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tamadrummer
02-26-2008, 01:05 PM
Anyone buy some kind of gift certificates for their dealers mechanics to get lunch on your company? I have been thinking that since we are just about a month away from the season starting and I am sure I will be in there more than once for something dumb, that a seasoned vet could figure out but since I am rather green I would not have figured out.

It might be a nice idea to buy a $50 gift certificate to Beef O' Brady's for the guys to have lunch on B-N-B Lawn Service and Maintenance or something cheesy like that.

Is this something that anyone does to start the season out for what they have already done for you and also for what they will do in the future for you?

Just a thought but I would like to hear what others have done?

All_Toro_4ME
02-26-2008, 01:14 PM
Order some pizzas and had them delivered to the dealer. Gotta make sure they know who its from though.

grassaholic
02-26-2008, 01:27 PM
Sounds like a good idea to me. My father does somthing for the guys at our Landscape supplier every year. This past year he got $50 gift certificates to give to the guys for the Outback Steakhouse. They really appreciate it and go the extra mile to help us out. My dad calls it "buttering your bread on both sides".

delphied
02-26-2008, 01:29 PM
With the prices my dealer charges, he has to butter their bread.

grassaholic
02-26-2008, 01:43 PM
With the prices my dealer charges, he has to butter their bread.

Whatever floats your boat. Doing things like I mentioned gets you bumped to the front of the line at a dealership when something goes down. We also get to do things at the Landscape supplier like return extra mulch we didn't use and get a store credit for it. The guys will also let us dump yardwaste for free from time to time. Just little things like that. It all adds up and more than outweighs the money spent on the gift certificates.

tamadrummer
02-26-2008, 04:32 PM
At this point I am not bringing in enough to go and buy a $50 gift card for each of the guys so I think I will just buy one gift card for the service dept and one for the parts counter guys and call it a day.

I cannot justify spending a few hundred bucks at this point. Someday maybe but not yet.

Thanks for the input fellas, it would be nice to hear from some others to see if anyone else does this or thinks it is crazy?

delphied
02-26-2008, 05:05 PM
At this point I am not bringing in enough to go and buy a $50 gift card for each of the guys so I think I will just buy one gift card for the service dept and one for the parts counter guys and call it a day.

I cannot justify spending a few hundred bucks at this point. Someday maybe but not yet.

Thanks for the input fellas, it would be nice to hear from some others to see if anyone else does this or thinks it is crazy?

I vote for crazy. Im a solo and in a cut throat location. I have always figured the dealer needs to buy my business if he wants to but I pay plenty for my stuff and shouldnt have to beg or pay for good service.

hackitdown
02-26-2008, 05:18 PM
A cup of coffee goes a long way toward building those relationships. It is cheap, and you can score points any time of day.

Raven386
02-26-2008, 05:22 PM
how about a $5 to Dunkin Donuts....thats always good no matter if its winter or summer, when you're up at the crack of dawn.

kcurrin
02-26-2008, 05:24 PM
Sounds like a good idea.

Raven386
02-26-2008, 05:27 PM
someone who we would never believe would give us anything gave us a $5 gift card to DD. it was really suprising and it came in handy that night we were out plowing. it wont be forgotten come spring time...

cantoo
02-26-2008, 07:56 PM
Before you guys jump on this bandwagon think about what the owner thinks of this. My company has a policy on gifts,, it all goes to the owners, we are not allowed to keep anything. They know that stuff like that puts you to the front of the list, "mistakes" on the billing, favours etc. This is turn costs them money and other scheduling problems.
The round of coffee, doughnuts, etc are likely okay but $50 gift certificates are likely going to get someone fired or at least in trouble. It's called payola. What would you think if one of your customers gave your guy $50, think he's gonna spend some of your extra time on the account? You bet he is and you're going to be paying by the hour. Nothing wrong with going the extra mile as long as you approve it.

