As someone who works in plumbing, your passion is fixing things. Your focus is on helping people and making systems flow as they should. This also means increasing plumbing sales might be a secondary interest at best.
Some days, it might feel impossible to grow your business while serving your existing clients. That’s why we compiled this list with easy-to-follow steps. We will help you increase your plumbing sales without spending extra time you don’t have.
After reading this, you’ll gain insights on:
- Preparation tips for client visits.
- Presentation secrets to sell additional services.
- How to bring your client along on their repair journey, and make them feel included in plumbing sales decisions.
- Expanding sales by leveraging profile information and tailored client suggestions.
- Increase communication with customers with cloud-based plumbing software.
I. Plumbing Sales Preparation and First Impressions
“The selling process works from the inside out. People can see right through you, and when you’re sold on the necessity of the work yourself, they’ll see that as well.” – Charlie Greer
1. The Right Mindset
You’re here to help. Increasing plumbing sales doesn’t mean you have to completely switch to a sales mindset.
Remain focused on helping your client as best you can. Additional services will spring to mind without needing to push heavily into sales. Remember, you’re selling your belief in the value of your work, not the work itself.
Don’t start this journey by forcing sales quotas. Demanding sales from your employees might prevent creating long-term client relationships.
Empower your staff to organically present services as those needs arise. This way the team will naturally get better at sales. Then, you can incentivize plumbing sales benchmarks to encourage some friendly competition!
2. Plumbing Sales Start By Making a Good First Impression
Kick-start your increased plumbing sales by creating a solid brand identity and marketing plan.
Think of how you present yourself as your first impression. Choosing which plumber to call is a naturally emotional decision. People reach out in a state of vulnerability.
You want your clients to feel like you’ve got your house in order before they welcome you into theirs.
Present yourself as a professional so your client can let their guard down. In turn, they’ll likely rest easy knowing you’ll take care of them without judgement.
Your brand identity creates that first impression a client has with your company, and it will linger long after you leave the service call.
Other presentation elements to consider:
- Clean-cut uniform
- Freshly washed service vehicles
- Shoe coverings when entering residences
- Memorable magnetic plumbing business cards
- Van wraps featuring brand color scheme and logo
3. Team Communication and Documentation
It’s a tale as old as time. Little pieces of information tend to fall through the cracks along the way.
For instance, the sales team learns your new client plays in a softball league on Thursday evenings. The office might disregard that tidbit of information. Without a second thought, they might schedule the job during that conflict.
Make sure your team is documenting those little details about each client.
Those little bits of information are often your ticket to increased client satisfaction. And through that, you’ll find it much easier to offer extra services on each call (you can easily document these job notes in FieldEdge).
Save these simple things discovered through conversation by your team:
- Is your client married?
- How busy is your client?
- What do they do for a living?
- Do they have any kids or pets?
All this information helps when tailoring client service suggestions and scheduling service calls. However, keeping this customer information organized can feel like a full-time job… Not to mention the hurdles of making all of this vital information available to those out in the field.
4. Improve Service with the Best Plumbing Software
Need help streamlining team communication, documenting customer details, and making a good first impression?
If you’re still working a pen-and-paper operation or are unhappy with your current software, consider adding high-quality plumbing software. Solutions like FieldEdge help collect the information you need while keeping it accessible to everyone in the office as well as those out in the field.
When you integrate the best plumbing software into your workflow, compiling and retrieving client profiles is a breeze no matter where you’re located – in the office, out in the field, or even after hours! This solution will empower every member of your team with the ability to access the full scope of your client database.
Your customers will love that your plumbers have access to their entire repair history, which helps suggest additional service during each visit.
It’s all in the palm of your hand, no matter where you are! All you need is a mobile device and a signal.
II. Plumbing Sales During Service Visits
“One customer, well taken care of, could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.” – Jim Rohn
5. Client Communication on a Job
When on a job, keep the plumbing industry lingo to a minimum. Explain and define terms, timetables, and costs. No one wants to feel confused when told they have to spend money.
No need to sugar coat your diagnosis, and don’t exaggerate the severity of issues to secure a sale.
Your goal here isn’t to just make the sale, but to build credibility as well as a relationship that will lead to many sales over time. You want your clients to feel empowered and educated when the price of your service rolls into the conversation.
As a result, you should speak to your client in simple, conversational terms. In turn, your client should understand the issue, the proposed fix, and the risk of not fixing it. This will make them far more comfortable accepting the repair cost when you present it.
Provide Options to Your Clients
When sharing pricing and quotes with a customer, provide options that include basic fixes, preventative maintenance and suggested system improvements. Multi-option quoting can be a powerful tool in helping the client feel in charge of directing what gets fixed and when.
You’ll likely find a number of other things worth addressing when called in for one issue. But don’t flood your client with your observations, even if you’re correct!
Focus on the reason you were called, then provide insight and context to any additional plumbing services and repairs you might spot during the visit.
If you see something additional that needs attention, give an appropriate roadmap of how long you expect before that item will need servicing.
For example, if you think a client’s garbage disposal is running rough, then consider the least invasive and quickest solution available. Sometimes, it could be as simple as using an offset wrench to dislodge a jam.
If you jump straight to replacing the entire unit, you might find out that it was recently replaced, and maybe there’s a simple issue that could take mere minutes to resolve.
