The landscape business is a relationship business.

People use your services because they like and trust you, so make sure you remember to thank them whenever they help or think of you.

I’ve preached this for some time and think it’s so important I even included a section about it in my book, Green Side Up, it’s called Keep Referrals Rolling in the Door.” (see page # 177)

Your customers are your salespeople

Most of our Harvest Members grow their businesses through referrals from happy, satisfied customers.

Because of this most spend very little on advertising and marketing. That’s why I’m concerned whenever I ask some of our Harvest Members if they are rewarding referrals and they say “no”.

In the best sense, your customers are your salespeople. If you want the referrals to continue, you must reward the behavior. If you don’t, trust me, they will stop, it’s just human nature.

Here are 3 typical referral situations and some ideas on how you might reward the person who referred you.

1. You go on a referral, offer a proposal and don’t get the job.

A phone call or personal thank you note, on company note paper is appropriate in this case. It only takes a few minutes. Make the time.

2. You go on a referral, offer a proposal and get the job, not a huge one say, under $5,000.00 or maybe even $ 10,000.00.

In this situation, you don’t want to break the bank but show your appreciation. Why not send a fruit basket? It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s not expensive. Isn’t a $5,000.00 job worth a $65.00 fruit basket? Keep the fruit basket number on your cell phone. And send this gift so they get it on a Friday afternoon. That way they’ll have the weekend to enjoy it and they’ll impress their visitors as well. Oh – be sure they are going to be home.

3. You go on a referral and get a great (big and profitable) job.

A fruit basket may be appropriate, but you want to do something special for the person who connected you with this new customer. Send them a gift certificate to a great restaurant in your area, not in their town but one between 20 to 30 minutes away, I’ve found people like to travel a bit for an occasion. Oh, and be generous, say between $100.00 and $150.00. You can usually buy gift certificates from any restaurant right over the phone, so it will only take a few minutes. Once you receive the certificate, be sure to enclose a nice note of thanks. Wow, will they be surprised!

Remember to reward the behavior and you’ll keep those referrals rolling in, matter of fact your customers will be looking for opportunities to spread the word. When you have good experiences, call or email because Bill and I would love to hear about your successes!Show

Ed Laflamme LIC

started his own business from scratch, built it up, sold it and then wrote a book about how he did it. So, he’s been there. He understands your frustrations, worries and concerns. Some of you may want to buy companies, while others may want to sell the one you own. You need expert assessment and guidance before you can move forward. Ed has experience in this area. He is recognized as a CLP: Certified Landscape Professional. Read Ed's full bio.