5 Things to Avoid When Selling Customers on Your Services

Selling is something you can’t completely ignore in the plumbing game if you want to ensure you maintain a steady workload. Here are ways to make that part of the job enjoyable and effective.

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As a plumbing business you define your work as plumbing work, but the truth is that it’s more. To get more plumbing work you have another job as well — sales. The more you sell, the busier you and your team will be and the more money your company makes.

Unfortunately, sales is often considered to be an annoyance, an inconvenience, a hassle, or even an afterthought. Maybe it even feels inauthentic and slimy. You’d probably rather be plumbing than selling.   

But with just a few simple tweaks to your approach, you can sell a lot more to your customers without all those accompanying negative thoughts. It all starts with dropping these five things from what you do. When you stop doing them, you’ll focus your energy on more effective selling (and selling that doesn’t feel slimy) and you’ll close more deals.

1. Stop Trying To Sell

I’ve previously written about this aspect. If you’re trying to sell, you’re overthinking it. It should flow naturally. If you are trying to sell, you’re going to hate it and the customer will sense that it’s forced.

Stop trying to sell. Instead, simply approach every sales interaction as a conversation between you and the customer to help them decide whether or not to make a purchase. All you’re doing is leading the conversation and helping them decide. You’re serving your customer. That’s it. Don’t overthink it.

2. Stop Limiting Yourself

When you go into a sales conversation with a customer, it can be tempting to gather only the resources that you think you need and then say, “This should be enough.” When you think that way, you don’t bring all of your testimonials or all of your sales brochures or all of the tools you sell.

Stop limiting yourself. Bring everything each time. Become adept at jumping from one to the next naturally. What you want to do is have an overwhelming amount of information at the ready (but still only use what you need) because many customers need more information than you’re bringing to the conversation.

3. Stop Focusing On Price

How often have you sized up a customer and thought, “They won’t like the price I’m going to quote?” Or maybe you get to the price quote portion of the sales conversation and wince at what you expect the customer’s reaction will be.

Stop focusing on price. When you focus on price in your own head, you actually make the customer focus on price too because your words and actions unconsciously focus on price. Instead, focus on value and on everything that the customer will get out of the service you’re selling. Make price just one part of the conversation when you talk about exchanging value — the small amount of value of their money for the massive value they’ll receive when they hire your company for their next plumbing job. It’s a simple mindset shift, but it’s very powerful.

4. Stop Thinking About Selling as a One-Time Event

When does the sales conversation happen with a customer? Most plumbers probably think that it happens when you are face to face with the customer and you’re spelling out their options and giving them an estimate. Then waiting to see if they accept it or not. But this is not true. When you approach selling like this, you put a lot of pressure on this one interaction.

Stop thinking about selling as a one-time event. Instead, remember that selling starts when the customer is just a lead and gets one of your marketing pieces in the mail. You’re selling them on why they should hire you. Then the selling conversation continues when they call your office or click on your website. Then the selling conversation continues when you are with them face to face. It’s a process that builds on itself. 

5. Stop Selling Just One-Time Service

When you sell plumbing, what are you selling? You’re probably selling the solution to a one-time problem that the customer pays for once and your company delivers the service once. Then the next time they need services — assuming the customer remembers to call you instead of your competitor — you have to sell them all over again on the next service.

Stop selling just one-time services. Consider selling other services like recurring services, memberships, maintenance check-ups, seasonal services, and more. Even if the customer thinks they only need a one-time solution for a one-time problem, they probably aren’t thinking about the many great ways that you can help them on an ongoing basis. Show them how you help and sell them on your ongoing services to stay in front of them and to create recurring revenue for your business.

A Final Word

As a plumber, you want to focus on your plumbing work. But sales is a necessary part of the effort to ensure you keep getting work. Many people may think that sales can be slimy and inauthentic, but there are powerful ways that you can make selling more enjoyable and more effective. By avoiding these five things, you’ll be surprised at how much more you can sell and how much more work you’ll get.

About the Author

Mike Agugliaro is the “Business Warrior” and founder of CEO Warrior, a business consulting, training and mentoring firm, providing tested and proven methods to defeat the roadblocks that prevent small to mid-sized businesses from achieving their ultimate success. He has played a key role in building and selling Gold Medal Service, New Jersey’s largest and most respected home service company. For more information about CEO Warrior, visit www.CEOWARRIOR.com.


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