What will it take to get your referral??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DiscoveryLawn, Jan 29, 2005.

  1. DiscoveryLawn

    DiscoveryLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    Referrals?
    I am a fertilization and weed control company in Dayton Ohio. I do not mow or landscape but last year I ran a yellow pages ad that listed those services (after I signed up for the yp ad, I decided to get out of maintenance). That ad alone generated many calls for mowing and landscaping services. At first, I simply told the callers we no longer provide those services. After awhile I began to refer those calls to other maintenance companies who in turn began to send me work. A couple of those companies are here on lawnsite regularly.

    This year, instead of listing maintenance services, the ad says that we offer mowing and landscaping referrals. I hope to continue to generate as many calls for those services because I was able to help out several local LCO's by sending work their way and they reciprocated.

    OK, here is what I am getting to...
    I would like to continue to network with other companies but there will be only so many referrals to go around. What motivates you guys that only mow and landscape to send work to a fert & squirt company? I have been considering offering a referral fee to the other LCO's.

    Any other suggestions?

    Thanks,

    David
     
  2. LawnsRUsInc.

    LawnsRUsInc. LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 916

    Well what i do is not a secret but many other local landscapers dont do this since they offer all services. Last spring i advertised for fertilizing as i was going to do those services but in turn i wanted to focus on what i was best at. So i called a local company that i had seen around to find that they only offer fert aeration and dethatching and i wanted to do just mant. and const. Well i told him let get together and compliment each other he up sells my services and i up sell his. Dont sit there and keep track of finders fees and $hit like that just team up with a company that has the same goals with their business it will equate to much more than some small fee. See its like having a sales crew working for you. I do just sales for my company no labor and i talk to them on the phone referring customers 5+ times a day and i close 75% of them since its a referral. I do cold calls, door to door advertising and YP They do YP direct mailings and flayers. So we cover our service area well 2005 we added another crew just from the jobs that we receive from the fert co. So find the right person and you will be better off than your fee. We also teamed up with a large only commercial landscape co. and do their maint. for all their new office buildings so thats our in and we give them our large 50k+ commercial jobs. We also are a team with a landscape nurserie and we get our plants from them alot cheaper than wholesale and they refer their ins. and maint customers that call to us. "And my motto is its not what you know its who you know"

    Jason
     
  3. DiscoveryLawn

    DiscoveryLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    Jason, thank you for the insight.

    Before you throw out my finders fee idea consider this... The average fee I will pay will be around $30.00 per new client that goes with my service. The average lawn mowing operation around here probably has 120 accounts? If 80 of those hire my company, the mowing company will receive $2400.00 first thing in the spring before they get their second mowing for the season complete. I am sure a lot of companies can use an extra $2400.00 (or so +/-)at the beginning of the season.

    What do you think??

    David
     
  4. LawnsRUsInc.

    LawnsRUsInc. LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 916

    I think it sounds like a good idea except are they going to be your customers that know they hired you or is he subing it out to you. All of our Full service cutomers i sub it to the other co. but any new client that calls or just wants fert i forward the message/voice mail to fert co. I would do your idea if you figure how many applications you need to do to break even and tell the lawn co. to send out letters in the spring that says we have since tamed up with a fet co. to better serve you here is his # or here is his contract and have him send it out with his maint . proposals. In spring i did it and 75-80% signed up.

    Jason
     
  5. DiscoveryLawn

    DiscoveryLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    Jason,

    I forgot to mention that I do not do sub work (my clients pay me within 10 days of the application. I do not want to have to chase lawn mowers around to get paid). So yes, they would be my fert customers and his mowing/landscaping customers.

    One of the benefits of working with me is I will work around the mowers and landscapers schedule. Also, the maintenance contractor will not have to worry about the company that does the fert. trying to get maintenance work from their customers also. I do not/will not do maintenance.

    David
     
  6. SidelinePropMgr

    SidelinePropMgr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 106

    Discovery Lawns,

    I am a lawn maintenance company thta wouold like to speak to you more about the pairing of our services. Fertilization would be something I would like to offer, I would like to acquire more mowing accounts. Maybe we can work something beneficial to both of us. Call me 367-9233 (ami in Dayotn Ohio).

    Sideline Property Management
     
  7. DiscoveryLawn

    DiscoveryLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    Sideline,
    What is your name? Who do I ask for?

    Feel free to call me as well. I'm in SBC Yellow Pages under Discovery Lawn & Landscape.

    David
     
  8. SidelinePropMgr

    SidelinePropMgr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 106

    Cliff nelson. The number is my cell phone.
     
  9. packerbacker

    packerbacker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,433






    I dont fertilize, i just mow and you should of PMed before you posted this. Be very careful as you will now be branded a shotty business owner by certain members for not offering every service to your customer.

    But in answer to your question. I have 2 fert. companies i send my business to. One is more of a high end company so they get my bigger properties while the other one takes care of 5,000-8,000 SQ FT properties ONLY.

    I have never asked for referal fee because they both send me business also so we pat each other on the back. The only thing i made sure of was that niether of these companies did any mowing. I didnt want to get with a company who mows incase they tried to go after some of my customers.
     
  10. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,475

    he's looking to pay a fee because he's hit a threshold on how many mowing referrals he can give vs. what he's likely to receive. david's posted a few times offering to trade referrals, the problem is that the non-applicators can send him significantly more accounts than he can possibly reciprocate with, especially now that he's removed the services from his ad and replaced with "referrals available". that should severly limit the amount of mowing accounts he can pass out to others.

    david, i'd start cold-calling on the local lcos to see if anyone is interested. definitely not as painful a call as it is cold-calling a homeowner.

    as always, money talks...
     

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