Competitors that bad mouth

Bob Doyle

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Jul 14, 2002
South Berwick, Maine

What do you do, besides get plenty pissed off about competitors that bad mouth you and other area framers?

There is an art store in my town that is telling his customers that he has the lowest prices, highest quality around. He is boasting that his corners are the tightest, that "OTHER" framers are SLOPPY.

I will give him the cheapest prices around claim, he is using the price chart of a framers that went out of business that he bought out. Christ those prices were out of date 4 years ago! I won't compete there, but quality...... well, 'nother story.

whoops rambling, letting off steam, sorry.

Original question, what would you do? How would you react, businesswise? (firebombing is out of the question, with his pricing he's doing that for me!) I refuse to stoop and bad mouth him, (but how do I get others to do it for me?)
BobD, the only thing you can do is show more class than your competitor, let your quality speak for itself and do your venting here.

Sounds like you're already doing all of those things.
If this guy is using a price chart that is 4 years old or more........the probally will not last that long.

What goes around...comes around
A friend of mine who embroiders hats and stuff was at a trade show when several buyers mentioned that her competitor was claiming that she stole some designs from him.

She sent a “spy” who heard the same thing and documented it. She contacted a lawyer who sent a cease-and-desist letter to the competitor and threatened a suit for slander.

That shut him up.

Don’t ignore this! Your reputation is at stake. Send a buddy or a spouse and see if your competitor will say the same thing and write it down.
Now hold on there. The guy said that "others are sloppy." Did he mention BobD or his shop by name?

Even if he did, that's pretty vague.

I would be embarrassed to sue another framer for saying my work is sloppy.

A long-time customer once asked me why I was so much more expensive than Brand-X Framing (not their real name.) I explained about the differences in the materials (a fact) and in the workmanship (an opinion) and I concluded by saying that if she was satisfied with the work the other shop was doing, I was happy for her and wished her well.

She was, BTW.
Maybe a better approach is to figure out why this customer went to his business instead of yours.

What was he doing that resonated enough with the consumer to not come to you is a bigger issue.

Often, the villain is much closer than we think
If he attacks you personally, you have a case for suite.

If he attacks at random and can't specifically prove it, he's an idiot. Leave him to his price chart that put the other guy out of business combined with his personality......

When he's looking for work, I'll bet he won't be looking as a framer.

Wow, Bill, that's a good one. I will have to try that the next time someone claims I stole their art glass design. (I try and date/journal all ideas in pen...)

BobD, it has been my experience that quality customers are really uncomfortable being on the receiving end of that type of talk.. While they may have entered a discussion @ lower prices, the framer took it too far with the comments about other framers, etc. I personally stop and question the slanderer's (sorry Capt.English) integrity when I hear this kind of bad mouthin'.. my next thought is, "Hmm, wonder where that attitude ends? With a screwed up pc. of artwork- will he replace it? Be honest about what happened?" etc...
I am also a big believer in the what goes around comes around adage. Unfortunately, you may never have the satisfaction of seeing it for yourself.
Just keep framing stupendously and let your reputation for quality shout out much louder than the unprofessional attempts at gaining customers that other way!
Okay, Bob, I wanna play, too.

If the competitor said this to a customer, and it got back to BobD, doesn't that imply that the customer came to BobD after going to the bad-mouther?

BobD, did they come to you and say, "I won't be bringing my framing to you 'cause the other guy says you're sloppy and he's cheaper?"

How'd you hear about this outrage?
I agree Ron-I would probably be po'd, also.

But a lot of my anger would be that my prized, loyal client went a-shopping. We all tend to talk about "once they are in my door, they're mine" mentality.

What didn't BobD do to effectively capture this client?

If his work is a stupendous as we say (without a clue if it was or not), why did this client test other waters?

There is a bigger problem that we don't want to address
Originally posted by Bob Carter:
Maybe a better approach is to figure out why this customer went to his business instead of yours.

The competitor is an Art Store as well as a part time frame shop. He sells the paint and canvases that my customer was using.

BTW tahnks Ron I am trying to keep up the quality and workmanship here. Just angry and venting to you all as opposed to stooping and venting to my customers. I think that complaining about his prices and work might make customers want to check it out!?
Oh yeah, and the customer keeps coming back. He went in because he was out of a certain oil! Maybe I should stock paints for my customers.....

I did go into the Art Store and talked with his part-time framer. (The actual framer and I are on good turns, the shop owner is the putz!) And he was mortified that I had found out. Seems this guy talks down all the frame shops around, Just so tired of this nonsense..... Quality speaks, character speaks and let the business show.
I can not believe no one has said this yet. "NEVER KNOCK YOUR COMPETITION!"

That is a very old, tried and true, business adage.

Your best bet is to just ignore it & forget it. His customers, and yours, are not completely stupid. It's kind of like when you see a large corporation advertising on prime time TV what great service they offer, or what a great warranty they have, or whatever. You know if they have to spend millions of dollars advertising it, they are having problems in those areas.

Customers that hear him spouting off about other framers are going to know there is a problem. That is probably why his framer was mortified, with a boss like that, his job will not last long.

Stay out of the fray, keep your mouth shut about it. If your customers come in with stories about him, just say you haven't heard anything and change the subject.

Bob... what's up with him?!?! You know what bugs me about that... I know you've been friendly toward him... and so have I. What a jerk! Is it the owner or the guy who does the framing?

I had talked with a summer couple fro Wells who'd gone in there one day and walked right back out because no one ever acknowledged them.

I vowed that I would never, EVER bad mouth a framer in our area when I started this shop. I don't even bad-mouth a shop down by the shore that I used to work for where the owner's wife was absolutely HORRIBLE to all of us employees.

Business owners should stick to the practice "if you have nothing nice to say don't say it all".

Don't worry Bob... I'll NEVER bad-mouth you.

[ 07-06-2004, 02:23 PM: Message edited by: Kittyfaces ]
Oh... I just noticed your post saying it was the owner, not the framer. I would've been shocked if it were the framer.