Tips N Chat Throwback #23: "Sneaky People"

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post was written by Ed York in the October 1971 issue of Tips N Chat. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new throwback post!

Correspondence from a man in Denver, wanting information about steam cleaning and what it costs, how it works etc. Plain stationery, with typing as bad as mine. I sent what I could from time to time and decided to stop by last week while in Denver. The Yellow Pages told me that he had been the leader in STEAM since 1965, looked like a big company, with my mans name as the PRESIDENT. Evidently, he is a sneaky Pete that is afraid to come out from under the rocks.

I have many competitors that correspond with their own names. My friend, Gene Bates of Steam Genie always takes time to have long talks on the pros and cons. We respect each other, and I'm sure would help each other if the need arrives. I often wonder who these weasels think they are fooling. If their product was half what they claim, it would stand up to discussion. I'm trying to get the carpet cleaners to establish friendly relationships with each other to improve the overall image and uplift the entire industry. Then, to discover that manufacturers are some of the worse offenders. The carpet cleaning industry needs and must have LEADERS, not sneaky petes.


Rather than spend frustrating minutes trying to check out your competitor with phony calls for pricing etc., give him a call. Introduce yourself, and your company. Tell him what you are charging. Tell him honestly that you do not want to obtain jobs by cutting his price, and that you AREN'T doing so. You are trying to do a good professional job. It is a proven fact there are more dirty carpets in your town than you and he can both do, working full time. You will be surprised that in most cases, your competitor is just as worried about your attitude and price cutting as you are of his.

I lose all respect for the cleaner that calls his competitor out to FREE estimate his mother-in-law's carpets just to find out how cheap she can get it done. Don't wait for him to start upgrading his profession... You start it! I challenge you to call your most miserable competitor and take him to lunch. You will find some interest in common, and both discover the other guy isn't as bad as you had built him up to be. He will think twice the next time you run head-on in the field because he remembers your good points. Plus, he has to see you over lunch next Wednesday, when he repays your hospitality.

We have two SSA members in a smaller town. They fight like cats and dogs, with me in the middle. I can't seem to get through to them that they are both doing better business and better work than ever. With their effort to outdo each other, they are waking up the customers to the fact they are living on dirty rugs, and need them cleaned. Let's stop trying to beat our competitor's price and start cleaning up our own towns dirty carpets.

-Ed York

Michael M.
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