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Old 02-08-2013, 08:48 AM
grassmasterswilson grassmasterswilson is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: nc
Posts: 4,266
Customer referral ideas

I would expect many of us give a existing customer a discount for a successful referral...Talking mowing or application jobs. Many times its based on the amount of the new sale. For me it's usually a $15-30 one time discount. Others may do a percentage.

I was thinking instead of a discount maybe I could go to some locally owned stores or restaurants and get gift certificates(for me a local steak restaurant and a "girly" gift store). Maybe they would sell me 10 $20 gift certificates for 175-180?? Then I could let customers choose.

What do you think? What customer referral ads or programs have worked for you?
GrassMasters, LLC
Wilson, NC
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:55 AM
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alldayrj alldayrj is online now
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Long island, NY
Posts: 3,645
I tell new customers that i give 1% of the job in the form of a gift card. One lady got me 15k of work, her and her husband went out for a nice steak dinner! I always tell them i would rather give them the money than some advertisers
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:47 AM
Blonde Lawn Girl Blonde Lawn Girl is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Memphis, Tn.
Posts: 1
Customer referral fun!

Print up some cards "Have any friends? Get them to sign and you make $10"
They put their name on the card and when you get the call sign their friend and make sure they get their $10. Grass guys can use for 6 cuts, landscape use for $75 in shrubs, or typically anyone can put in for deck wash, powerwash fence. This can be used with a lot of different companies and different amounts. Larger the job the more they make, AND YOU!
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:48 AM
sehitchman sehitchman is online now
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: West, GA
Posts: 702
I try to live by "never give away for free what you do for a living" as much as possible. The best best promo is what was mentioned above. Give a gift card to a nice restaurant or day spa. This expense goes directly to advertizing expense. I'm not suggesting this, but after it is expensed, what you do with the cards is not really anyone's business but yours.

If you take your wife out to a nice dinner on the company checkbook or credit card, the entertainment expense is not fully deductable. See below V

"Generally, only 50% of food and beverage ("meal") and entertainment expenses are allowed as a deduction. For exceptions to the 50% limitation, refer to Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift and Car Expenses. "

Now if you do the same with a couple of left over advertizing expense gift cards......= fully deductable.
My wife said "you're on lawn toy restriction"
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:38 AM
dllawson dllawson is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Southeast, GA
Posts: 172
In some cases you may also be able to barter with the owners of a nice local restaurant or clothing store for gift certificates. Bartering does not always work, but with the right owner this can be a win-win.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:32 PM
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Rick Grantham Rick Grantham is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Orange Park, Florida
Posts: 23
You have received great advice here. I think the 1% gift card is an excellent idea.

I also found this article on 100 customer referral ideas.

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Old 02-16-2013, 12:29 AM
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Cedar Lawn Care Cedar Lawn Care is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,084
Mine are:

1. We will give you $20 dollars off your next service with each referral.

2. Receive $2 off your weekly bill for the entire season when referring your neighbor.
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:13 PM
lukemelo216 lukemelo216 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: ...
Posts: 1,267
We have made it pretty enticing for our customers. If they refer us to someone, we will give them $500 towards their next enhancement project. Some may say were crazy, but you have to make it so your customers want to refer you. $20 wouldnt really give me much incentive, even $2 off per week, thats $60-75 per year. It may work well for the people who only want to pay the 20-25/cut prices. I dont know about the rest of your customers, but all of ours 95% of the time want something extra done to make their property look great, and a $500 towards with landscaping or an enhancement project is nice for them. An enhancement can be something as simple as the client is having a party, and would like an extra detailing of their property done, or planting a few trees. Its not really costing us anything, you just need to learn how to "offset" that cost in estimates
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