Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.
Marketing my services Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Marketing my services

    So business (drain cleaning, pipe inspection/locating) has slowed to a crawl for me. I expected a slow down this time of year but not this much. It's getting to the point of me getting nervous. I've built a good reputation as a pipe layer around these parts so I can always fall back on that if need be. I have to admit I do kind of miss it but I don't think my body can handle it anymore and I started this business to be successful not to standby and watch it fade away.
    I spent $4000 on yellow pages that came out in December but I get more work from word of mouth and plumbers so this is what I'm thinking I need to do. Advertise to plumbers.
    MY PLAN: Make brochure, and info packet to send out.This would be a lot of info and at the end of the day I am like everyone else, I get something in the mail, I glance at it and in one second I decide if I'm going to look at it or trash it. So in order to get their attention I'm going to ship some items for them to keep as our way to thank them for taking the time to consider our services. So far I have ordered embroidered hats, T-Shirts and, pens all with our Co. logo. I'm also considering travel mugs. Any Ideas for anything else to include?
    If you were to get these items would you be impressed enough to take a longer look at the brochure and info packit?
    I figure if I spend $1000 on this to target 25 plumbers and 20 decide to try me once at the least I'd get back $3500.
    I'm not a talker, I'm a doer, so I'm not a good salesman in person. I like my work to speak for it's self. I'm sure if someone uses me once they will call back.
    Think this will work?
    ANY AND ALL ADVICE (good or bad) WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.
    INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
    Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

  • #2
    Re: Marketing my services

    Surprised a thread like this hasnt come up before. Interesting to see some of the ideas on here.

    Josh

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Marketing my services

      I have found that when times get slow I throw a small add in the neighborhood paper magazine and then pick the job I want to do. As far as mail out I get them all the time and they hit the trash can in know time, If I don't need you at that moment that I get that piece of mail it's history.
      If mailing Mail to the customer's you want to work for. Other plumbers, why do they need you?? Are you so much cheaper laying pipe or camera work??
      IMO yellow pages are a waste of money. Have one line just so one could find my name. Have done that way for years, call some of your customers with some special offers on plumbing services. lots of thing to do that don't cost that much. Freddy

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Marketing my services

        I'm in Maine. Most people here are 10years behind the times. Most Plumbers here are busy enough with new plumbing and repairs. A lot don't want anything to do with drain cleaning but they do it for their customers to keep them happy even though they would rather not. Plus they don't have the equipment to do the job.Jetter, A Real snake, and half of them drop their jaw when the see the camera.
        Also I'm not a licensed plumber nor do I call myself a plumber. I'm a Drain Tech and provide drain and camera services.
        Last edited by Gene Bickford; 05-04-2007, 02:38 PM. Reason: forgot info
        INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
        Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Marketing my services

          Gene,

          We’ve all been there before and if you stick with it you will do fine. I had several plumbers go out on their own in the past and I told all of them to count on about 5-years before your customer base is such that your phone will ring on a regular basis.

          I do not care for Yellow Page ads because it is more about what you can afford rather than how good you are. That being said I believe you need to be in the book just for credibility. I do think you would be better served with a smaller ad though.

          As had already been mentioned an ad in a local paper is a good idea and does not require a 1-year commitment. When things are slow you should consider a small ad which offers 10% off of a service call with the ad. I believe another avenue which you should explore is the Internet.

          If you are going after referrals from plumbers remember some of them may worry you will either take customers away from them or the customer may call them direct next time. A non-descript truck would have made it easier for plumbers to use you but I wouldn’t repaint your truck over it.

          When things are slow try to hang out at the supply house and network with some plumbers. A face to face is always better than a mailer. You may also want to hang out at a couple of DIY type places and offer some friendly advice. You might be surprised at how much work walks into those types of businesses.

          Good luck-Mark
          Last edited by ToUtahNow; 05-04-2007, 03:15 PM.
          "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

          I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Marketing my services

            The most important thing to know is your customer base. If you've been there awhile you will know this. What neighborhoods give you the most business. Which ones don't. Use Direct mail and target those zip codes that bring you business and leave out the one that are not profitable. Your advertizing dollars are better spent this way than a broad ad in the Yellow Pages IMO. Do it with coupons offering service contracts, labor discounts whatever. T-shirts, pens, hats won't get the phone ringing.

            And Gene above all...Don't panic...it gets slow for everyone

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Marketing my services

              Hang in there Gene,

              I just went through a period from Nov. to Mar. that was pretty nerve racking.

              I just started working for other contractors and that pays the bills,big pay cut but at least it will get me through till construction takes off and I can get my myself established in a stronger market.

              I wish I could Offer more at this time,But these guys have been through this and have already covered anything that comes to mind for me.

              Have you gotten your Newspaper add made up yet

              Use the B in your last name to get your add towards the top of your field advertisement column in the newspaper.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Marketing my services

                The company I work for does some quality advertising and 2 big thing they do are;
                1. Our business cards are magnetic so people can stick them on the fridge.
                2. If we have a new customer that is referred to us we get the name of who referred us and send them $10 for every $100 we charged their friend.

