referal discounts?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by mjohnson1, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. mjohnson1

    mjohnson1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 76

    i had an idea today and i was wondering if any of you do this or what you think of it. when i give someone a business card i write their name on the back, and i tell them if they refer me to someone give them the card with their name on it. then when i do a job for someone i ask who referred me to them and if they show me the card with so-and-so's name on it, i give that person a small discount on the next job i do for them. i figure it might help get some word of mouth going.
     
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I don't do it, it's not worth the aggravation. Maybe you get all really good referrals but most of what I get is no better than mainstream and then sometimes when things don't work out, I lose my regular customer over it as well.

    Coincidence? Perhaps...

    Most of them half expect it anyhow and don't think 5-10% is good, they really want 20% minimum and 30% off would be better... And then if I mention it, they act like half price and stuff... By then, I'm better off spending 10% of my gross on paid advertising, it's literally cheaper and 10% of my gross buys a LOT of ad.

    So I got paid advertising to prevent the whole problem with them acting like they're doing me a great favor and what not, I done got tired of it.
     
  3. Branchland

    Branchland LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 354

    The way I do it I just tell my customers that I have a referral program. For every person they send my way that signs on I give them a free cut.

    When a new potentail customer calls I always ask how they got my number or heard of me. That way I can track my best advertising method. Referals have never happened much for me til this year. I've picked up 8 new customers from it. Good customers. So I gave away roughly $250.00 in free mowings. I picked up over $8000.00 a year from from it. Not a bad return.
     
  4. mjohnson1

    mjohnson1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 76

    yeah i hadnt really thought of the fact that if you act like they're doing you a big favor they're going to want a big discount in return. makes sense to me. i am excited because today a lady called me wanting me to mow her yard and do some cleanup to get it ready for a big 4th of july bbq.... i'm sure hoping there will be lots of "oh your yard looks so nice you must of been out here forever, 'no, we had mj's come out and do it for us." i'm gonna give her a few extra business cards just in case.
     
  5. Frontier-Lawn

    Frontier-Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,949

    1 free mow for a referal if they sign an annual agreement
     
  6. AAELI

    AAELI LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 362

    I have kept my client list small enough so that I know every one fairly well. I work alone and have found that word of mouth has been great. I will make a gift of some plants or some service but do not put it as a set percentage of their lawn maint. I don't do much maintenance any more as I keep busy on one time jobs like installations of sod, rock & flower gardens and some tree removals. Occasionally I find the need to sub larger jobs to friendly competitiors. We exchange cards to stay in contact. We each have our specialties and are aware of our costs to stay in business. We turn enough business each other's way to make life interesting.:dancing:

    Some times it is dog eat dog but other times we make sure there is enough food to go around to not canabalize.:waving:
     
  7. JJLandscapes

    JJLandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    alot of my business is referalls i dont offer any perks off the bat... but if the customer asks for some service other than cutting then i keep in mind that they did reffer some customers to me and i might adjust the bill accorddingly
     

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