RGM
02-26-2008, 08:07 PM
The dealer all ready gets enough of my money

paponte
02-26-2008, 08:09 PM
We do several parties at the end of the season for those guys that keep us up and running. Anything from catered breakfast, heros, pizzas etc.

General Landscaping
02-26-2008, 09:18 PM
Send a "big 'ol" super sub thier way.... one of those 6 footers.

That should be sufficent.

Send another when things get into full swing.

grass_cuttin_fool
02-26-2008, 11:22 PM
Before you guys jump on this bandwagon think about what the owner thinks of this. My company has a policy on gifts,, it all goes to the owners, we are not allowed to keep anything. They know that stuff like that puts you to the front of the list, "mistakes" on the billing, favours etc. This is turn costs them money and other scheduling problems.
The round of coffee, doughnuts, etc are likely okay but $50 gift certificates are likely going to get someone fired or at least in trouble. It's called payola. What would you think if one of your customers gave your guy $50, think he's gonna spend some of your extra time on the account? You bet he is and you're going to be paying by the hour. Nothing wrong with going the extra mile as long as you approve it.

I agree with cantoo, I think the ocasional coffee, doughnuts, soda is ok ...just dont get yourself too obligated. Ive seen times in the summer that a 50 cent soda was just as good as a 50 dollar gift cert.

wayne

Lawn Trooper
02-27-2008, 12:11 PM
how about a $5 to Dunkin Donuts....thats always good no matter if its winter or summer, when you're up at the crack of dawn.

I love it!! LOL

J&R Landscaping
02-27-2008, 12:19 PM
I think the whole coffee and donuts thing or a couple pizzas is fine. Then maybe a case of beer come Christmas or some cookies or something like that.

TOOLSHACK
02-27-2008, 09:16 PM
I must say..as a dealer... that if one of my regular customers came in one day and brought some cold drinks, pizza, gift cards to a restaraunt..or whatever... for me or my guys... I'd be very suprised and much appreciative.

We try to go out of our way to treat people the right way.. and it'd be a nice suprise to see that someone really appreciated it.

puppypaws
02-27-2008, 09:59 PM
Sounds like a good idea to me. My father does somthing for the guys at our Landscape supplier every year. This past year he got $50 gift certificates to give to the guys for the Outback Steakhouse. They really appreciate it and go the extra mile to help us out. My dad calls it "buttering your bread on both sides".

Your father is very savvy, I do that type thing for anyone I do business with. I even do it for the girls in offices I deal with, anything I want and anytime I want it, the people will go out of their way to see it is done correctly for me. This makes the world turn a whole lot easier, it is money well spent.

Like "Toolshack" said, it is just a matter of treating people the way you would like to be treated.

Earthworks Landscaping
02-27-2008, 10:03 PM
If you are giving these "gifts" to clients, customers etc, remember that you can "right off" up to $25.00 per occurrence per IRS 2007. This is a good way to get a tax break and make your clients/customers happy a the same time....just a thought.

jdogg399
02-27-2008, 10:06 PM
can u get me one they make enough as it is don't think they need your they get it when you go get parts anyways

grassyguy
02-27-2008, 10:50 PM
During the middle of summer I pickup a box of fudgecicles or bombpops etc. These have been huge favorites. At Christmas time I usually do some sort of gift certificates for the two owners. And bring in a meat and cheese tray for the other employees. They love it. In fact they have given me things such as a free case of oil etc. in return. Not to mention everytime I come in for a repair I get pushed up to next day or sometimes they will fix it on the spot. This stuff goes a long way.

jcthorne
02-27-2008, 10:59 PM
I tend to slip $100-$150 gift certificates under the table to important customers. You'll be surprised how much they appreciate it; especially when they don't make a lot of money but have the power to make BIG decisions. Ethical or unethical.....it works and don't think that property managers never discuss who their favorite vendors are and why.

