted by denzle (Denzle), 14 January 2004
I very often bump into other WC'ers working the same area as me, my thoughts are, go and say hello.
Maybe they are looking to offload that particular area anyway, maybe find out what they are charging and agree not to undercut either intentionally or otherwise.
When you figure how many houses there are in any area you will know that there are not anywhere near enough window cleaners to go round.
I've never heard of WCers coming to blows and never had any problems myself, mind you i am 6'4''
Posted by fez (fez), 14 January 2004
6' 4"? I bet you don't need a pointer. I'm 5'9" and it's amazing how many downstairs windows I have to stand on tip-toes for!
I could do with an extra few inches - ooh er! Embarassed
Posted by denzle (Denzle), 14 January 2004
I haven't got a point lader, never seen a need for them.
For some reason. and i can't think why... i never have problems getting paid either  Smiley
But i'm a gentle giant really.
Posted by pdhanson (Silly Philly), 14 January 2004
I'd agree with all of that, I've never had any problems from other cleaners either. (However, at 5'3" I dont look very intimidating!)

Most of the time they'll be wondering whether you are going to be hostile or friendly too.

One thing you must never do though, is when someone says they already have a window cleaner, trying to talk them into getting you instead.  That is asking for trouble!

Posted by Bones (Bones), 14 January 2004
on 01/13/04 at 23:43:04, salven wrote:
I have heard some stories about new cleaners being given a kicking to warn them off, is this true.

I don't know mate, ask me in a couple of months,  Grin Grin


Posted by Pure_2o (Pure_2o), 15 January 2004

If you are canvassing an estate or a street and your competitors see you doing it, they will sub-consciously decide within the first few seconds if they can approach you and how they can approach you. They will psychologically profile you in their own mind and decide if they want to approach you aggressively or professionally, so the image you portray in these first few seconds is vital.  You need to ooze confidence and move with direction i.e. build a strong profile !  Violence is the end result of a psychological battle, perception is your strongest weapon.  Iíve done close protection work and have been a doorman on the M4 corridor for 8 years, psychology is the trick of the trade, but I didnít tell you thatÖ  Cool

Posted by g_griffin (g_griffin), 15 January 2004
Or just run  Grin

Posted by easycleanwindows (easycleanwindows), 15 January 2004
Never had any problems at all i think when they see our van logod sign written and the nat feds logos all over i think they run faster than we do
Posted by allseasons (allseasons), 17 January 2004
When i started , there was 1 twit that had a go at me, he jump out his van ran up to me , he started saying what  are you doing , puting flyers though my customer's door for. ,
i said sorry but how am to know what customer's are your's.
he then pushed me and knocked me back, he was about 40-45. and said (the windows are clean)
well with 1 push back please note that it wasnt hard he fell down, with that the young lad that was in the van started to get out, i thought oh poo , here we go, .
he got up and said am realy sorry rushed back to his van and off he went. never had any probs after that.

Posted by wrighty (wrighty), 17 January 2004
Well in Mike as my mam said if you get hit hit em back
I say if in doubt lnock em out

Well in mate.
Posted by Londoner (Londoner), 18 January 2004
Round here you are likely to get warned off but its not really personal. Its likely to be something like "Don't do this steet or that street"
Most WCs are sick of having idiots knocking on their customers door offering to do the work cheaper. If the customer takes them up they come two or three times then vanish but you don't know they have vanished and you have lost a customer for no good reason.

Lets face it theres plenty for everyone
Posted by Bones (Bones), 22 January 2004
I had an incident today that relates to this topic,....

I popped home about 11am this morn and two cleaners were getting into their van. One was getting into the passenger side and looked at me, I acknowledged by Nodding to him and he just looked straight through me and spat on the floor and gave me a filthy look before getting in the van Shocked

Me being me, just giggled to myself. I wonder of it was anything to do with the flyers i got my kids to post at the weekendHuh Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

Posted by exterioruk (exterioruk), 23 January 2004
Ive just started up and when i was knocking i was worried about standing on toes, I spoke to a window cleaning friend, he said as long as u dont try and undercut the window cleaners its fine. ie ..  knock the doors up, sorry we already have a cleaner, thats fine, what u dont want to do is offer to do the job for less, and if a customer asks u for a price and offers u work over another cleaner, then there work cant have been worth it, i would say do what the customer says.
Posted by Londoner (Londoner), 24 January 2004
Thats dead right. The lowest trick is to slag off the existing cleaner and try to undercut him.
For some jerks that seems to be their entire canvassing technique. I wonder how they work out a price for houses that haven't got a cleaner?

Also these people never ever last. They always let the customers down

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