Jeffrey Scott, Green Industry Consultant
By Jeffrey Scott

…not as quick as you would hope, but the results will sneak up on you…

There is a common thread between three different referral successes I have had this past year. As I pondered them, I realized: It is a testament to Drip Marketing.

Story 1 – Eight years ago one of my landscape management clients moved half way across the US. He worked for GE and was transferred away from the home office to a few different sites in the US. Instead of writing him off, I opted to stay in touch–even though we were not particularly close. I only got to know him as he was moving away, and he reached out to me to help him tie up his affairs with our company. I did an honorable job for him, didn’t try to stick him with any unnecessary bills. I then stayed in touch with him over the years by emailing him once a spring, to ask him how his landscape was doing. He always responded quickly and often said he appreciated the service we gave and if he ever moved back to Connecticut he would look me/us up.

It turns out, unbeknownst to me at the time, that this guy was ‘on his way up’ at GE and he was indeed transferred back to CT, after a few promotions. He was now approaching “bigwig” status at GE (which means, he got a 2 sentence mention in Jack Welch’s book.)

He bought a new home that a General Contractor was handling–and normally we would have lost the install job at that point to the GC’s favorite landscaper – but our ex-client insisted they bring us in, at least to quote, and we got the job inspite of being higher priced.

The relationship almost didn’t develop…except for the drip, drip drip.

Story 2 – A contractor in my area, who used to be a competitor when I was in the contracting business, is now an advocate of my consulting practice. How did he get this way? It is hard to say how the relationship develop – except I can tell you that each time his birthday rolled around, I would send him a SIMPLE birthday greeting. An often he would respond and say thank you. And once a year I would see him at a national association meeting, and we would take some time to chat. We both knew of each other’s work, and joked about the clients we shared.

Our relationship almost never developed…except for small initiatives we took.

Story 3. An architect I met 7 years ago brought my (family’s) business a few big sales last year–but it took 7 years. The only contact I had with him was a bit of email contact, a phone call, a visit about 4 years ago, and every time he had a child, I spent $35 and sent his baby a present – some nice clothing that my wife picked out.

The relationship could have fizzled away…except I responded to his birth announcements.

The overriding theme here is….staying in contact over a long period of time can pay off. Sometimes the contact is not profound, sometimes it is just an email, or a quick conversation…but it can pay off, if you stick with it, and if you can add a bit of personal relationship into it.

Sometimes drip-drip marketing doesn’t look like it is working–BUT IT IS!

Have faith and keep marketing this year even though you can’t quite afford it. And keep reaching out to your contacts, even if there is nothing in it for you.

There will be, eventually.

To learn more about drip marketing, click here to take a look at my book, The Referral Advantage.

Jeffrey Scott, Green Industry Consultant
Jeffrey Scott is a business coach, consultant and author, and is known as the “marketing
guru to the green industry.” He is co-owner of Glen Gate Pool & Property, where he grew
the company to $10millon, increased client retention up to 98% and increased referral
sales by 2000%!! For a FREE REPORT on “The 10 secrets to developing relationships that
will propel your sales and referrals” e-mail him at

He is also author of the book “The Referral Advantage–How to increase your sales and grow your landscape business by referral” You can learn more by visiting


You might like the following content from the Ground Trades Xchange, served by Google: