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Making A Deal With The Devil Today (Met Our #1 Competitor In Person) What Would You Do?

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by BreaknBrix, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. BreaknBrix

    BreaknBrix Power Member

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    So check this. This is gonna be long but I'd really like to know what some of you guys think.

    Me and my bro run a local biz. Some of you already know that.

    Anyway, we've been stalking our #1 competitor for about 5 years now. This guy ranks for over 500 local keywords (most geo-targeted) in the top 3 of Google. And his site has been dominating this industry for as long as I can remember (it's a niche related to home improvement).

    For years we've been speculating how big this company is and how many leads they get. I've always told my brother it's just 1 or 2 people behind the operation when he's always thought "there's gotta be at least 20-30 people behind the company". But where things get really interesting, the OWNER of this business has been arrested >>3 times over the last 5 years.

    He was arrested once for refusing to leave a customers home.

    After he gave the quote to this woman (her husband wasn't home), she told him he was crazy and to leave immediately. He completely ignores her then goes on trying to hardsell this woman as she screaming at him till the cops came and locked his ass up. So this guy's got brass balls.

    He was later arrested again for tax evasion.

    Then in 2013, just last year he was arrested again for money laundering.

    Straight from the press release, (you don't have to read this but it's hysterical knowing this is our #1 competitor) "xxx, owner of xxx business, pleaded guilty to third-degree charges of theft by failure to make required disposition of property received and failure to pay taxes before superior court judge xxx. Under the peak agreement xxx(our competitor) must pay $1.1 million, including $900,000 in unpaid taxes, penalties and interest, plus a $200,000 anti-money laundering penalty. He is forfeiting $424,000 from bank accounts seized by the state, and he paid the remaining $676,000 at the pleas hearing. The state will recommend that he be sentenced to 364 days in county jail"

    The press release goes on and on, talking about how he was depositing checks in his name into multiple accounts, rather than his business account. How he was "altering customer checks by blacking out the memo section of the checks, which referenced the true business purpose of the check. To further conceal income, xxx deposited more than $ 1 million in cash and checks into personal accounts using another person's social security number".

    Point being, our #1 competitor, the guy behind the company who dominates our industry.... is one of the largest crooks I know of.

    He's also been on 2 undercover tv sting operations (ABC's "The Lookout) and some other show.

    Anyway. For years we've been noticing something about this business.

    Many times we go on leads and the lead (customer) tells us they called this company, and they said "we will not come out unless you pay a $250 inspection fee". Which is hilarious because 98% of companies in this industry do free inspections.

    But the more and more this happened. The more and more we began to wonder... "how can a company afford to throw away that many leads"?

    I mean, we cherry pick leads too. But this guy was throwing away hundreds of leads that we'd wind up selling and the leads turned out awesome.

    So yesterday, 5 years worth of gossip, curiosity and speculating has finally come to an end.

    We had to meet the criminal mastermind behind this business and on top of that see if we can strike a deal with him. So FINALLY, we called him on the phone and had a very weird talk for the first 10 minutes. He was trying to use a fake name as my brother was trying to use a fake name then he admitted his real name cause we already knew it and knew his voice from tv after which point my brother revealed his real name to him LOL. Then my brother says, "We know you throw away dozens of leads every month. We know you are in legal trouble. But we do not care about your business practices". The crook kept saying over and over "what's on your mind?", "what are you trying to say". And my brother said "instead of throwing all those leads away, why don't you just refer them to our company, and we'll throw you a kickback on all the jobs we sell?".

    As this is going on, I'm thinking in my head "what the f##k is going on right now?!"

    Sure enough, my brother (who also has brass balls) managed to schedule a meeting at this guys office today. Which of course turned out to be his home and it's only him and his sketchy ass wife running the company.

    What's so weird about this... our biz is the polar opposite of this guys biz. We have a STELLAR reputation. More and better online reviews than any other business in this industry. We do our absolute best to give customers the fairest prices we can. We don't charge for inspections. We don't tamper with test results or serial numbers or checks or commit any type of fraud. We actually enjoy pleasing people. Like we won't leave a home unless a customer is smiling and 100% satisfied with the work we do.

    But with all that said, we don't get 1/10th the amount of leads this crook does.

