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jsprouse
06-25-2007, 05:58 PM
Do any of you guys do any sort of referral incentives and if so how does it work?

Say for example, if a client refers a friend or neighbor and that friend or neighbor becomes a client I will cut your grass for free next time I make my weekly visit.

Any thoughts or suggestions or warnings?

Mountain Peak
06-25-2007, 06:10 PM
Once in a while I do a free mow for a referral but only if that referral ends up a weekly customer, not for one time work. Usually I'll add a discount instead of a free mow, it really depends on the customer and what work I got from them.

MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE
06-25-2007, 06:37 PM
ITZ A THOUGHT,but i have soo many bills to pay itz not for me.

Grits
06-25-2007, 07:01 PM
I wouldn't do a free mow, but I have done little things for free. Such as, small turf repairs when I have extra sod. Put down a couple bags of mulch when I have extra. Just little things when / if I have extra supplies and extra time.

sooner74
06-25-2007, 08:14 PM
I give a $10 discount after the referred customer has been serviced and paid for a month of service, a free mow to customer if referred customer uses my services for 10 times or more. In the case a $10 discount has been given, the customer that made the referral only pays $10 bucks for one cut.

My average cost to obtain a customer whether I use flyers or the newspaper is right at $30 so it's a wash in terms of advertising dollars. I have found a referred customer usually last a lot longer then customers I picked up through advertising so I am sticking with the referral program.

Runner
06-25-2007, 08:32 PM
You only do that if you want to grow. you offer 1 free mowing to a customer that gives you a sign on referral. It costs you what,...one mowing....so what. How much do you GAIN out of it by bringing on another customer - plus upsales. In the end, it really doesn't cost you. THIS is an incentive for customers to tell friends and neighbors....not ten measly bucks or a pizza coupon. That isn't really worth their time. Yes, yoou may get a referral or two over time, but not what you will get by giving out a real incentive.

kevinlane
06-25-2007, 09:07 PM
Do any of you guys do any sort of referral incentives and if so how does it work?

Say for example, if a client refers a friend or neighbor and that friend or neighbor becomes a client I will cut your grass for free next time I make my weekly visit.

Any thoughts or suggestions or warnings?

What I have been doing is a 25% off the month deal for referrals that end up a weekly service. Seems to be working out.

clcare2
06-25-2007, 09:12 PM
50$ for a yearly contract. For most accounts this is one mowing.

HOOLIE
06-26-2007, 12:14 AM
It's a no-brainer...you only pay when you get a new client...imagine if you only paid the newspaper for the ad you ran whenever you got a new customer.

Customers tend to refer good people to me, and since they were referred, they don't seem to mind paying a good price to sign up.

mattfromNY
06-26-2007, 12:21 AM
Do a good job and soon you wont be able to handle the work that comes to you.... Why the He!! would anyone do anything for free?? Man, I've referred plenty of people to the gas stations, insurance co.'s and tax men that seemed to be nice and do good work, but I'm not getting anything for free. What am I doing wrong?

HOOLIE
06-26-2007, 12:43 AM
Do a good job and soon you wont be able to handle the work that comes to you.... Why the He!! would anyone do anything for free?? Man, I've referred plenty of people to the gas stations, insurance co.'s and tax men that seemed to be nice and do good work, but I'm not getting anything for free. What am I doing wrong?

You have to think about it the right way...it's not something you give away for free. You're really just paying one of your own customers say $35 to advertise for you. I've sunk much more money into advertising that didn't yield a single job. I mean I had this guy that would pass out flyers...pretty cheap service this guy was...but still between the printing and distribution costs it would cost me around 6 cents per flyer. So to put out 2,000 a week ran around $120, and might or might not have produced any jobs. Sometimes it worked well, and sometimes not.

Sure some customers will refer people to you anyway. But paying for referrals will get more customers to do so.

mattfromNY
06-26-2007, 01:01 AM
True, nothing is ever truely free..... I think I'm just bitter b/c I've been chasing money all day. Whats up with people paying late this year??? Mr nice guy has left the building.

