Canvassing question

So I had a little time in between jobs and decided to go to a few doctors office to drop off cards. Here is a small battle I have with myself… call me crazy, but if someone already has a window cleaner is still morally ok to still give them a card and a bid, really I do it anyways, but sometimes I ask myself… am I a messed up business man? For wedging into other window cleaners, really I am asking if it frowned upon.

does ford try to get chevy and toyota drivers yes.
pretty much all/most advertising (canvassing is just a form of advertising) is trying to lure business away from competitors.
if you tell lies about your competitor you will burn in hell for eternity…unless you don’t believe in hell in which case you won’t but then karma might get you.


What if you’re actually better? Aren’t you cheating the customer by not giving them the chance to buy your service? I think everyone likes to have options. Really, you’re doing them a favor by offering your service.


i’ve become friends with a few local window cleaners and if i know they do a certain place i won’t solicit there, but i’ve done it by accident only finding out that it was one of theirs after the fact

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Nothing immoral about competition. If it bugs you, just say something like “if your current window cleaner ever stops coming by or servicing you to your satisfaction, give me a call.”


I aways leave a card but if a guy’s is doing a good job and they are happy I never push to get the Job.
Never bid lower either because they will get rid of you next.


Why should anyone open an awesome burger joint when there’s a McDonald’s in every town?


You are offering your services. Mcdonald’s and Burger King are across the street from each other here. So is the CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens Pharmacy. In a 10 block area there are three Barber Shops, two Nail Spas, four Pizza Joints, two Eyeglass Shops, and two Gas Stations. You get the point of competition, right? I wouldn’t make it my mission to “steal their business”, but I wouldn’t twiddle my thumbs and not let a customer know they have choices. It keeps a business strong for them to know to keep up the good work because competition is just a phone call away.


That’s just business. Nothing to feel guilty about. I solicit storefronts all day long and come across a wide range of situations.

(1) They “currently have a guy” but haven’t seen him in 6+ months, don’t know the name of his business, and don’t remember what he charges. The fact that “they have a guy”, but the windows are disgusting is a prime opportunity to convince them to switch to a reliable service.

(2) They “currently have a guy”, he does a great job, he has been servicing them for a decade, and they refuse to even hear me out. I tell them, “Hey no problem, the windows really do look great. I’m glad he’s taking good care of you and that you appreciate him as much as he probably appreciates you. Have a great day!”

(3) They “currently have a guy”, but complain that he skips windows, leaves water all over the floor, leaves streaks, and he shows up whenever he feels like it instead of the previously agreed upon frequency. This type of situation is a window cleaning salesman’s dream. Easy pickings.

(4) They “used to have a guy” but corporate cut their budget and window cleaning was the first thing to go. After doing some digging, you find out this was 2 years ago and the windows literally haven’t been cleaned since then. Time to get corporate on the phone and let them know their windows look like ass.

(5) “The owner says we have to do it ourselves”, but clearly none of the employees are cleaning the windows. And if they are, all they’re doing is smearing dirt and grease in circles with a paper towel and making it worse. Find the owner and convince him that the $20, $30, $40 per month he is “saving” on window cleaning is making his 5-star restaurant look like a Burger King you would expect to find in a third-world country.

I know who my great competitors are and I know the lazy ones who are cutting corners and not taking care of their customers. If I see lots of drips, windows that have been completely skipped for months, or window sills that have never been wiped, I take note of it and mention it to the potential customer. I don’t bad mouth the competitor. I just say, “See that thick layer of dirt on the window sills? That takes several months for it to get that bad. We always go out of our way to wipe that up before we consider any job complete”.

If I give an estimate at a place that clearly has been cleaned to perfection, I ask “Do you know the name of the company who is currently cleaning the windows”? If they do give me a name, I compliment the job well done and basically just say, “Well here’s my estimate. If their quality ever slips in the future or they let you down in any way, it never hurts to have a backup plan. If I don’t hear from you, I’ll follow up several months down the road just to check in and see how things are going in the window cleaning department”.

Bottom line, if the competition is doing a great job they have nothing to worry about. If they’re slacking, well they just left the door wide open for a more reliable company to swoop in. Nothing personal that’s just Business 101.


This; 1-5 and beyond. Happy hunting. :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the advice, I never really payed much attention before but I just realized that we work In Neighboring city’s … your in Austin Right?

@Jpatrick88 Like others have said in so many words, there is plenty of glass to clean and fair competition keeps everyone on there game.

If we find out during our conversation with the one in charge that a fellow window cleaner is doing the glass we just thank them for there time and give them a card with our service price on it and say “if your ever in the need of our services we are only a phone call away.” We try and follow up every couple months on these type situations.

I hope this helps.


Yes Sir, mainly to the north of Austin in Williamson County

I do a few accounts out toward cedar park, I see a lot of shine window cleaning trucks when I am out there, but Austin itself I really don’t even like to try for store fronts out there ( I did grow up out there though) they all want it for nothing, there is a guy out on the Northside off burnet rd. Charging 25 cents a pane, they say he has being doing it for years,… I still left a card but still… wow lol

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You certainly don’t want to start a price war with someone who is charging $0.25 per pane. There are guys like that in every city across America and there isn’t much you can do about it. Just try the next place and try selling them on your professionalism and quality work. For every inner city gas station that lets someone like that clean their windows for pennies on the dollar, there are endless doctor’s offices, restaurants, and retail stores that will pay the going rate for a true professional who shows up as promised and does great work. You just have to go find them which is literally just a matter of going door to door until your shoes get worn out.

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