Don’t Get Greedy!
Reaching for any big-ticket plumbing services on items you weren’t called to address is a simple way to prevent furthering a relationship with this client. Don’t give them the impression that you’re on a costly Easter egg hunt in their home!
Recommending too much too quickly may cause you to lose trust with the customer. No add-on plumbing service is worth the cost of losing the continued business of any client.
The goal shouldn’t be to maximize sales per call, but rather it should be to maintain a lasting relationship with each client. Also consider revisiting the costs of your services to help boost your bottom line without increasing the billable services per visit.
6. Courtesy Inspections and Free Adjustments
Wait a minute! Why are we suggesting you perform free services in a post about increasing plumbing sales?
Sales are a tricky thing in the plumbing business, and sometimes that nickel you give away could come back dressed up as a dime. Again, if you’re focusing on squeezing each client on each visit, you’ll find that gets harder and harder – if you even get called back at all.
You can use these courtesy inspections to keep your client up-to-date on any product recalls or manufacturer-suggested maintenance. Build out each client’s profile with a list of all equipment onsite so you can easily cross-reference what fixtures require your attention.
And free adjustments help foster goodwill between your business and your client. That might come in handy and help create trust when delivering your inspection findings and service recommendations.
Think of it like the 5-arounds you’d perform after your service visit, only this is within the client’s location.
Say they call you about a running toilet, what are five other fixtures around that you could check for issues and might even solve with a quick twist of your wrench?
Some free adjustment ideas include:
- Spot leaks
- Test toilet flushes
- Test tub and sink drainage
- Tighten loose faucet stems
- Tighten the toilet seat and water connection points
- Check for loose bolts and wingnuts on the bottom of the toilet
Remember to ask the client if they have any repeated issues like constant bathroom sink clogs. Sometimes, issues that nag a client aren’t immediately apparent during an initial inspection.
Roger Wakefield does a great job digging deeper on this concept in this video below:
7. Invest in a Modern Inspection Camera to Boost Plumbing Sales
It seems like every other day there’s a new fangled plumbing contraption strapped with a GoPro.
Some of this new technology might seem extravagant or completely unnecessary but consider this:
If these new tools help you bring your client along on their repair journey – and more specifically, if they can verify your recommendations in real-time – the price tag of that new gadget can pay for itself in no time!
This is why you should always consider a modern inspection camera as part of your field tool set. Keep this alongside your standard tools used to actually fix issues.
The inspection camera not only helps assess what needs to be fixed, but gives a great visual aid to explain the problem to your client.
And there is no limit to the bells and whistles you can find on inspection-camera tools these days. Features often include:
- Wireless Data Transfer
- Depth Measurement and Probe-Location Tracking
III. Keeping Your Plumbing Customers Happy
“Because you went above and beyond what is considered the norm for your industry, your customer now associates your brand with surprise and delight.” – Emily Farrar
8. Plumbing Maintenance Agreements
Perhaps one of the most useful plumbing sales tools you have at your disposal is a plumbing maintenance agreement.
We’ve found calling them agreements more palatable to clients than calling them contracts.
Underneath it all, a plumbing maintenance agreement is relationship sales at its finest. You’re entering into an agreement with a client to be their preferred plumber.
While this sounds great for your plumbing sales bottom line, you also have to uphold your end of the agreement.
This might mean preferred scheduling, or service calls outside the standard hours of operation. How you choose to sweeten the agreement is up to you, but stand by your word.
Plumbing maintenance agreements are a fantastic way to smooth out your revenue and create some regularity in your plumbing sales. Plus, your clients will love having the peace of mind knowing you have a deep history with their fixtures and knowledge of their equipment.
That trust will allow your interactions to be far less sales oriented. You’ll also be able to rely on the clients that signed plumbing maintenance agreements to keep calling back throughout the year.
9. Stay in Touch with Your Plumbing Customers
In addition to reminding your staff to reach out to a customer for scheduling routine maintenance, a software solution can even email these clients for you when it’s time to make an appointment.
Automated reminders and points of contact have become far more precise than the traditional dinner-time robocall.
Put your in-depth client profiles to work and let your cloud-based plumbing software streamline those points of contact. After all, you might be surprised by how easy it is to increase your plumbing sales almost overnight.
Leverage Email Newsletters
Email newsletters are also a great way to add value while using your established client list.
Simple reminders of annual and seasonal maintenance can help spur calls. You can also reignite the referral cycle in your existing client base by offering incentives and insider deals. With email automation, you can even send birthday messages with special offers!
These newsletter specials can help you track those who refer customers as well as those they referred. This means you can see how effective this outreach works for your plumbing sales’ bottom line.
Your Plumbing Sales Goals Within Reach
You’re a plumbing service provider and a skilled tradesman, not a pro salesman. But the truth is – you want to grow your professional plumbing business. So, you’ll need to get serious about increasing your plumbing sales.
This easy-to-follow guide will help you start on your journey TODAY by:
- Presenting services through a strong brand identity
- Maximizing plumbing sales potential without sacrificing authenticity
- Simplifying customer communications to welcome in client on repair journey
- Streamlining office, sales and field operations with the best plumbing software
These tips will help you grow your business and increase plumbing sales – all while also remaining true to your clients and yourself.