I have been reading a lot of posts about how to develop referals, get new business, etc. I have seen many excellent ideas offered, and decided to add a few of my own. I have been in sales for over 15 years, most of which has been focused on prospecting for new business, and building a repeat customer base. The basic fundementals have been listed here repeatedly- Quality service, dependable, and portaying yourself as professional. These are absolute essentials to surviving in business. However, there are some aggresive (and cheap) tactics that you can use to get your name out to Joe public. 1. Get a business card printed that has your business name, number, logo, and contact person on it. Make it professional, neat, and concise. ON THE BACK OF THE CARD print: Refered by:___________. You can have it printed on there or even buy a rubber stamp and do it yourself. (Very cheap- Less than $15.00) Give at least 5 of these to your current customers to hand out. Develop your reward program for what suits you. i.e. free mowing, free weed app, 10 bucks, what ever, and then tell your customers about it. When you go to bid that new customer, ask for the card with the name on the back of who refered them. Keep these, as they will help you track where your cuctomers are coming from and also whom to reward. Once per Quarter send a letter with 5 more cards to all of your customers highliting the program. You can even include this with your invoice to save postage and time. Over time, you will educate your customers on how, who, and what to refer. 2. Sticky notes are great. Have your logo, business name, and number printed on these and have them sized in quanities of 50. Each time you give an estimate leave one pad. Each time you mail an invoice, enclose one pad. Each time you send ANYTHING to a current or potential client, include one pad. It does not increase the cost of postage, and it is easy. Believe me, They will get used! They will sit by the phone, on the desk, in the break room, who cares! It is out there advertsing and branding your name for you. These are not expensive, and if you can swing a deal with a print company to swap work, its even cheaper. 3. 3x5 note cards. Print "Thank you for your business!" at the top and under that have printed, "If you like what we are doing, tell a friend. Ask us about our customer referal program!" Under that have your name, number, and logo. This will reinforce to them that you accept and reward referals. leave it on the door, inside the screen, wherever - EACH time you service the account. At 4 x a month,they will get the point. You can also have something like "don't forget to schedule your fall clean up now!" at the bottom. 4. Put your business card in EVERY piece of correspondence that goes out the door. Utility bills, telephone bills, Invoices, anything that is going to stay in your local service area. Put your cards in the fish bowls for free lunches at the restaurants. ( I prospect them all the time while waiting to be seated. If I see a card I want, I take it. I figure I'll buy them lunch if I get an appointment). This is straight out of the book by Tom Hopkins "How to master the art of selling." It works. 5. If you see a property that you want, leave a letter with a business card for the manager or owner. For residential use, "Did you know.... Proper care of your lawn and landscape can increase the value of your home by as much as 20%? Let me help you increase the value of your investment. call me at ...) Is it true? You bet! A great lawn with manicured landscaping will create greater curb apeal than dirt and weeds. It says something about you. If you are willing to take care of your grass that well, surely you pay attention to the maintenance on your home. It will help you command a premium price and get it. For commercial use "Customers base buying decisions by how they feel, make sure that you are making the best impression possible. Is your frontage Lush, green , and inviting? Call me, I can help...." Or something like that. Something that will hit them where it hurts. Their customer base! 6. Whenever you go to the doctor, the barbershop, the dentist, Home depot, the grocery store, ANYWHERE, leave a card with someone. Receptionist, the cashier, other customers, anyone. Give them a 15 second blurb on your referal program, and move on. 7. Lastly...sales is a contact sport. Contacts=bids=closes=$ The more contacts you have, the more sales you make. Just some suggetions. May your shoes and wallet always be green!