How to get referrals... even for a startup

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Whitey4, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,448

    So, I'm driving home from church today... I don't work on Sundays, generally, but I pass two of my new accounts. They both have some nice ornamentals, ilex, junipers, yews.... and I notice the shrubs are seperating, splitting because of the weight of melting and some iced up snow.

    I pull over and grab a small garden hand shovel, actually, a bulb digger. I proceed to knock the snow and ice off the shrubs very gently. The branches come back up and fill in where they are supposed to be, no longer bent over by the weight of the snow and ice. No broken branches. I didn't bother to tell the cutomers, but on the second house, Mr K came out because the dog was barking.

    The guy is shocked. He is a senior citizen with a heart problem, but he's like, holy moly! What are you doing? Keep in mind, I just signed him last week and haven't been paid a dime yet. I explain how my "we treat your property like it is our own" isn't just marketing BS. He says "I will never forget this."

    I hit the supermarket on the way home, and have two new messages on the machine upon my return. Two houses on the same block want estimates. Took me 15 minutes to clear the shrubs.... and it looks like that just got me 2 more customers.

    One more reason why my tight route business plan works. Every customer within a mile. Just making my customers feel important... not only is it helping me grow, it feels pretty good too. Let's see the LCO with 5 trucks do THAT!

    Not picking on you big boys, but this is why the small guy will always be around. I can go the extra mile. And charge more for it. Just thought it was a cool story to share. :)
  2. Yerkz

    Yerkz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 65

    Good Job! Customer service is the most important facet of any business along with a quality product. If you can make the customer feel like they aren't just a number or that it is not all about the money then you have one the battle. They will be loyal to you and in return pay you well for your services as well as recommend you to everyone they know.
  3. barefeetny

    barefeetny LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 533

    right on bro

    thats the way to build clinientele and your name...

    none of that 30 bucks to drop the tailgate stuff....

    15 minutes and this guy will never leave you for 5 dollars fact you can bump him 5 dollars next year and he won't blink an eye... getting the extra 2 is just bonus

  4. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,924

  5. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,448

    Yeah I read your post. Mr K was saying "I don't want to take advantage of you...". I said Mr K, you didn't ask me to do this. I told you I would care for your property the way I care for my own. If that means knocking snow off the shrubs, then that's what I do. I did it on my property yesterday, and I live up to what I told you I would do.

    He is now a customer for life, unless I screw him, and that isn't going to ever happen. I agreed with your post Roger.... I see sometimes, a bit of a mercinary attitude with a lot of folks here. I have said here before, God help me if I can't find ten minutes to talk to an elderly widow who's property I take care of. That is the benefit of being a solo. I spent an extra ten minutes with a new customer just on Friday.... the result? I got a six foot arborvitae (sp) planting out of it. She just liked me so much, she started thinking about how to give me more business! One dead evergreen hedge in a row of 7, and that is a $300 installation. That is a fair price for a 6 foot arborvitae.

    I don't think that there wasn't some other connection going on too.... I'm no bible beater, but how coincidental it was that this happened on my way home from church? And the arborvitae customer turns out is in the choir?

    Being honest, real, and genuine seems to still work even in a cut throat business. I find spiritualality in working with things that grow, and it seems to make connections to people on a more basic level. But before I start sounding like a holy roller.... I brew my own beer, and I'll be gettin lit up on St Patty's day! Even beer swillin Irishman go to church! :)

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