Plumbing Primer: 4 People Who Can Make or Break Your Business

Service work requires contacts. If you don’t know who your local chamber director is, then you’re missing a huge market opportunity.
Plumbing Primer: 4 People Who Can Make or Break Your Business
Who do you know that helped build your contacts and reputation?

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The phone won’t ring unless you land a new construction job or a find those needed emergency jobs, and those require contacts. Service work — of any kind — requires contacts. If you’re new to the plumbing industry, then you’ve probably realized pretty quick how vital it is to know the right people — or just know people in general. 

Service work puts money in your pocket, but you also need to have a reliable source of contacts to get the work flowing. Whether you use an old-school Rolodex or rely on your smartphone to sort and organize contact information, meeting people in your community is the best way to build a reputation.

If you’re on the fence about jumping on the drain cleaning bandwagon, perhaps you should consider who you know. It won’t happen overnight, but building your reputation with neighborhood residents and other community members is the best way to get started. 

Here are some need-to-know people and how they can help you get your drain cleaning and plumbing business up and running, and help it continue to flourish. 

1. Real estate agents

Local real estate agents — commercial and residential — have their nose to the housing market. Use them to find out about new residents moving into the area. Don’t harass new residents, but send your company brochure as a heads up to the plumbing services you offer.   

Real estate transactions could also call for more in-depth service work, such as root intrusion in laterals or other sewer line inspections that must be completed before a sale is final. 

Leak detection and locating work is another advantage to knowing who’s who in the real estate market. Do agents and homebuyers need to locate utilities before a remodel or home sale? If you’re not in the local real estate agent loop, you’ll be out of luck and a competitor might get the calls instead. 

2. Homebuilders

A new subdivision goes up in your neighborhood. Who do homebuilding contractors call? Then they should be calling you. Homebuilders should have you on speed dial for those requests. 

Do potential homebuyers need to have laterals inspected for possible root intrusion? Think outside the box. This might be an opportunity to consider expanding your menu of services to include locating and drain cleaning.

While the construction business dried up for a few years, it’s bouncing back so new construction plumbing is also making a comeback. Be ready to cash in on this market by providing your business cards to local homebuilders.

Residential remodeling jobs are a source of revenue as homebuilders reach out to you not only for complete plumbing jobs, but also locating assistance. Adding a bathroom? Expanding the kitchen? Those remodel projects call for drainline inspections and new plumbing to ensure current lines can handle new additions or expansions. 

3. Chamber members

Sinks leak. Toilets don’t stop running. Kids put who-knows-what down drains. Homebuyers need new service contractors. Add your name and number — and smiling mug — to welcome packets your local chamber of commerce hands out to new residents. They don’t offer those packets? Make a suggestion that they start. Other chamber members will welcome the advertising. 

Another bonus? Chamber members are business owners. Businesses get hit with clogged drains or backed up toilets, too. Meet and greet business owners at chamber events. You’ll be the first person they call when an unwelcome plumbing issue occurs. 

Hint: Be sure to “like” or “follow” the chamber on social networking pages — and add your newsworthy posts — to stay intertwined with community events.  

4. Competitors

Calm down. This does not mean reaching out to the plumbing pro down the street and revealing all your secrets. However, keeping a running list of other drain cleaners in the area is a great idea. Why? These contacts will come in handy if you’re ever too busy to get to a customer. Customers appreciate your diligence in helping them, regardless of how — or who — helps. They will also appreciate your honestly. 

If you know you won’t be able to make it out to inspect a clogged line, then make a proactive decision to give the customer the name of another contractor. Don’t let last-minute calls get overlooked when you are in a pinch. It will damage your reputation if you can’t consistently deliver top-notch service. Establish a good working relationship with a few local competitors so you can rely on them when necessary.   

Bottom line? Build up a reliable clientele to ensure you’re the first person people and contractors call when they’re in a pinch. 

Who do you know that helped build your contacts and reputation? Post a comment below. 



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