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Do you pay for leads or referrals?

Jake Wolf

LawnSite Member
Location
NYC, NY
Does it work for you? Some people have a "Refer a friend and get a free month or cash" type of offer.

What about leads from referral websites such as servicemagic.com?
 

Jenyss

LawnSite Member
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
we've tried it - but didn't work well. but as a customer, i use a cleaning company and i received $20 off one of my bills b/c a neighbor signed up. that mde me happy and a little more loyal.
 

whitebp1

LawnSite Member
Location
Collierville,TN
I won't directly pay for a lead or referal but if someone comes out and says hey sally told me she used you guys etc etc, and they sign up then i might send sally a large bouque of flowers or a 50 or 100 gift card to a nice upscale resturaunt with a nice professional thank you note. if i know that "jim" likes golf and have heard him talkin bout his favorite course ill get him 2 tee greens fess paid in advance for whenever he wants them..... the small personal touches will go alot farther than paying someone or giving them svc, most people that pay for lawn svc do it b/c its a luxury not b/c they cant physically do it, therefore they already have money, give them something that counts something to be remembered by..... think of it like this. your married to your business right... would you just give your wife 50 bucks for valentines day? probally not... you'd give her something she will think of.. plus itll come in conversation sometime when sally is talkingt to her friends (free advertising!!!)
 

Runner

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Flint, Michigan
I pay BIG for new accounts. Anywhere from 50 to 100 dollars. There is NO better sales person than a customer. This is an excerpt out of chapter 11 of my book;

Referrals are an invaluable tool in many industries, and can be an exceptional tool for the lawn and landscape industry, as a show industry. Here is an example how. Either with a sales force, or without, I can show up on a prospects door wearing my finest suit, a gleaming smile, and beautiful literature. I will introduce myself by saying something like "Hi, my name is Joe. I am one of the nicest guys you could ever meet, am liked by many people, do EXCELLENT work, take great care of all my customers, and take great pride in my equipment and work. I have hundreds of customers who are very satisfied and happy. I even have great prices. I would LOVE to take care of your lawn for you, and give you a great looking lawn...better than anyone else could, as a matter of fact."
The people will take my literature, take my card, and say ok...I'll keep you in consideration. Thank you.
Then, these same people can be talking to someone they know at a card party, family gathering, neighborhood bar-bq, or anywhere else they may be talking to a friend, relative, or neighbor who will say something like.
"Man, I got this guy that does an AWESOME job on my lawn!"
Now, who is going to carry more credibility,...ME standing on their front porch in my finest clothes? Or someone they have known for 6 years, half their life, or all their life? I'd be willing to bet, it will be the person they have known that says that to them.
Now, to do this,...you have to offer some sort of incentive to the customer to do this...REAL incentive. When I say real incentive, I'm not talking about $20. I'm not talking about a "free pizza" coupon,"movie passes" or other "consolation prizes". You have to give them a substantial enough amount that they are going to make the effort. If it is a free mowing...so be it, but make sure it is a substantial enough amount as an attention getter. A free mowing may not always cover it. I like to recommend this as a commodity only when it reaches a price of $50, or so. This seems to be an "attention getting" amount, because you can phrase it to the customer as "Any referral I get from you, and I'll put a $50 bill in your pocket. Now, know that the $50 mowing is not actually a $50 mowing. What does it actually cost you to do it? Not that much, but it saves the customer that much. And so what...What are you getting in return? Say it's half way through the season....15 mowings on a new account? Then, the following year? You have gained not only a new customer, but likely a trusted who is going to be with you for a while. You are bringing in MUCH more than what that incentive amount cost you. Don't forget,..this can work exponentially for you as others will do the same thing. Just push the incentive program, and keep it drilled into the customer. Reminders on invoices,...newsletters, and other literature help drive this home.

I hope this helps.
 
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LawnGuy73

LawnSite Bronze Member
I give customers a $25 credit if they refer us to someone and they sign up for a season worth of maintenance (mowing/plowing). However if they only refer them for a aeration or one time cut then there is no fee paid.
 

HappyDaysLawnCare

LawnSite Member
Location
Englewood, FL
I agree 100% that there is no better advertisement than another customer. I wanted more customers in one of our better-class & grass areas and several of our customers and their friends are realtors or property managers. My husband did NOT think it would work, but it still does, I offer 20% off of a month's bill for each referral, no limit. It doesn't take much effort or even postage.... I bought a bright colored computer paper, drummed up a big note that "we want more customers like you" and a handful of our cards with their name on the back of the cards.... We went from 9 to 19 in our focus area; a husband/wife realtor/prop mgr team refer to their customers; so yes, word of mouth is my cheapest and best advertisement. One of our customers does not live here year round, his friend is a realtor who lives in a condo and she refers us to her buyers. She asks for nothing from us, but a wave and I always send her a thank you card, but the customer who turned her on to us gets that discount.

For the larger projects.... we met a fellow who has a large landscaping business a few years back, promised kickbacks on large jobs. Needless to say, we referred him, he got a $35k job and we saw nothing. So, we learned a thing or two and took the jobs on ourselves.
 

anotherturfgeek

LawnSite Member
Location
nc foothills
Does it work for you? Some people have a "Refer a friend and get a free month or cash" type of offer.

What about leads from referral websites such as servicemagic.com?
Pay per lead programs have been good for me. I used service magic for over a year and added many customers this way.
 

1sprinkler

LawnSite Member
Location
Dryden MI
I used service Magic last year and I'll them again this year. It was worthless for Sprinkler Repair leads for me, but Sprinkler installation leads were decent. but i agree, the best leads come from customer referrals. I have proof.

http://www.NewLawn.com
 

SeedPro

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Michigan
I pay for leads by advertising and I have the most generous referral policy I have ever heard of. 2 free applications for a full program( or reasonably full program depending on the time of year) referral.


I don't get as many referrals as I would like but they come in now and then. Maybe 5-10 a year. In my estimations each new customer I get costs me 75 to 100 dollars to get anyhow.....regardless of how I get them.

That's why retention is so important in this business. Each year your R.O.I. increases.
 
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