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Let's talk marketing

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by tinman, Jan 5, 2007.

  1. tinman

    tinman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ga
    Posts: 1,348

    I know a few on the boards get most of their biz from word of mouth (WOM) . (rodfather has said he gets all his biz from his referral letter he sends out.... correct me if I am wrong rod). I get quite a bit from word of mouth, but it is from a small amount of the customers. 90% of the referrals come from 10% of the people. Is their a certain type person who is best for getting your name out more? I used to offer a free cut for any referrals as many do on lawnsite, but it never really pushed anyone to go for it. 95% of the time I would give them a card for the free cut after a referral and they would turn it down. Maybe I did not push it enough. People are busy and will forget you even want more clients if they are not constantly reminded. Thoughts????

    Also, postcards. With 1 or 2% response rate I was thinking of mailing a card to the same address 3 time with in 6 weeks or there abouts. Repetition is the key so this should increase the response rate I believe. Thoughts???
  2. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    With the post cards and any direct mail it all comes down to frequency. Doing 1 mailing is worthless.

    I think doing 3 mailings over 6 weeks is great.

    I am stuck between doing 4 mailings over 12 weeks or 16 weeks. I'm planning on mailing to 5000 people.


    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    Interestingly, I get the most referrals from brand-new customers, people that I've mowed for only 1,2,3 times...not sure why this is...I had one earlier this year, I had only mowed it one time and she already referred 2 coworkers to me.

    Maybe it's like when I first got satellite TV I thought it was awesome...I recommended it to several people...now I'm just used to satellite and don't really think about it like that anymore...same thing with lawncare?? I will make a point to mention the referral incentive to all new clients in 2007.
  4. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    People have what's called a "90 day zeal" when buying something new, meeting someone new, or pretty much anything "new". That is the philosophy behind the "90 day return policy" in retail. Have you ever noticed how someone you know was always so much more interesting at first? It's the same thing, but in a marketing sense.
  5. tinman

    tinman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ga
    Posts: 1,348

    Same here. My buddy bought a big screen tv a few months back & I got one just like his a month later (a little bigger tho :) ). Then right before Christmas I saw a good deal on a plasma at Home Depot & called my buddy who started this tv spree. And he called his brother in law who went straight up there & bought one. And now my neighbor bought one a week ago (bigger than mine :) )

    That is 4 high dollar tvs in about 3 months ,,,,, the last three because of word of mouth. $6000 of sales that started from a $1400 purchase. I think I will make a point to keep the referral message in front of people this year. WOM is more effective than advertising. I think I just lack persistence.
  6. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    WOM is the best form of advertising, but you can increase how many mouths are talking about you through advertising. "Ying yang buddy", always a good balance. How many times in your life have you told someone that something or some company was good simply because it was the first company to pop in your head? It happens every day in commuting, lunches, etc. Advertising raises that conversation level which allows the WOM results to grow.
  7. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 946

    Hey Tinman, We have "Don't Forget About Our Referral Program" in the footer of all invoices that go out. We change it from time to time, but we have a message that goes out everytime we send them something. The one thing that we forgot to do this past season was to include biz cards.

    Depending on what stage you are in with your biz you may still want to advertise. I know that we have a goal of a certain amount of growth that we want to attain 07' season and to achieve it we will have to advertise, or buy a company out.
  8. Ed Ryder

    Ed Ryder LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 541

    I believe there is no reason to give away cuts for referrals. Simply making it clear that you appreciate referrals and desire their assistance in getting them should be good enough if your customers value you as a service provider.

    With me, there is prestige involved in a customer referring me to someone else. I'm talked about at the neighborhood parties. If I want referrals, all I have to do is put the word out there. No need to pay them for that. They would spread the word because they appreciate what I do for them.

    I think it is a mistake to assume the main reason why someone would refer you is for a monetary incentive.
  9. ArizPestWeed

    ArizPestWeed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,457

    I don't think WOM is adver' , it is close .

    Studies have shown that post cards , sent 7 weeks in a row does the best at name recognition .

    I send 30K to 50K post cards a year .
    Last year , March , my $800 a month full page ad appeared in YP , paid for it's self in 3 months .

    YP and post cards is what works for me , in a area of about 55K people
  10. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    ad·ver·tise·ment /ˌædvərˈtaɪzmənt, ædˈvɜrtɪsmənt, -tɪz-/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[ad-ver-tahyz-muhnt, ad-vur-tis-muhnt, -tiz-] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
    1. a paid announcement, as of goods for sale, in newspapers or magazines, on radio or television, etc.
    2. a public notice, esp. in print.
    3. the action of making generally known; a calling to the attention of the public: The news of this event will receive wide advertisement.
    Also, ad·ver·tize·ment.

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