    And my question to the forum is.... do you guys think this is a bad idea? To strike a deal with a company that has this bad a reputation?

    I was telling my brother, "we can NOT be associated with this company in any type of way". And he just kept saying "we won't be, we'll keep everything behind the scenes". I said "how the f##k are we gonna do that when the company is directly referring leads to OUR BUSINESS?". And he just said, "don't worry, we'll figure something out".

    So that's my question. For business owners out there. If your #1 competitor was a slimy, crooked, filthy, fraudulent bastard.... BUT.... you could make a lot of money by striking a deal with him... would you do it? I normally don't like to judge people cause I use to have a record (now expunged). But for the most part I learned my lesson and no way in hell could I do 1/100th of what this guy is involved in. At the same time, I don't want mere paranoia to prevent what could be a very potentially profitable business deal.

    So what's your opinion on this?

    Thanks,

    -BB
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
  2. PandaDomo

    PandaDomo Senior Member

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    I think I would take the deal.

    I mean like you're just simply taking leads, it's not like you're sacrificing any type of quality control on these new clients.

    Besides, they're all referrals anyway, I don't think your clients would even care they were sent from someone else, the quality work you would speak for itself.
     
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  3. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I think it's a great idea.
    Customers will judge you by the work you do, not by who referee you.
    Evety time you get a lead from this guy make sure you do a great job.

    At worst you'll get some work out of it, at best all of his customers will gradually get wind of a much better option (your company) and you'll end up dicipating all of your competitors business :)
     
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  4. serpmover2014

    serpmover2014 Regular Member

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    Its a very smart idea op. Go through with it, and dont look back. Unless you dont want the extra money.
     
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  5. tony_d

    tony_d Elite Member

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    Dont touch it.
    Give this guy a little more time and he'll self destruct entirely. You dont need the short term gain - just wait until the fat lady sings, and you'll get his leads coming to you anyway.
    Just focus on ranking in the meantime.
     
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  6. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    I think this is pretty sound advice. It sounds like your competitor is steps away from going away for a period of time and, unless he has some kind of plan to turn his business over to someone else, you'll be able to slide right in to the better placements in the SE.

    Plus, like you BreaknBrix, I would not any association with the guy or his business.
     
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  7. PandaDomo

    PandaDomo Senior Member

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    Well, this would depend on whether or not he actually IS giving up his business or if he's actually going to go to jail. Otherwise, his online presence will just keep generating leads regardless of his actual service.

    If he's been offering shitty service for 5+ years now and he's STILL getting this many leads, who knows when it'll actually end.
     
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  8. ill-repute

    ill-repute Registered Member

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    I wouldn't do it.

    Even if there is no risk to your company's reputation and you will earn a lot more money, why would you want to do business with someone as shady as this character?

    You told us how brother likes to spend money. I'm sure the opportunity to earn more wealth is driving his decision. Tell him to step back and look objectively at this situation. How can he have this kind of knowledge about the man's background and still pursue a business relationship with him?
     
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    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014
  9. ShadeDream

    ShadeDream Elite Member

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    Whatever you do, keep BreaknBrixs to plough through that competition!

    You username just fits so well.
     
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  10. meinewelt

    meinewelt Junior Member

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    Learn from a Millionaire? Hell, why would you pass on this? Would you rather spend your day with a negative forum poster?
     
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  11. BreaknBrix

    BreaknBrix Power Member

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    I just wanted to thank everyone who responded and post an update.

    The deal was done.

    I immensely respect the advice of senior members who advocated against doing this deal. However, I lost my voice in the negotiation, my brother overspoke me the whole time and apparently I had no say in what happened today. He's a few years older than me, there was a bit of seniority / sibling rivalry at play... I didn't want to ruin the negotiating... so I shut my mouth towards the end. In the moment it did seem like a win/win for both parties. So I'm not really sure what to say.

    Towards the end I just kept looking around this guys house (f##king huge), listening to the numbers.... I was a bit "taken" in by it all and kept thinking "this is right... this is good..." etc.

    Part of me is happy as hell. Another part of me is still not sure how to feel. But there's no turning back now. No way in hell I can convince my brother out of this.

    And for anyone who wants to look down on me.... I really do think if you were in my shoes you would have done the same thing. If not, then you're just better than me. That's all I can say.

