Plumbing is a more competitive business than ever. There’s little room left for plumbers who refuse to innovate or improve their business. In a trade that relies on an ability to rope in new clients as much as a practical know-how on piping and drainage, tradies need to be savvier than ever in the way they generate sales.
Here’s how you can get more customers to your plumbing business.
As a plumber, you will have to keep abreast of the times sometime. If you’re a Luddite, stop being so as soon as you can and enter the digital age. More plumbers than ever are toting tablets and smartphones like their business depends on them — because, well, their business really depends on them. There are mobile applications available today explicitly intended to facilitate the difficult task of lead generation and the dirty work of plumbing itself. If nothing else, apps have streamlined the payment process. Nowadays it’s so easy to install, for example, a Square checkout reader on an iPad to accept credit card payments or lug an iPhone that has Apple Pay enabled. Besides, you can easily respond to urgent emails on the go with mobile gadgets in hand. Going mobile dovetails with a business that is, by nature, mobile.
SEO and social media
Plumbers today, especially in metropolises like Sydney and Melbourne, need to be savvier about their websites. To one-up the competition, it’s not enough to have a website; you would want a website that will be found first on the search engine results pages. Key to this is letting experts find the keywords in your industry and “juicing up” your linkages throughout the interwebs. Likewise, plumbers have to be found all the time on social media, a minefield of potential customers for any business.
Good behavior should be rewarded. In this case, good behavior means being referred to a potential new client. Offer customers an incentive for referrals.
Make past customers feel special.
Nothing solidifies your relationships with previous customers than discount offers and frequent buyer programs. Everyone loves a good bargain. You can also make people you have transacted with feel special by following up on your work after six months. Give free home inspections every year.
Direct mail and newsletter
All households will need plumbing services at one point. With this info in mind, be bold and take the direct-mail approach to generating leads. Make sure houses in your area of coverage get hold of your mailed promotions. Also every three months or so, publish a newsletter and email it to your customers.
It’s a scientific fact that a company with a unique, consistent logo or slogan tends to draw more customers than one with none. Invest in a graphics artist who can make you a professional-looking sign for a reasonable fee. Since you are expected to drive your plumbing business around, take advantage of your car before planning on buying pricey ad spaces. Place your company logo, slogan, and contact details on the rear and sides, conspicuously enough that bystanders and motorists can easily commit them to memory. During working hours, make sure your plumbers wear uniforms that proudly display your company name.
Ads and coupons
In advertising, focus your efforts on local periodicals, telephone books, and directories that your target clientele would be bound to pick up. Ensure that your efforts are commensurate with your market. You wouldn’t want to advertise in a national newspaper if your target scope is limited to three suburbs. Also, promote your business in coupon books and store circulars. Here’s an idea: Include coupons when you advertise in community periodicals.
During the job…
Your quest for customers should not have to let up when you finally book one. Have your plumbers hang magnetic promotional hangers on the doorknobs of houses adjacent to the one they are working on. Chances are, these homeowners will need your services sooner than you think, since their homes were likely built around the same time as your client’s. Wear-and-tear may have then taken their toll around the same time.