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DVS Hardscaper
08-18-2011, 11:24 AM
Back in Feb I had spent a large amount of time designing a pretty nice backyard. I met with the people 2 times and had extensive phone conversations with them. Then they dropped off the face of the earth. Stopped returning my calls. A job that was a min of $30k.

About a month ago their neighbor calls and wants a patio.

When meeting with the neighbor I see the other people did get their backyard. We're in Md, like 5 miles from the VA line. They had a Virginia contractor do the work. I checked and they're not licensed to work in Md. And their website is full of pics of patios from belgards picture CD!!!

On one hand I am mad that they went with a
Contractor that doesn't even have his own pics. And the joints in the stonework in these people's backyard look terrible! Yet I'm very glad for the referral, I landed an $18,000.00 sale. And the people have been great to work with, very polite, friendly, and they don't bother us.

I guess I should send them a visa gift card for the referral. Should I do $50 or $100? It's a newer community, and there could be a potential for a couple more leads.
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KrayzKajun
08-18-2011, 11:43 AM
I would go wit the $50. It shows no hard feelings for choosing another contractor and thanks for the referral.
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Glenn Lawn Care
08-18-2011, 04:17 PM
I would go wit the $50. It shows no hard feelings for choosing another contractor and thanks for the referral.
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I agree with the $50 gift card. Did you charge them for designing the backyard?

zedosix
08-18-2011, 07:24 PM
Is this normal practise to send money gifts because someone referred your name?

tailboardtech
08-18-2011, 07:32 PM
Is this normal practise to send money gifts because someone referred your name?

some people do its starting to become a fairly common thing

scagrider22
08-18-2011, 08:26 PM
Is this normal practise to send money gifts because someone referred your name?

I always do it, I have one customer that almost never has to pay his maintenance bill because he refers us so often.

DVS Hardscaper
08-18-2011, 09:19 PM
Is this normal practise to send money gifts because someone referred your name?

Yes. The bigger companies with sales people pay commissions. So I believe in giving a token of appreciation to those who refer us.

I do this with clients. (but many of them tell me not to send them anything and that they'll just mail it back to me)

I do this with employees. Yes, there have been 2-3 times where my guys have brought some leads to me. Over the years on this forum I've shown pics of a big wall job, and that was an employee lead.

And I do it with other contractors. In example I have a buddy thats a high end home improvement contractor. Instead of him subbing work to us, we'll often work it where I give him a decent commission. At one time he landed me a $33k job. I think I gave him $1000 for the lead, which was baked into the job cost. Thats alotta money, but the mentality is that it still works out to be less than had he subbed it to us and put a 15% mark up on it.


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DVS Hardscaper
08-18-2011, 09:21 PM
But back to me sending a Visa card to these people.

How funny will it be when the contractor they DIDN'T USE sends them money, all while they're referring the guy that actually did the work and he sends them NOTHING!

I agree with capping at $50.00. But on the other hand when these people receive $100 in the mail that they're not expecting.......it's going to make ONE HELL OF AN IMPRESSION! And now you can see where the DVS in my user name comes from :) Many years ago when I just graduated highschool another maintenance contractor told his employees "don't talk to Andrew Hardscape, he's sneaky". And I've always remembered that and I try to live up to his claim :cool2:


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gammon landscaping
08-19-2011, 01:24 AM
sorry guys but i feel it is wrong to pay for work. the gift card maybe at Christmas if they send a bunch of work. The fact that you bid a job lost it do to price and then they told the neighbor to call you; says that you did everything right. By sending a gift card it is almost rude in my mind. Seems as you are saying you should have used me, look how great i am and i can do this cause i make more than that hack you used. But this is just my opinion.

wurkn with amish
08-19-2011, 03:14 PM
local dentist gives $25 dollars for every refferal. what dentist do you think I'm telling everyone about? Not the guy i've never been to thats for sure.

zak406
08-19-2011, 09:45 PM
If you are in the position to give a referall gift I think its a. a fantastic idea and b. gives people another reason to do buisness with you!

