When you’re running a home services company, referrals are very important. That’s true whether you’ve got one truck or ten. When it comes to referrals, there are a few ways you can make them work harder for you and take better advantage of them.

A lot of contractors and small business owners rely on referrals — word of mouth — for the bulk of their business.

And why not? Referrals are a form of marketing. Actively seeking referrals is one of the highest-converting marketing tactics.

How to Get the Most Out of Referrals

Ask your customers for referrals to their network, and make sure you’re staying top-of-mind.

Make sure you’re tracking your referrals and have a follow-up methodology — this means making use of new tools like email marketing software like MailChimp or HubSpot. These are great ways to track:

  • Who you’ve contacted
  • Where they are in the sales process
  • If they bought your service
  • What service they bought
  • How they heard about you
  • The value of their business to you

Applying this to Your Marketing

Automated emails are a great way to stay in your customers’ minds. After a new customer is acquired and a job is done, move them to a quarterly automated email that incentivizes them using a promotion to send you referrals like discounts on your services or an $100 Amazon gift card for successful referrals.

This is a great way to improve the efficiency of your referral pipeline.

Where Referrals Fall Short

There is just one big problem — referrals aren’t scalable.

Sure, you can use door hangers, yard signs, email, and good old fashioned phone calls. These are all valid, but meaningful growth requires more.

You need to generate a predictable lead flow in order to justify the types of investments required to grow your business:

  • More equipment
  • More employees
  • More sophisticated management tools

There’s a lot of overhead involved with business growth so it doesn’t make sense to make the investment unless you’re sure the work is going to be there.

The answer to true scalability is good marketing.