                This is a huge navy town. Navy recruiters have the same problem you do. Call a recruiter and ask for some tips. Our boss is retired Navy and that's what he did when he started in 1982. Both those ideas came from recruiters.
                Buy cheap, buy twice.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Marketing my services

                  gene, as most already know, i don't advertise. i don't want that type of call. i want a person that wants me

                  in los angeles, there are at least 40 pages of yellow page ads just in the local area book of plumbers. all the large ads are from companies that are flat rate rip offs not 1 company there is a company that the knowledgeable consumer would call back.

                  all of my work comes from referrals, both from customers and other contractors, including plumbing contractors.

                  find yourself a niche and stick with it. sure everyone has a camera now. but most are out to sell jobs and not be truthful or give options. that is why i am so busy with other plumbers. i don't tell horror stories. i tell the truth and give them options and realistic advise.

                  i also provide a real computerized invoice at the end of the job with both the cost and findings all professionally printed out right from my lap top. i can look up any invoice and track any call with just a couple of clicks. this allows me to look at the history and track record of the customer. be able to properly clean a line and know where the problems are. know where the city connection is.

                  i don't typically do work at apartments. i do a lot of condo and association work. also a lot of commercial work with cameras and jetting for other contractors.

                  since i work by myself, i don't have to worry about keeping someone busy.
                  today i did 3 jobs and the final job was 9 holes

                  people will refer you in time. that's another thing i do is to track the customers referrals. i only work by referral and that's the way i like it.

                  if i can survive and make a good living in a big city like l.a. where everyone that ever dug a ditch calls themselves a plumber. then you should be able to conquer a smaller market in your town. the word gets out. just spread the word. let you present customers know that you like referrals. send them a starbucks card for a referral. a referral is better than a stranger. they call you because they want you. not because they are price shopping.

                  plus 32 years in the trade, isn't bad either

                  rick.
                  phoebe it is

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Marketing my services

                    THANKS FOR ALL THE ADVICE GUYS. lots of good ideas.
                    It's hard up here because everything is so rural and behind the times. A lot of people around here (including plumbers) don't even know these type of services even exist. They will just stick a flat snake in and if that doesn't get it they dig it up.
                    I knew this first year on my own would be the hardest. THANK_YOU for the encouragement. I'm just getting freaked because I see everybody gearing up for the busy season and starting projects and here I am going to the auction so I can make a few bucks on ebay.
                    INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
                    Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Marketing my services

                      I live in a very rural area,
                      and people will take and wear any kind of baseball type hat around, have your phone number on them and name,

                      This may not help right now, but many towns have local fairs, and events,
                      set up a both, have the sewer camera set up to show what it can do, and that you have a real drain cleaning equipment, some of the different cutters, may be some pictures of root balls you have removed, and do a education booth, Even the locating equipment if you have it. (if all they know or seen is the flat tape then they will be impressed).
                      The T shirts would go over big in a situation like that,

                      At the local prades many of our local business build a float and enter it. Usually throwing out candy and trinkets (pens, key chains and the like) to the crowds lining the streets.

                      In our small town the coffee shop is one of the fasted ways to keep busy,
                      find out where the locals drink there coffee, and take a break, and join in, or at least go have coffee, sit where you will be seen as there walking out and see your hat or shirt, many that have problems will stop by and talk a few Min's. (some to many min's).
                      (in our area, if one wants to work this route one is hardly ever with out some work).
                      Many business around here, (lumber yards, hardware stores, will let you display business cards, or some times they will let you set a small stack of cards on the counter),
                      even the local bank and grocery store has display boards for adds.

                      depending on what the local hardware stores are like they may be willing to give your name out as a referral, when some one is in need of help.

                      I do not know if your in this rural of a situation or not, but if you are some of these ideas many help

                      (now you may be guessing I am from a very small area, one bank and one grocery store, and that is the big town in the area, some don't even have a gas stations, they may have Key pumps, and some don't even have that.)
                      Last edited by BHD; 05-05-2007, 01:29 PM.
                      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                      attributed to Samuel Johnson
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Marketing my services

                        BHD thanks for the advice.
                        Every year we have The Pittsfield Egg Festival. It's "ah wicked big deal up heah". I was thinking along the same lines with the booth.
                        Yes we are quite rural, Two traffic light kind of town and one was broken for over a year before they fixed it.
                        INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
                        Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Marketing my services

                          Gene, i live in a small community.....in the middle of a sea.

                          here is what i do. i run a newspaper ad twice a week in the business classifieds. just ky name, what i do, and the phone number. on Wednesday i run a 4 inch ad that reads:

                          IF YOUR DRAINS DON"T
                          IF YOUR FLUSHES WON"T
                          IF YOUR WATER BACKS UP

                          DON"T CALL A PLUMBER

                          CALL (340) 626-XXXX

                          SewerSnake

                          WE'LL GET YOUR WATER FLOWING

                          areound this is a dotted border with scissors at each corner and the caption "clip and save"

                          it works big time for me. it's cheaper than magnets, and people do cut these out and tape them to the fridge, etc.

                          word of mouth, local plumbers (that i would recommend in return), i go everywhere with a company t-shirt on, contrctors, real estate agents, property managers, etc.

                          i plan to go the local AG Fair, MAngo Mele (local fair), and any place i can set up a booth to get my name and face out there.

                          if you want to talk about small market advertising drop me a PM.

                          work here is cyclical at best. i worked all but 3 days in March. Arpril was slow. go figure!

                          steve
                          In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

                          Comment

                          Working...
                          X