STL Ponds and Waterfalls
08-20-2011, 11:32 AM
I'll send a gift card for a local restaurant. Usually the place I first started working at 25 years ago. Do you have any friends that own a restaurant that would be happy to have a reffered customer?

4 seasons lawn&land
08-20-2011, 12:08 PM
it sounds rediculous to me too. Makes it look like your prices are too high and you just have $$$$$$ to throw around. I can see giving discounts on services for refferals.

DVS Hardscaper
08-20-2011, 12:18 PM
it sounds rediculous to me too. Makes it look like your prices are too high and you just have $$$$$$ to throw around. I can see giving discounts on services for refferals.

They did not go with another contractor because of price.

You have to keep in mind: "what does a QUALIFIED lead cost you"?

If you employed a sales rep, it would cost way more than a hundred bucks for an $18k sale....

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custom patios
08-20-2011, 04:05 PM
I dont think its a bad idea. i do it a little differently though. I havent offered anything for referrals, but after I have completed sizeable projects, I have presented clients with a bottle of Dom Perignon, or even a gift card to a five star restaurant. I present these when I am picking up my final payment. I dont do this to get referrals, but to show our appreciation and gratitude.

STL Ponds and Waterfalls
08-20-2011, 04:09 PM
I dont think its a bad idea. i do it a little differently though. I havent offered anything for referrals, but after I have completed sizeable projects, I have presented clients with a bottle of Dom Perignon, or even a gift card to a five star restaurant. I present these when I am picking up my final payment. I dont do this to get referrals, but to show our appreciation and gratitude.

Exactly! I send mine with my Christmas cards.

xtreem3d
08-20-2011, 04:17 PM
I dont think its a bad idea. i do it a little differently though. I havent offered anything for referrals, but after I have completed sizeable projects, I have presented clients with a bottle of Dom Perignon, or even a gift card to a five star restaurant. I present these when I am picking up my final payment. I dont do this to get referrals, but to show our appreciation and gratitude.

i can only afford to give maddog 20/20 :cry:

DVS Hardscaper
08-20-2011, 04:32 PM
I'm not big on restaurant cards. I don't know what/where other people like to dine.

Christmas is a long time to payout! The idea is to provide incentive to brag about your work and to keep the referrals comin!

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steve5966
08-20-2011, 05:40 PM
They did not go with another contractor because of price.

You have to keep in mind: "what does a QUALIFIED lead cost you"?

If you employed a sales rep, it would cost way more than a hundred bucks for an $18k sale....

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I hardly ever agree with DVS, ok never, and often go out of my to disagree, but he is right on this topic. Without that referal the job probably doesn't happen, By showing your appreciation with the gift card, they will remember you when a friend or neighbor asks.

DVS Hardscaper
08-20-2011, 05:51 PM
I hardly ever agree with DVS, ok never, and often go out of my to disagree, but he is right on this topic. Without that referal the job probably doesn't happen, By showing your appreciation with the gift card, they will remember you when a friend or neighbor asks.

Now this topic is about showing appreciation as Steve mentioned. A $2000 job is appreciated. But an $18k job from a referal who used someone else is a grand slam
home run. What more could you ask for!

And our client told me that their next door neighbors plan to call us in the spring. The next door neighbors were refered to us by the people that went with the other company! So that is a potential of 2 jobs landed by these people!

But I thrive off of referrals. If I meet with people that have a handful of school age kids and they live in a planned community - I do all I can to secure the sale. That mother is busy in the community an knows everyone on the street. This means.....RE-fur-olssssss!!!!
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STL Ponds and Waterfalls
08-20-2011, 06:07 PM
I'm not big on restaurant cards. I don't know what/where other people like to dine.

Christmas is a long time to payout! The idea is to provide incentive to brag about your work and to keep the referrals comin!

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I think Christmas is a great time to give a thank you type gift on top of maybe a referral gift depending on the job. That is the season people are having holiday parties and other social gatherings that can lead to referrals if they are reminded of you/company at the right time.

Say the job is a $15K-$20K job and it cost you $100 total for two referral gifts. What's $100 on jobs like that? That amount get's waisted on miscuts, lunch, polysand, mulch extra's etc during a project. I bet you'll get more for your money compared to print ads.

JoeyDipetro
08-20-2011, 11:19 PM
Back in Feb I had spent a large amount of time designing a pretty nice backyard. I met with the people 2 times and had extensive phone conversations with them. Then they dropped off the face of the earth. Stopped returning my calls. A job that was a min of $30k.

About a month ago their neighbor calls and wants a patio.

When meeting with the neighbor I see the other people did get their backyard. We're in Md, like 5 miles from the VA line. They had a Virginia contractor do the work. I checked and they're not licensed to work in Md. And their website is full of pics of patios from belgards picture CD!!!

On one hand I am mad that they went with a
Contractor that doesn't even have his own pics. And the joints in the stonework in these people's backyard look terrible! Yet I'm very glad for the referral, I landed an $18,000.00 sale. And the people have been great to work with, very polite, friendly, and they don't bother us.

I guess I should send them a visa gift card for the referral. Should I do $50 or $100? It's a newer community, and there could be a potential for a couple more leads.
Posted via Mobile Device

Decisions, decisions. Forget the drama of not getting the job and the unlicensed contractor and be grateful for the referral. It seems you already know that, I'm just saying keep your focus there on the positive. Reinforce their opinion of you by providing superior service to their neighbor and even without the gift card, why would they not continue to refer your company?

The gift card is an acknowledgment of the referral, not a persuasive measure...you already got a lead without a gift card and you are going to be pleasing another member of the same community. In light of that, I don't think the dollar amount matters, but I would certainly acknowledge the referral.

Murphy's Law
08-21-2011, 08:58 PM
A coupe of weeks ago I got my hair cut from my local barber I've been going to since their opening day only 2 years ago and he said "Greg! I just got you a job!" He handed me a business card of one of his other clients and said call him today.

I called and met with the client. Submitted a proposal and it was accepted. I start the patio in 2 weeks. Slam dunk!

There is a pizza joint next door to the barber shop. I delivered 2 large pies in person with a huge smile on my face. My barber and the owner were wondering what the heck I was doing. I simply said. 'I really appreciate you guys looking out for another local contractor."

We ate the pizza together. (Luckily they were slow.) I'm expecting more referrals in the future!

FYI, barbers and hairdressers see A TON of people EACH DAY. You all are welcome for the free marketing advice!

DVS Hardscaper
08-21-2011, 09:45 PM
yep, barbers and hair stylists have brought us work.

Stillwater
08-22-2011, 01:04 AM
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Stillwater
08-22-2011, 01:06 AM
I would pass on the gift card
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ryde307
08-25-2011, 12:31 PM
I spend most of my time reading and not posting on this site. Many times I feel like I want to drop kick dvs through my computer screen. But on the same token have learned a few good things. Anwyas to the topic I have to agree with DVS.
His situation is odd in the sense of the whole another contractor doing the work but referring him and so on so you can of what you will with that.
In regards to giving a token of appriciation for a work refferal it is a must in my opinion. Some think if I give a 100$ gift card or whatever it looks like I make to much and I am just wasting money. You are looking to deep into it people understand this is your job you did not work at there house for charity. YOu worked for a fair price and made money and made money for doing so. If you cant scape up $100 on a project like DVS is talking about you have many other problems besides worring should I or shouldnt I give something.
In terms of christmas the problem with that is you are no longer fresh in there mind. In todays world it is all about here and now there is marketing all around you every second of the day and the point is sell it now. In otherwords send the gift asap or when you pick up final payment say thanks for the work refferal here is a gift to say thank you. That person will remeber that for that week and that is your chance for them to sell you. The other problem with christmas is you are now sending when everyone is sending. How many cards do you get at christmas? I bet you dont even read all of them. Dont send holiday cards its to busy of a time anyways. Send a card for a holiday most dont. 4th of july east so on. People will be caught of gaurd and pay attention to it. NOt only that but for people in the north this is the time your selling your service anyways not winter. believe me they forgot about your christmas card and taht it meant something to them by spring time.
Anyways I am rambling but in short I agree with the refferal gift or just a thank you gift for someone hiring you and giving you work. Common gift cards are easy and work but if you can learn something about your client and get a gift thats personal that really makes them rember. If he or she is a golfer get a golf giftcard to a higher end course near by, if they like cars get them a free detailing for one of there nice cars, anyways you get the idea.