    Cheers,

    -BB
     
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  12. topdown

    topdown Junior Member

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    Just make sure that all your hard work won't be associated with his "brand"... don't forget that your future clients called him first and he will build trust on your back.
     
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  13. Brad100

    Brad100 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    its a great freaking deal man, go for it, but, have a couple of firearms with you when you go to his house, and keep an eye on his sketchy wife... you never know.

    Eidt: Just read that the deal is done and OP is alive, congrats.
     
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  14. JoeMongan

    JoeMongan Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    The guy is not that smart or he would monetize those leads instead of tossing them to one
    of his competitors. The last thing I would do is allow my competitor inside of my operation.

    I don't think anyone is looking down on you here. Really its just business and I don't see too
    much harm in taking the deal.
     
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  15. ShadeDream

    ShadeDream Elite Member

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    Now that you have sealed the deal I would be worried about actually converting the leads, or even more importantly not letting them go to waste if the numbers are really as huge as they seem to be. This might mean a huge expansion in business and some serious work on delegation skills, if not already mastered. :D
     
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  16. Trepanated

    Trepanated Supreme Member

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    I think you've made a mistake, but only time will tell.

    The guy is clearly moody - tax evasion, money laundering and ripping off his customers is probably only part of it. I bet he burns his suppliers too - and a lot of other people.

    If that's how he treats people who he makes money from, how do you think he will treat his competitors - you guys?

    If it were me I'd have stayed well away. Reputation is critical in any business and now there is a chance yours will be damaged by association. Put it this way - there is zero chance your reputation will be enhanced by any association with him.

    It sounds like the only thing you guys needed to do was figure out how he gets his leads - I'd have put my efforts into that and focussed on my own business.

    Make sure you are very, very wary of the guy though, because I guarantee he will burn you the moment he thinks it will make him some money.
     
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  17. africanart

    africanart Regular Member

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    Evaluate the pros and cons of doing business with him on a monthly basis. On the first sign of trouble. Jump from his sinking ship.
     
  18. FBGuru

    FBGuru Senior Member

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    I don't have any advice for you but, This is whats going in my mind while reading through your post.

    That's how winning is done.

    Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and several other top dogs did some shady stuffs on their journey to reach the position where they're at today.

    I'm not encouraging you to work with him but If you were to choose that path, just spend more time to cover your tracks.

    Good luck with your new venture!
     
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  19. sully1975

    sully1975 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Hello my fellow Garden Stater!

    Well in business, the drama will find us, even if we don't seek it out.

    Make sure you have two people lined up. A person for Taxes, I suggest past normal enrolled agents, more like a TAX LAWYER who worked for the IRS and retired years ago, we have one. Your new best friend forever has a CID (criminal investigation division) file at the IRS. CID is very nasty in what they do, they stir shit looking at your clients and when you are found innocent seem to forget to write a letter to those interviewed that you are kosher. The result is your hemorrhage clients.

    Second is a criminal defense lawyer, even if you never did anything wrong. My bet is eventually they will shit out a RICO on him and you will have to prove innocence since he has a shady record already. I had a friend whom was a criminal defense lawyer who flipped real estate and was from my construction code classes half a decade ago.

    Make sure there are no hints of Insurance fraud on any remediation claims refereed as NJ is gungho on a crackdown. I was studying to be a public adjuster.

    Nevertheless good luck and I hope all works out for you. I am a fan of your threads
     
  20. Zwielicht

    Zwielicht Moderator in Training Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    The smartest guy you know and the richest guy you know are often not the same person.

    BreaknBrix, I personally wouldn't have taken the deal since I absolutely refuse to make deals with shady companies, although I think you'll be fine so long as you limit your contact with this guy and don't get involved with his antics.

    You asked how such a conspicuously shady company with a history of bad practices could get so many leads. I used to wonder this myself, and the answer to that is that they know how to market themselves. Despite his bad business practices, his actual home impovement work may be good, and since most consumers are too indolent to seek out other products or services (or they just can't find it), they'll just assume that shady company is their best option. It's tantamount to someone who is in a bad relationship but refuses to leave their belligerent partner because "that's the best they can get".

    If you can convert these leads he's going to send you and show them that you are the superior company, I'm certain that in time, you'll be able to convert his best customers into your customers and usurp the throne.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014