HOOLIE
06-26-2007, 01:11 AM
True, nothing is ever truely free..... I think I'm just bitter b/c I've been chasing money all day. Whats up with people paying late this year??? Mr nice guy has left the building.

Yeah I hear ya...I was just talking over the weekend to a landscape designer I know, he literally spent the entire day Friday chasing down enough money so they could meet the payroll. Finally got a large check from an install that will buy them another week (so long as it clears the bank :laugh: )

I got a nice chunk of money in today, but otherwise it's been sloooow for the past month. Thank god for the auto credit card customers I have. I need more of them...

MarcSmith
06-26-2007, 08:29 AM
I did gift certificates...Usually to Outback or some other nice place. $25 on up. if the person signed up for a full year of mowing services. I could write-off the gifts and it kept the billing straight...Word of mouth business is the best there is....

yardmanlee
06-26-2007, 08:32 AM
for every referral that turns into a full time client I will give the person that referred them to me 1 free cut, limit 5 per customer had one lady last yr get me 3 new customers

MarcSmith
06-26-2007, 08:48 AM
for every referral that turns into a full time client I will give the person that referred them to me 1 free cut, limit 5 per customer had one lady last yr get me 3 new customers

why the limit....Heck if you've got someone advertising for you. thats money in the bank....

jsprouse
06-26-2007, 12:32 PM
Thanks for the posts guys. Very helpful.

I don't want to spend a whole lot on advertising just starting out, but I am willing to do a bit of extra work to gain weekly clients.

I don't want to set a limit on the # of refferals at this point because I want to grow as much as possible and to keep growing.

Any of you guys use any "Guerilla Marketing" techniques to gain additional customers?

MarcSmith
06-26-2007, 12:42 PM
if you have any neighborhoods with HOA's they usually have a monthly newsletter. and its usually cheap advertising and it much easier than going door to door with door hangers.

HOOLIE
06-27-2007, 07:55 PM
Another tip...your newest customers are most likely to refer people to you, not your old and established clientele. Seems to not make sense, but whenever someone buys something new, say a new car, or satellite TV service or whatever, they are most likely to talk about it right after buying it. I get most of my referrals from my newer customers. They get excited and tell their friends :laugh:

fiveoboy01
06-27-2007, 09:14 PM
You only do that if you want to grow. you offer 1 free mowing to a customer that gives you a sign on referral. It costs you what,...one mowing....so what. How much do you GAIN out of it by bringing on another customer - plus upsales. In the end, it really doesn't cost you. THIS is an incentive for customers to tell friends and neighbors....not ten measly bucks or a pizza coupon. That isn't really worth their time. Yes, yoou may get a referral or two over time, but not what you will get by giving out a real incentive.

Well said.

If a current customer refers me to a new customer who A) signs an agreement for weekly lawn service or B) signs an agreement for a job(clean-up, mulch or stone install, etc) exceeding 300.00, they get one mow for free.

I have one customer who has given me 3 referrals in the past 3 weeks. She got 3 free mowings, but I got one 450-buck cleanup, and two mulch jobs exceeding 1200 bucks apiece.

As far as I'm concerned, that's worth the 60 bucks I lost cutting her lawn twice for nothing.

DuraCutter
06-28-2007, 12:08 AM
Do any of you guys do any sort of referral incentives and if so how does it work?

Say for example, if a client refers a friend or neighbor and that friend or neighbor becomes a client I will cut your grass for free next time I make my weekly visit.

Any thoughts or suggestions or warnings?

There are some people that already cut grass for free "ALL THE TIME". In my part of the world these days, I'm being asked to quote because a lawncare guy can't keep up cutting a condo site. I'll ask what prices they get and the manager will tell me and I'm usually laughing. All they are doing is making enough to pay the workers, the gas and depreciation on equipment with nothing left over for profit, cost of running business etc... That's working for free.

If you cut a lawn for $30 a cut, you're cutting for free once you look at all "your costs", not just a select few.

Think about it.

One guy on here once wrote "take half the jobs you cut, but double the price, you'll make more money, less wear and tear on the equipment, you'll be home to enjoy your life(you'll actually have a life) and it's all possible if you really try hard to only work for the non-maggot customers.

:)