Let Customers Generate Work for You

Smart plumbing upgrades can be a simple way to grow your business
Let Customers Generate Work for You
Ed Del Grande

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If you own a plumbing company that generates service calls, you don't always have to wait for customers to call you. It’s OK for you to contact your customers first, to notify them of a special deal or service. Remember though, there is a fine line between hard selling a homeowner or informing them about smart plumbing upgrades. This is how a good plumber builds a trustworthy reputation. It’s simple to determine this line when offering your special. Just ask yourself, “What is the benefit to my customer?”

Obviously, the extra work will help your business. But, you need to promote a win-win special if you want to generate a positive response. Win-win services can be something as simple as a seasonal price break to replace an older water heater or to offer high-efficiency plumbing system upgrades. One such service special that can work out well for plumbers and homeowners is to promote water-saving system upgrades that can lower water and sewer utility bills.

If there ever was a time for America’s plumbers to educate customers about the importance of saving water, now is the time. Many areas of the country are presently experiencing water shortages.

As responsible plumbers, we need to promote the installation of high-efficiency plumbing fixtures in both the residential and commercial markets.

This can easily be done with direct mailings, phone calls, newspaper adds, notes enclosed with your invoices, and upsells while you and/or your plumbers are on service calls. I’ve talked to a lot of plumbers who went out to fix a pipe leak and ended up installing a new water-saving toilet! Speaking of toilets, in many communities the utility companies may offer rebates to offset the costs of installing a new toilet as long as it’s a high-efficiency toilet. If you check to see if this rebate is available in your area, you can include the rebate cost in your “special price” package. How easy is this to help promote your services?

Now that you know there is a water-saving market out there for you to explore and that this upgrade is a good deal for homeowners, I’d like to share a message with you and please share this with your clients:

“Saving water in your home can be as easy as one, two, three!”

Basically it means with three easy plumbing upgrades, you can save water in your home without changing your lifestyle. All you have to do is change out three older plumbing fixtures and replace them with three new high-efficiency fixtures and let the new fixtures do all the water-saving work. Here are my three recommended plumbing upgrades:

  1. Install high performance faucet aerators that use only 1.5 gpm (gallons per minute) on faucets that are currently flowing at 2.2 gpm. Or, better yet, replace older faucets with high-efficiency 1.5 gpm faucets that are ready to go right out of the box. This low-cost water-saving project can yield big savings.
  2. Install high-performance shower heads as well. Newly redesigned, performance-type shower heads can deliver an impressive spray of water coverage but use only 1.75 gpm. Compare this to a standard type shower head using 2.5 gpm.
  3. Install a high-efficiency toilet (HET) in place of an older toilet. In my February 2016 article, “Focus on the Flush with High-Efficiency Toilets,” for Plumber magazine, I went into details about HET flushing systems that you may want to check out. I mentioned that HET’s flush with only 1.28 gallons of water per flush or less. Since a toilet is one of the most-used plumbing fixtures in a home, water savings can be substantial if you replace an older water-guzzling toilet with a new HET.

Final Note: Plumbers can choose to do one, two, or all three of these upgrades depending on what is best for the homeowner. A fun idea is to offer a three-option package. Something like a “Gold-Silver-Bronze” upgrade and have the homeowner choose the package that works best for their budget.

For a video companion to this article, you can watch me demonstrate “smart” plumbing fixtures in a TV interview. Visit eddelgrande.com and click “Ed’s Bonus Banner” to view the bonus video below.

 About the Author: Ed Del Grande is a three-time master plumber, GBCI LEED green associate and contractor with licenses in pipefitting, fire protection and plumbing. He grew up in a family-owned plumbing business and has 30-plus years of construction experience.

A self-employed contractor and professional comedian, he combined his performing and construction talents to became a pioneer in home-improvement television. Starting on HGTV with shows such as Dream Builders and The Fix, Del Grande helped build the DIY Network and HGTVpro.com with shows such as Warehouse Warriors and Ed The Plumber.



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