I also will buy the mechanics at the dealer lunch or something like that.

jbailey52
02-27-2008, 11:19 PM
I look at it this way.. I have approx 400 customers.... that I have to cater to.. these people get my gifts and 'butter' have you. Now as for the dealers... they are one of the few people for which I AM the customer.... its their job to 'butter' me.. (like someone said, expecially for their charges) Now not to say there is anything wrong with it, I actually think its great. But I would only do it if I really wanted to, not to do it and expect to get different treatment. I believe being a better and frequent customer is a better way. We give all the guys shirts and sweatshirts however. Kinda promotion on our part I see it as.

Also, for good customers.. nothing better then giving them a bottle of DOM. Only $140, and I think its better then a $140 certificate.. kinda lets them say to people.. "Look what someone gave us.. a bottle of DOM"

LawnGuy73
02-28-2008, 09:40 AM
I vote for crazy. Im a solo and in a cut throat location. I have always figured the dealer needs to buy my business if he wants to but I pay plenty for my stuff and shouldnt have to beg or pay for good service.

I agree...

greenbaylawns
02-28-2008, 10:05 AM
Called and asked how much a new back tire for the wb was? ($65.00) Ya right found it on line for $21. how much for an air filter? ($15)Ya right found it on line for $6. I think I'll start having my supplies delivered to my front door!

supercuts
02-28-2008, 10:11 AM
I vote for crazy. Im a solo and in a cut throat location. I have always figured the dealer needs to buy my business if he wants to but I pay plenty for my stuff and shouldnt have to beg or pay for good service.

think if customers had this attitude with us. id dump them in a heartbeat, i dumped a few of them this year. we are all people and need to treat eachother as such. my dealer goes out of his way for me, im going to reward, much as i would like to expect may happen to me if i go out of my way for a customer of mine. its a nice simple way of saying thank you that will stand out.

ive bought Dunkin D's gift certificates for my dealer and offered pizza on my way in before. my equiptment is always fixed ASAP and has been prior to my thank you gifts.

jbailey52
02-28-2008, 10:30 AM
[QUOTE= my equiptment is always fixed ASAP and has been prior to my thank you gifts.[/QUOTE]


Mine to.. but all of my customers landscapes are always done on time... as this being my job.. my equipment being done quickly is a by product of being THEIR customer... as stated before.. I think its great you guys do this for the dealers/ repair guys... but I said id rather save that for my customers... and let the repair guys give me something to say thanks.

itsallaboutthestripes
02-28-2008, 10:32 AM
You would be suprised what 20 bucks every so often will do. We always go to the front of the line when ever we need any thing from our dealer. The mechanics always remember to take care of the ones who take care of them. We also show up about closing time with a case of beer that also seems to be a hit.

jbailey52
02-28-2008, 10:48 AM
Yea... I mean its business and it works... I guess we just dont maybe because they offer great service to begin with.. and we are always taken care of.. even though it costs.. but then again.. it may cost more to have us come do a job compared to someone else

tamadrummer
02-28-2008, 11:17 AM
I think I am going to just bring in a few pizzas and some wings and say thanks for the past support and good luck to them for the up coming season. I would be dead in the water without them for certain stuff and since my equipment is new and 99.9% will be warranty work I want them to know that I appreciate what they do for me.

Even though I have only been in business a short time, I have already had to bring my mower in for repair once and like I have said before, they stopped working on everything they were working on and got me up and running and back out in the field.

Thanks for all of the opinions posted in here. Everyone has a valid point whether or not we agree or not.

delphied
02-28-2008, 11:18 AM
think if customers had this attitude with us. id dump them in a heartbeat, i dumped a few of them this year. we are all people and need to treat eachother as such. my dealer goes out of his way for me, im going to reward, much as i would like to expect may happen to me if i go out of my way for a customer of mine. its a nice simple way of saying thank you that will stand out.

ive bought Dunkin D's gift certificates for my dealer and offered pizza on my way in before. my equiptment is always fixed ASAP and has been prior to my thank you gifts.

I dont know about you but I do the best job I can do for my customers. A few tip me and many dont. I dont short anyone on the service they get regardless of a gratuity or not. If you feel that you need to do that for good service that would be your business.

If I do have a problem with getting service in a timely manner, Ill load up and haul it over to the next Exmark dealer or call the Exmark Rep and ask him what my next brand should be.

coonman
02-28-2008, 01:07 PM
I dont know about you but I do the best job I can do for my customers. A few tip me and many dont. I dont short anyone on the service they get regardless of a gratuity or not. If you feel that you need to do that for good service that would be your business.

If I do have a problem with getting service in a timely manner, Ill load up and haul it over to the next Exmark dealer or call the Exmark Rep and ask him what my next brand should be.

Right you are! Tip or no tip, each of my lawns gets my best. I guess some of the big boys get to know their dealer pretty well, but with just two mowers I don't make many trips to the dealer. In fact I found a little mom and pop that does all of my work.

tamadrummer
02-28-2008, 06:31 PM
Man all I can say is that 2 pizzas and 30 chicken wings and some coke/diet coke really seemed to go a long way! The mechanics were very thrilled to have some lunch brought in to them and since I am not working this week, my little one got to sit on the mowers and tractors for a bit.

I know how it makes me feel when I am busting my behind out in my customers yards and they come out with something cold to drink or ask me to go in for something to eat. Even though I haven't stopped to go in and eat, because I don't normally stop to eat anyway. It is just a nice way to say thanks for being their when I need you, regardless of the circumstance! Simply thanks!

Team-Green L&L
02-28-2008, 06:43 PM
This is a local company that we may be using this year, but I'm sure they'll ship. I've met the owner and she is a very pleasant woman to speak with: http://inspiringkind.com/#

I like the idea of having our logo on the confections themselves.

tallimeca
02-28-2008, 07:02 PM
all depends on who you are dealing with and what kind of dealer.

The larger dealerships are the ones that you become a number, generally dont' get the best service, and have to do things like buy them lunch to get recognized.

The smaller dealers generally appreciate your business more and are more apt to take care of you, reguardless.

Now, a token of appreciation can go a long way. And THIS GOES BOTH WAYS. I'll say it again. THIS GOES BOTH WAYS.

You come in first thing in the morning with a machine down and REALLY REALLY NEED IT. Not saying a couple coffees for the guys is what's gonna get it taken care of, because you'll probably get it taken care of any way, however, it's a nice thing to do.

Kinda like when you come in and want to buy a couple new trimmers. Your a regular customer, I know what you do for business and out of a token of my good heart, I throw you a 3lb roll of line and say don't sweat it.

Works both ways.

If your a dick, then I tell you to leave the machine, i'll try to get to it by lunch and call you.

If you buy two trimmers and i have to listen to how the last 2 you bought were nothing but problems, and blah blah blah. You pay full price and i'm not thowing you anything but the bill.

I dont' think you need to go nuts buying your dealer bribes, unless you are just a number to them and want to get noticed.

Othewise, being a nice guy will benefeit you just the same.

CLS LLC
02-28-2008, 07:31 PM
I'm a parts and service manager at a fairly large dealer here. And although I haven't been there long, I have picked up on the fact that it doesn't take gifts for us to take care of you. Just don't be an ass and you'll be taken care of. The pita customers have a star at the end of their name so we know not to put up with their crap. Basically treat them the way you want to be treated and you're good to go.

GravelyGuy
02-28-2008, 07:35 PM
MY dealers deserve a certificate for a swift kick in the nuts, that's about all.

tamadrummer
02-28-2008, 07:42 PM
MY dealers deserve a certificate for a swift kick in the nuts, that's about all.

That is hilarious! Kind of made my night :laugh:

On a serious note, why would you buy another anything from them? With Napa stocking just about everything they can get their hands on for commercial mowers, if you go in and tell them what you need, they will likely get it for you. Why go back to them if they suck?


I just don't understand going back to a place you hate, if you feel that poorly about the dealership you got your mowers from?