DVS Hardscaper
08-25-2011, 12:55 PM
We finished the job today. So now it's time for me to pay up. I have been wondering what is appropriate. We didn't do any work for the people that referred us so I really know nothing about them (in terms of interests, hobbies, And thats why I thought to just go with a Visa card. I'm going to carry through with this either tomorrow or over the weekend, so if anyone else has any nice ideas - I'm all ears.

And looks like there are now two other jobs pending on that street. Whether or not they come through, we really lucked out!

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wurkn with amish
08-26-2011, 10:33 AM
Also check with your accountant...... in ohio max on gifts to customers is supposed to be $25.

DVS Hardscaper
08-26-2011, 02:33 PM
Also check with your accountant...... in ohio max on gifts to customers is supposed to be $25.

Thanks but it doesn't have to be expensed.


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zedosix
08-26-2011, 06:09 PM
Keep your money, thats my thought. Just accept the fact that some people pass your name on, why pay for that, its all about keeping good guys in business and the fly by nights out.

DVS Hardscaper
08-26-2011, 08:22 PM
Keep your money, thats my thought. Just accept the fact that some people pass your name on, why pay for that, its all about keeping good guys in business and the fly by nights out.


Thanks for lookin out for me and helpin me, 'ol buddy! :canadaflag: :usflag:

The people I believe are not unhappy with the contractor that did their work. I think they were equally impressed with me. So I'm sure they'll be referring their contractor.

I always say business and relationships/marriage share the same principles.

And with that said, you need to know how to *play the field* :cool2:

If you need some examples, let me know. But the moderators may not like my examples and may ban me :laugh:



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jonesy5149
08-26-2011, 09:54 PM
So check this out....... EDI gets with a mowing company around the town to do are mowing and clean up(fall and spring). Meet with 3 people that own a couple of commercial accounts EDI has done there work.. Long story short at there house i work out some plans and then they had something that came up or not this year. Well we go and do flowers on mothers day or lowe's cards on fathers day and BANG... They had patios in the yard....That EDI designed.... BUT did not put them in.. THe mowing company had nothing to say but sorry they asked us to give them a price..haahaha Joke is on me and they are going to get a letter from the lawyer about the contract... Burn that bridge with us.

DVS Hardscaper
08-26-2011, 10:08 PM
Jonesy that was really hard to follow! How many Coronas have you had tonight buddy? :)
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scagrider22
08-26-2011, 10:14 PM
I was thinking the same thing???

jonesy5149
08-26-2011, 10:30 PM
Yes mind thinking faster than my fingers (:drinkup:)

EDI gets with a mowing company around town to do are mowing and clean up(fall and spring). We meet with 3 different people that own a couple of commercial accounts EDI has done there work..

Long story short at there house i work on some plans and then they had **something that came up** or **not this year**. we go and do flowers on mothers day or lowe's cards on fathers day( for the VIP accounts) and BANG...

They had patios in the back yard....That EDI designed.... BUT did not put them in.. The mowing company had nothing to say but **sorry** "The costumers asked us to give them a price"..haahaha Joke is on me:hammerhead: and they are going to get a letter from the lawyer about the contract... They burn that bridge with us. You would think if you we getting good work from a nother company andyou are not set up or the know how you would not do the hardscaping work??
Fist pump i'm out..

zedosix
08-28-2011, 12:14 PM
field* :cool2:

If you need some examples, let me know. But the moderators may not like my examples and may ban me :laugh:



,

Now that wouldn't be a first would it :laugh:

DVS Hardscaper
08-31-2011, 11:38 AM
Now that wouldn't be a first would it :laugh:

Actually....it would be. :)

There is a difference between being banned from improper behavior and breaking the rules

VS

being banned because of a site owner's fragile ego got in his/her way :)



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