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  #1  
Old 10-22-2012, 12:08 PM
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gcbailey gcbailey is online now
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thinking of a referral program

Just talked with one of our commercial property owners earlier today and he gave me the heads up, which I greatly appreciate, that they are planning on developing about 8 acres of their property that we currently maintain. It won't start until next summer, if it goes through. If this is the case, this is about $800/weekly that we will be loosing from this account, about $25k yearly.

So I'm initially brainstorming and throwing this out there...

We have never heavily advertised too much, we run a 2"x2" ad in the local paper from April - Oct. Basically I have 6 men maxed out during those months, anything additional I would have to look at adding another truck (have trailer and equipment).

I was thinking about when we send out our year end "thank you" letters to start a referral program something along the lines of this....

For every regular client that is referred by you we will give you a $25 restaurant gift card. Regular client is someone identified as receiving service at a maximum 10 day service interval. The number of gift cards you can receive is unlimited, but is based on the number of direct referrals. Of course the verbage would need worked on.

I had thought about giving a customer a $25 one time discount for each referral, but I think I would rather keep the cash.

Thoughts? We've never anything like this before, but like I said, knowing that we are possibly facing loosing $25k in revenue I'd rather take a proactive approach now, then panic later.
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:16 PM
32vld 32vld is offline
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I have heard of people doing this. I have offered on free weekly service for any new season referrals.

That can mean a customer not paying me for one weeks bill of $35 to $72.

I have yet to get do a weekly mow for free yet.

To be honest if I picked up a referral late in the season I would still be happy to give the customer the free week. For in the fall there is about 6 weeks of mowing, fall clean up, up sell, lime, trimming, prunning, fert. And now I have another customer on my list for the spring.
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:42 PM
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gcbailey gcbailey is online now
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I am somewhat wondering what is popular to do in this line. We only have about 45 residential, and 18 commercial, but the residentials we have, we really like. We reached the point a few years that we felt we were able to pick and choose and did some selective marketing back then.

I guess my line of thought is, let the customer's bring in more of their own type, to an extent. I was thinking with doing a gift card, I could mail with with a 'thank you' card and make it a little more personal and that might give a little more incentive vs. just seeing a $25 deduction in the bill for a week.

I wouldn't limit the program to just starting off in the bring, it would be year round, I just don't plan on announcing it until our end of season letters go out in about a month.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:07 PM
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alldayrj alldayrj is offline
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I don't do maintenance but i try and give 1% of the job in a restaurant gift certificate. One customer got me 15k of work. She got a great steak dinner. I don't push it hard though. Sometimes i mention it and other times i don't. I feel like people mention me if they want to. If they do, i reward them.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:08 PM
newguy123 newguy123 is offline
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Yeah like "gcbailey" said a gift card could work. Even a $5 gift card to starbucks, it isn't a lot but it's a gesture that lets them know you don't take them for granted.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:13 PM
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Blades Lawn Maintenance Blades Lawn Maintenance is offline
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The other day I got a lead from a woman I cut for and I was trying to think of a way to thanks her and encourage her/all my accounts to help me pick up work. I just told her I'll give her a free weekly cut but she wouldn't take it lol so the only think she would let me do is take $10 off her cut.
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:31 PM
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gcbailey gcbailey is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blades Lawn Maintenance View Post
The other day I got a lead from a woman I cut for and I was trying to think of a way to thanks her and encourage her/all my accounts to help me pick up work. I just told her I'll give her a free weekly cut but she wouldn't take it lol so the only think she would let me do is take $10 off her cut.
that's why I was thinking of the gift card and mailing it with a thank you note. I've got a bunch are the same way, but if you mail them something....
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:43 PM
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Blades Lawn Maintenance Blades Lawn Maintenance is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcbailey View Post
that's why I was thinking of the gift card and mailing it with a thank you note. I've got a bunch are the same way, but if you mail them something....
Then maybe they can't return it lol or have no choice but to accept it
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:56 PM
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gcbailey gcbailey is online now
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that's what I'm saying! Or re-gift one to their favorite lawn care provider at Christmas!
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:58 PM
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Blades Lawn Maintenance Blades Lawn Maintenance is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcbailey View Post
that's what I'm saying! Or re-gift one to their favorite lawn care provider at Christmas!
That would be funny if u received the gift card you sent
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