There are many ways in which landscaping companies can promote and market themselves. The number of ways has accelerated enormously over the past couple of decades with the internet playing an ever-increasing role in our lives, especially in the world of e-commerce and business.
However, there is one way in which businesses, including landscapers, can promote their products and services which has been around for as long as people have traded, and that is via referrals. The beauty of this is it can be brought into the 21st century by seeking referrals through the use of online strategies as well as good old-fashioned word of mouth.
The value of referrals for landscaping businesses cannot be underestimated. No matter how much you spend on advertising and marketing, whether that is offline or online, none of it can have the same impact as one of your satisfied clients telling someone they know who is looking for a landscaper to call you.
It is part of our human psychology that we will more readily take action that we are encouraged to by someone we know and trust than we will ever do simply by seeing an advertisement or blog post online, for example. That is not to dismiss these and other digital marketing strategies, as they all work. However, if you manage or own a landscaping business you must also include strategies for getting referrals if you want to maximise the number of enquiries you receive.
To help you create and implement your referral strategy, we have outlined a few of the best tactics to use to both increase the number of referrals your landscaping business receives and to ensure that those referrals are inclined to ask you to take care of their landscaping requirements.
Approach The Correct People For Referrals
What you should not do to gain referrals is take a scattergun approach and simply ask every past and present customer on your client list. This might bring a blitz of referrals initially, but what about next month, and a few months down the line?
The key to this is to start with what you might consider your “best” clients. You can define your best clients how you wish, but we suggest you pick those who you know are delighted with the work you have done and possibly still do for them. Also, consider those who have posted a highly positive review about your business.
Time Your Approach Correctly
Asking clients for referrals when you are digging up their garden is hardly the right time to be asking for a referral. Instead, you want to ask them when they are feeling the most positive about your landscaping company. This is usually after completion of the work, assuming they are delighted with their landscape design, so strike when the iron is hot and ask then.
Ask For Referrals In The Right Way
As well as getting both who you approach for referrals and the timing correct, you also need to ask for those referrals correctly. At the very least avoid it sounding like a cold sales call or cold email pitch. For example, “Hi Mr Customer, do you have anyone you can refer to us” is not going to work.
Start by thanking them again for their custom, and their positive review or testimonial if they gave you one. Then, explain you are asking a select group of clients if they have family or friends who might benefit from your services. Look below for how you might incentivise this in some way.
Make It Worth Their While
Whilst feeling good about referring someone to your landscaping business might seem enough reward for some, you want to give your existing clients a bigger incentive for sending referrals to you. You could offer a month’s free garden maintenance, or a discount on your normal monthly maintenance fee. You might even buy them $50 worth of vouchers for their local gardening centre. The point is to give them an enhanced reason for referring their family and friends to you.