Get Work From Referrals

By Robert Robillard on Contractor Advice

Getting clients to refer youGetting Past Clients To Refer You:

When work is slow it not the time to sit back and wait for the phone to ring.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a carpenter or an architect the principles are the same.

I truly believe that my existing clients are a great source of repeated work but not a great source for referrals.

Look To Your Past Clients

Past clients know you and your work, you know them, and if you’ve

done a good job you have instant credibility.  For me the best part of my past clients is their trust.  They will often call and ask, “when can you do this…” without wanting or needing to go through a three bid process, hours of researching and typing a proposal, subsequent meetings, etc.

Remember time saved is money earned.

Past clients know your familiar with their house and are familiar with their family’s lifestyle and school / work patterns, which is a plus.

Do you make attempts to keep and maintain face time with past clients?

Getting Referral From Past Clients

The difficult challenge, as contractors, is that our existing clients don’t think of us every day!  As a result, they really are not positioned to be our best chance for a referral to new clients.

How can we get work from referrals??  The answer is face time.

Getting face time with these past customers can be accomplished in several ways:

Emailing Clients

Get in the habit of emailing your past clients twice a year. I always send an email after New Year’s – January through March is my slowest time and the email usually generates some nice indoor work.

One mailing may remind your past clients about fall or spring maintenance and the other may highlight a recent project you did with a list of services you provide.

Thank you / Gift Cards

Lots of companies give out gift cards to thank past customers for referrals.  Consider giving out a $50 or $100 gift card for an classy restaurant or somewhere where the spend time like a local bakery or coffee shop.

Mailing Cards

Keep in touch with your past clients with Holiday cards, thank you notes for referrals and periodic newsletters.

Handyman and Maintenance Work

Every homeowner has little projects that need doing and this is an awesome way to increase “face time” with your past clients.

Target Non-Competing Contractors

One of the best sources for referrals are other contractor businesses that sell to the same target customer.  They are your non-competing businesses like your sub-contractors; electrician, plumber, painter, decorators, architects, lumberyard sales people, landscape contractor, etc.,

I get more jobs from referrals from my painter, Mark at O’Lalor Painting, than almost any other source! I in turn refer him as well.

Just as we try to attract past clients to call us back for our services and refer us we should be educating, motivating and soliciting referrals from our fellow trade’s people.

Got work?


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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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