Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
I don't offer customers referal fees or payments, just a big thank you that you appreciate our work enough to recommend us to your closest friends.

We do offer compensation to our employees and sub-contractors. We setup seperate deals with different persons depending on the time they work with us, their experience, and previous referals.

One sub-contractor, we will bump his approx. hourly rate.
An employee, we will offer a bonus of a percent of the job (2-5%).

I wouldn't offer customers a deal because you are looking for repeat customers, not ones that are shopping for the bargins and more deals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,573 Posts
Right after the customer signs the contract with you is a good time to ask for a referral. Right after you ask the customer if they are satisfied and they pay you for the work completed is another good time to askk for a referral?

"Mr Customer. Do you know two or three people who may be in need of my services?"

I will pay for a referral but I don't advertise that fact.

A carpet cleaning company had called me asking if I wanted my carpet cleaned and said my Aunt and Uncle gave them my number. I said "Nope I have only hard wood floors. Thanks for the call. <click>" I promptly called my aunt and uncle. They said "If we gave up three names and numbers they'd knock $150 off the final bill."
 

·
DGR,IABD
Joined
·
9,683 Posts
Giving the customer a bonus or gift for referrals seems sleezy to me. Kind of reminds me of the Kirby vacuum salesman we once had in our house for a demo. With his breath stinking of onions and wearing an ill fitting and outdated suit, he said he's give us a free attachment thing if we could set him up a few appointments. He even went so far as to throw in the guilt trip saying that if we didn't, we'd be responsible for him being unemployed. Ever since that experience, perking the customer for referrals seemed low class to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
438 Posts
The type of work that I do is in the medical field, as we do a lot of nursing homes. Not the complete rehabs but the installations of special designed whirlpool bathing systems.

We also do design and installs of pre op rooms and dental suites.

On our residential end which ammounts to about 20% of our business reffarals are there but not as much I get from the commercial end.

Which is fine with me, as its kinda of hard to drop what your doing to responed to a small problem and then have to listen to the whining when they recive the invoice.

Word of mouth can have its good side as they will tel maybe 3 people, however you screw them and they will tell 12.

BJD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Here's what I do. I don't ask for refferals but I do leave a few of my buisness cards. If I get a refferal I do the job great and then I mail a thank you note with a $20 gift card to home Depot or the the like to the person who reffered me plus a couple more of my buisness cards. Once again this is all a suprise to my clients, I don't ask for names and I don't tell them if I get jobs they will get gifts, it's purely a thank you gift on my part.
 

·
Housewright & Woodwright
Joined
·
106 Posts
Mike Finley wrote:
You will get the contrarian answer to this question from me but I'm sure some others will pipe in and tell you what you want to hear.

I don't believe in paying customers for referrals. The best way to understand how to get somebody to do something for you is to mentally put yourself in their shoes and think about the situation from their perspective.

Think about the times you have referred a company to someone else and what the circumstances were. I'm pretty sure the situation had more to do with confidence in the company or something the company did in performance of the project and a lot less to do with something they were going to give you for a referral.

For most people giving a friend or relative a referral involves putting themselves in a position of vulernability so a steak dinner hardly ever out weighs the personal risk involved with referring a company that could end up making them look bad.

To get referrals all you need to do is

1) Be totally customer oriented in your business approach. Put your company in the position of "what can I do to help the customer with thier situation" and less of "what can I do to help myself"

2) Keep your company name in front of your previous customers. - a great marketing trick used by realtors is to sign up with a post card company and send out a simple post card with a picture of each house you list or sell to your previous customer list. You can do the same as a contractor and send out postcards pretty cheaply to past customers on a regular basis with a picture of the latest project your company has completed.

-- If you did #1, doing #2 on a regular basis will get you all the referrals you want.
I agree 100% with Mike's statements. Postcards are an excellent source or advertising and getting referrals!
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top