Build Referrals

By Robert Robillard on Contractor Advice

Looking for work? Look harder at your referral base!


As contractors referrals are key to keeping business so it goes without saying that building referrals should always be on the top of our minds.
We recently surveyed our clients and came up with some interesting information to help you build referrals.

Which of the following would prompt you to contact a contractor for a project?

In my survey, people were asked what would prompt them to contact a particular contractor. They were allowed to choose “all that apply. “

95.5% selected, “referral as the most important factor.”

81.8% selected, “reputation in town.”

27.3% selected, ” job site sign.”

13.6% selected, ” lumberyard referral.”
13.6% selected, ” Internet search.”

0% selected, ” Truck lettering.”
0% selected, “Chamber of commerce.”

I’m sure this response is no surprise to anyone. But who’s doing the referring????

I’m the first to say that my existing clients are a great source of referrals. The difficult challenge, as contractors, is that our existing clients don’t think of us every day! As a result, they are not our best chance for a referral.

Fellow Contractors Refer the Most

The best referral sources are the businesses that sell to the same target customer.

Non-competing businesses like your sub-contractors;  electrician, plumber, painter, decorators, architects, lumberyard salespeople, landscape contractor, etc.,  are your best chance for continual referrals.
I get more jobs from referrals from my painter, Mark O’Lalor Painting, than almost any other source! I, in turn, refer to him as well.

Just as we try to attract the end-user of our services we should be educating, motivating and solicit referrals from our fellow tradespeople.

p.s. ~ It may be time to rethink my membership to the Chamber of Commerce.
~ a concord carpenter
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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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