Everyone needs a plumber, so how do you separate yourself from your competition? Strategic marketing and sales can help plumbers grow their business by attracting new clients.
What is plumber marketing and sales?
Plumber marketing raises awareness about existing plumbing services to residential and commercial customers.
Sales for a plumbing business operate differently than in most industries. When someone has a plumbing issue, they immediately need to fix it. That means most plumber sales come through inbound leads.
It’s not just about promoting your business — you also need to respond to customers quickly for a better chance to win their business.
What are the benefits of plumber marketing and sales?
The goal of plumber marketing is to convince customers why they should choose you, not if they need you. Plumber marketing allows you to educate consumers about plumbing costs. That gives them better transparency to help generate trust.
Plumber marketing and sales 101
Plumbing issues are stressful, no matter how small or big the problem is. You need to have empathy when communicating with your customers. Empathy helps you build trust, and trust is what will get customers to commit to your business. There are a few ways you can build trust.
When someone has a plumbing issue, they need it fixed ASAP, whether it be a clogged toilet, leaky faucet, or water heater issue. Responding fast is not just great for customer service but also sales. The quicker you get to a lead, the higher your chance of converting them.
Because of the immediacy of the case, leads will most likely go with the business that gets back to them first with a reasonable quote. Studies show that the first company to respond to a lead has a 78 percent chance of converting them compared to those who reach out to a lead later.
A highly responsive communication channel like business texting can help you respond to leads quickly. Unlike a phone call, you can use texting while multitasking. MMS can help you improve your conversations because photos and videos make it easier to contextualize a problem. After inspecting the problem, you can use texting to provide a free quote.
Offer a free consultation or quote
Letting customers know how much a service costs before committing makes it easier for them to reach out to you. What’s more, customers see that you’re taking the time to look at their issue with no strings attached. That makes them feel more inclined to trust you, which creates a better customer experience.
Once you give a quote, customers know what to expect if they decide to use your service, which puts you both on the same page. By the time you show up for a final consultation, it’ll be easier for you to convert the customer and get to work immediately.
Customers might have difficulty understanding how your service works. Educating them about the issue can help them understand and builds trust. When it comes time to quote a price, they’re more likely to agree if they know why it costs what it does.
Educating customers can look different depending on the situation. You can simply tell a customer what their plumbing issue is and how to fix it, including length of time and more. Or, you can post resources on your website for common plumbing issues for them to read.
4 effective plumber marketing and sales strategies
1. Solicit reviews
Plumbing is a personal service; people invite you into their homes which are private places. That requires trust, and another way you can build trust is with good reviews and customer relationships. Seventy-two percent of customers say they won’t take action until they read a review first.
To get a good reputation, you need to give an exceptional customer experience from start to finish. A good customer experience will result in a positive interaction. That gives you more chances of a good review, ultimately attracting more customers.
One way to know if customers had a good experience is to follow up with them post-service. You can proactively ask for reviews by texting customers after a plumbing service or asking them for one in person. If your customers had a poor experience, you could use their feedback to improve your customer service for future customers.
2. Establish an online presence
You can’t ask for reviews if customers have no place to post them. That’s one of the reasons it’s essential to have an online presence. Online is also the first place potential customers will find and learn more about your business.
An online presence can include having a website, Google or Yelp pages, social media accounts, or reviews on a third-party site like Angi.
Your online profiles should have all the relevant information customers need to choose your service. Here is a checklist of things you should have on your website and online profiles:
- Contact information (address, phone number, texting number, etc.)
- A free quote request form or number
- Available services
- What sets you apart from the competition (i.e., quick response, no upfront fees, same-day availability.)
- Customer reviews or awards to help build credibility
Most people will use their phones to search for a plumbing service. They’re likely juggling their plumbing issues with their daily routine. So, it makes sense to make your website mobile-friendly.
3. Offer multichannel support
By offering multiple communication options, you are making it easier for customers to reach out to you in a way that suits their needs. Plus, you might need a combination of channels to close a sale. For example, you can get a call from a customer, then follow up with them via text, and send receipts via email. With business texting, you have a higher chance of a response, as the average response rate for texting is 45 percent. You can also send photos or links via text for rapid communication.
Whatever communication channel you choose to put in place, make sure you have the resources to handle them. There’s nothing worse than customer inquiries going unanswered. The more efficient you are with your responses, the better quality of service you provide.
4. Leverage digital local ads
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. How are they going to come across your business? Most likely, they will type in “plumbers near me” in Google and review the first few results. At least 68 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine.
You can leverage this search result by qualifying for a Google Local Services Ad. You’ve probably seen dozens of them in your own Google searches for other businesses. Google Ads are the first things to appear in a search engine. As we mentioned earlier, customers will go for the first credible plumbing service they see, so being on the top of a search result works in your favor.
There are also Facebook Ads where you can target customers who fit your ideal customer profile with geo-targeting. Geo-targeting means having the ad appear to customers within your area code or selected vicinity.
5. Invest in offline advertising
Again, the purpose of ads is to build your brand awareness with potential customers or stay top of mind for old ones. One way to do this offline is to leave the customer with tchotchkes like a magnet with your contact information on it. They’ll likely display that magnet on their fridge, so they’ll have your information readily available next time they require a service.
Or, you can send flyers in the mail with plumbing specials that are good for first-time customers. The hope is that customers will hold onto these flyers until they need a plumbing service, so make sure to include all of your contact details.
The bottom line
Plumbing issues are an unexpected cost for most people, which can build stress and distrust with plumbers. You can form a good relationship with your customers by advertising your business to show empathy and transparency.