Customer referral ideas

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by grassmasterswilson, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,988

    I would expect many of us give a existing customer a discount for a successful referral. 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?
  2. Service 1st Lawn Care

    Service 1st Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 643

    Our Chamber of Commerce has chamber gift bucks which can be redeemed for merchandise or services from any participating chamber business. You can get the gift check in any denomination you want. Works good for us plus keeps the money in town.
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,796

    Great idea, Wilson. However considering it costs about 60 to 80 dollars to land each new customer...why not increase the reward. I usually gave away a free application (limit to $50 value). Make it worth their while.

    Also you could run a promotion...give the customer a coupon they could give away to a neighbor--which would give the neighbor their first application free, if they agreed to continue applications for the rest of the year at least. The customer does a big favor to a neighbor or relative--they both feel great--and if the customer wanted to sell it to his neighbor...fine who cares?

    And be sure to run a promotion for Mother's Day--freebie or discount for Mom if she signs up.
  4. Efficiency

    Efficiency LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 6
    Messages: 1,855

    we will hand out a crisp $50 for each successful referral
  5. Mayor of Mow Town

    Mayor of Mow Town LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    I'm a big fan of giving your customers a voucher for your services - not for them to use, but to give to a friend or relative. Let your customers be your advocates and salesforce. Like Riggle said, it's a win-win on the feel-good stakes.

    Of course, you've got to be "referable". i.e. be doing an awesome job so that people actually want to recommend you.
  6. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,478

    $50.00 dollars per referral sounds like alot, but what is a succesful referral? a signed contract? or a customer that stays on for so many lawn treatments, or mowings?? I was thinking about gift cards per referral.
  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,796

    If you use auto-renewal and do a great job--the referral will remain a customer...hopefully year after year. Keep your customers happy...they pay your bills.
    Sure its a risk to give away something up front--but after all, customer satisfaction is your responsibility. Take every opportunity to do things for your customers that big companies cannot do. Like personal service, answering your own phone, prompt call backs. Quality results in satisfaction. Every lawn like it is your mother's lawn.
  8. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,741

    How can you afford to do that buying Chapin backpacks by the dozen. Even at volume discounts those backpacks are at least $50 each.:laugh: Just kidding...couldn't resist.

    20 yrs ago, Chapin actually produced outstanding handcan sprayers. Like most everything else from China these days, they are crap.

    To the OP. We have $20 referral coupons printed by a local printer. They actually look like a $20 bill with a few changes of course. I've had customers draw in a mustache and eyebrows and send them back in with their referral.
  9. kbrashears

    kbrashears LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 778

    I give my customers 25% off the referrals first app price. So if the new customer has an app price of 60 dollars, Ill knock 15 off the referrer's next invoice. It's almost always a neighbor and most customers want their neighbors to be on the same program anyway. As do I....
  10. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    I give one application up to a 100 dollar value. If they have pre paid I cut them a check immediately after confirmation of the sale from the referral in the amount required up to that 100 dollars.

    Referrals are golden and worth whatever you can afford to give back in exchange for closing the sale.

    That being said...this is important. I do not believe that anyone who has ever refereed anyone to me has done so solely because of the deal and I am not sure what mathematical difference there would be if I gave nothing or next to nothing.

    People get a kick out of referring contractors and other people get off on using contractors that so and so uses because he knows everything and everyone trusts him.

    Those are the golden referrals that a good service would get for free with no deals.

    Then theres the ones who almost refuse the rebate or you can tell it has made them uncomfortable because they were doing it as a gift and to feel good.

    Referrals are funny business but can never be denied or refused.

    100% of my sales are referrals and I grow a modest 15% a year anymore now without even trying.

    I wasn't going to post in this thread because it has been done to death. The reason I did was that I have started my retention and am in communication again with my clientele after my dormant period and everyone i talk to or email gets the "if you know anyone who needs or would like my service" schpiel. lol

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