I agree 100% with Mike's statements. Postcards are an excellent source or advertising and getting referrals!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.