9 Step Referral Process that Increases Customer Density and Raises Profit Margins

Customer testimonials are a great way to build credibility with your target market. Neighborhood referral letters juice up the power of a testimonial even more. Follow this 9 step process and you’ll improve your referrals and get great benefits from your most desired customers:

1. During the sales process for a landscaping project be sure to mention that after the work is complete you’d like to ask them for a testimonial to send to their neighbors about how the job went.
2. When you call for a time to do the walk through, at the completion of the project, ask them if it would be alright for you to do a brief testimonial interview.
3. During the walk through, ask about the referral letter and offer to write the letter for them, explain that you’ll take notes and pass along your draft of the letter before you send it out.
4. Ask questions about the job that represent what your customers are looking for and that highlight your company’s strengths. Focus on results not generalities.
5. When you do the walk through find something you can add to the job, a few more perennials a small shrub a fresh planting of annuals in a decorative pot, it shouldn’t cost a lot, but shows you notice details, give this gift in appreciation of their trust in you and for allowing you to work on their property. Make sure whatever you say you’re going to add gets done before you get the first draft of the letter back for their review.
6. Draft the letter, with an incentive for the neighbors, send the draft to the customer, and make changes if they ask.
a. Make the incentive valuable to your customers but not expensive to you.
b. Be sure to include a group rate promotion as well. For example, if three or more neighbors agree to have you do projects there will be an additional free gift for each job.
7. If you’re a B2C business this can work as well, do your research and get names of the people who purchase landscaping services at the neighboring companies or contact the property management companies over seeing properties in the area.
8. Address the envelopes by hand and put a first class stamp on it.
9. Follow up with a phone call.
This only works if you are exceeding expectations and knocking their socks off during each phase of the project. If you have questions or would like help, check us out at www.salepeople-on-demand.com.

One thought on “9 Step Referral Process that Increases Customer Density and Raises Profit Margins

  1. Hi Dan,
    I have read your 9 steps to gain testimonials and generate referrals and have a couple of suggestions.
    1. With most customers (especially high end clients) you may not want to over reaching by mentioning you want to have them provide a testimonial before you do the job…that is very presumptuous and may turn a new customer off.
    2. Testimonials are the result of completing an exceptional job where the client has their expectations exceeded…and then will on their own volunteer n offer to refer and or write a testimonial. It is appropriate to followup after the job, make sure the client is very satisfied and offer an incentive for a referral.
    3. Many times, if your completion of the project has been a very pleasant experience and the customer is very happy they will become what I call “client advocates” where they will freely refer other friends to use your services…without you formally requesting a referral.
    4. Testimonials can be a sensitive issue best handled delicately and only after having done an exceptional job…as indicated by the customer!
    Just s few thoughts! Frank Crandall