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Reward for Referrals?


LawnSite Silver Member
Bolivar, MO
OK, it is raining this morning, so instead of mowing, as I had intended, and getting caught up, I'm sitting here at the computer.

I'm planning on starting a "controlled" expansion of my business next year. I've thought of approaching some of my customers and asking for possible referrals. I've heard this subject touched on here before, but I was wondering if some of you give something in return for referrals, and what (monetary, free service, discount, etc.), and how you handle this (for referral only, only if you get the job, etc.).



LawnSite Member
I pay my salesman an amount equal to first and last cut on any new mowing contract he gets for a full season, and the same for a seasonal renewal. Shrub trimming or mulch jobs, I pay him 5%. For a referral, if we get the job, I normally kick back 5 or 10 dollars, just depends on how big the job is. This works for me, doesn't mean it'll work for everyone.


LawnSite Fanatic
A rewards system? Probably the best way to do it is do NOT give them the free cut (or whatever) right off the bat, let it be towards end of season and make it to your discretion... I mean, if every referred person gets a free cut for the referee, I think you'll find yourself giving out more free cuts than it was worth so the free cut would only be for those where it worked out AND you can see that it was all good in the end.

The one problem I have with it all is a referral is no better than a call from my paid advertising, there are no guarantees, even if my best customer sends me someone there is no telling how that someone will turn out... uhhhh, and I also found out IF things go south, now I stand an additional chance of losing my regular customer as well. Word of mouth is cool, but I get a bit salty over how some folk rate it so high, it's ok, don't knock it, but it ain't all that.

Sure, it costs me 40 dollars to acquire a new customer, I COULD pass this on as savings but why give it ALL away? I don't say not to help your customers, but I'm also saying this type of saved money is part of your profit and to give your entire profit right back to the customer, well... It might be a better idea to give a free 40-dollar service for every TWO referrals so now you're splitting it 50-50 and both you AND the customer gains a benefit... Course now you'll find it harder to get folk motivated as it is a bit of work to give TWO referrals for ONE free cut, doesn't seem fair from that end.

I think you can work it, but it will take some time and a bit of careful balancing until you find that happy medium where everybody is pleased.

Last but not least, do watch for the occasional monster you'll create that will try and get all the free cuts they can, once you advertise this method you will get one here, one there... Thou I admit, it should be rare.


LawnSite Bronze Member
Spring Hill, FL
I give'm "Mow Money" every time they refer another yearly cutomer to me. I took a $20 bill and scanned it and then did a little Photoshop work on it. The great thing about this is that a lot of the people that receive it keep it as a novelty and don't redeem it. So what this gimmick does is: 1. makes your referring customer feel great and want to refer more. and 2. You may never have to actually redeem this coupon, therefore increasing your bottom line.


LawnSite Silver Member
send me some of those bills. im going to try to pass them at walmart. those cashiers are usually pretty dumb and probably would think thats the new president. lol!

just hope the treasury dept and secret service dont find out about your counterfiets. lol. j/k :p

good idea. looks cool.


LawnSite Platinum Member
Fantastic Idea Ed, First time I've ever seen it done and I know it an eye catcher and something sure to be remembered long after the other flyers and newspaper ads have been forgotten.


LawnSite Bronze Member
I just give a free cut, but I don't tell the customer that until they send me a new customer that I have cut for 3-4 times. That works great for me and thats how I get all of my jobs. Some up to $15,000 a year in mowing.