Referrals Sprout New BusinessOutside Contributor
Figuring out how to nurture and grow a positive word of mouth referral program is probably the most important sales and marketing program a landscape professional can undertake.
As a small business owner, whether you realize it or not, if you have had more than two or three jobs under your belt, it is probably because you earned a positive referral from one of your original clients. To continue to grow your business the question becomes how to put systems and processes in place so your word of mouth network continues to grow.
Even before you have systems and processes in place, this is a subject where good old fashion common courtesy, and common sense should prevail. Simply saying thank you, and doing small things such as writing a short thank you note to your client for their business is huge. In an increasing digital, text and email world, it is rare, but exciting, for anyone to receive a hand written thank you note. Even a quick follow-up phone call after the job has been finished costs you nothing but your time and buys you tremendous goodwill with your clients.
A small business owner should always have an advantage in this arena. Who cares more about getting the next customer than you the owner of the business! Make sure you take all of the common courtesy steps to thank the customer for the service, and confirm their satisfaction with your work. Of course, there is always those few customers who are miserable to deal with and difficult to satisfy. But don’t let those customers become detractors of your business within the community.
Creating advocates for your business is between more than just you and your clients. Other landscape professionals, your suppliers, manufacturers and other members of the business community can become your advocates as well. By getting involved with community events, or how you interact with suppliers and manufacturers, there is a lot you can do with very little costs to make other people advocate for your business.
Remember a personal referral or recommendation is the most powerful advertising you can create. Don’t forget, anyone who is working for you needs to see you lead by example in helping to generate referrals.
- 85 Percent of Small Businesses Get Customers through word of mouth – Small Business Trends
- Six ways to increase word of mouth referrals – From Forbes Magazine