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  • targeting customers?

    how do you guys target drain cleaning jobs? i have several adds in the local phone books for plumber. i receive alot of calls for service work but rarely for drain cleaning. i bought a couple nice machines but they just sit in my shop. how do i put them to work? i would like to have them running non stop.
    Mike
    Clark County Plumbing And Drain
    www.plumbinginclarkcounty.com

  • #2
    Re: targeting customers?

    I am not a drain cleaner nor do I know much about it. However, from reading some past posts I believe you could start by targeting commercial-type customers i.e. restaurants, industrial plants, hospitals, etc. Seems that their systems might suffer from a sludge build-up more than some residential-type customers. Maybe some direct mail/targeted phone call to the decision-maker would be a start.

    Find out where the drain guys advertise in the yellow pages/paper and try to get a bigger ad above them. Then again, I feel that the yellow pages can be an expensive waste of time. Then again, if there isn't a "drain cleaner" section, maybe you can start it and be the only one....

    Change your business cards to note that you offer drain cleaning and make sure to mention it to all your customers.

    From what limited exposure I have gained from reading drain cleaning posts, I'm thinking the money is in drain cleaning. Probably dirtier, but is an ongoing/renewable part of your business. You might jet a line more often then you install a water tank..........

    But then again, I'm not a plumber or drain cleaner........
    I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

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    • #3
      Re: targeting customers?

      I have been using Service Magic for leads works pretty well in the Seattle area. I do not know how they are in and around Portland or Vancouver. But you can ask them before you sign up they will tell you how many hits you have missed. Cost is around $100 to sign up and $9 per lead they give you, but they dont just give the lead to you they give it to 3 others as well so you have to act fast to get the job once they notify you. But people trust them because they check your insurance and license. They even check your refrences. I also tell every plumber I see at the supply house and a lot don't like to do drains and turn them on to me. It is a win/win deal because if there ends up being a mainline repair I turn it back to them.
      Seattle Drain Service

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      • #4
        Re: targeting customers?

        Originally posted by Cuda View Post
        I have been using Service Magic for leads works pretty well in the Seattle area. I do not know how they are in and around Portland or Vancouver. But you can ask them before you sign up they will tell you how many hits you have missed. Cost is around $100 to sign up and $9 per lead they give you, but they dont just give the lead to you they give it to 3 others as well so you have to act fast to get the job once they notify you. But people trust them because they check your insurance and license. They even check your refrences. I also tell every plumber I see at the supply house and a lot don't like to do drains and turn them on to me. It is a win/win deal because if there ends up being a mainline repair I turn it back to them.
        You pay to compete with three other guys?? $36 bucks a lead to the companyy???? Do they get paid even if no business comes of it???

        Wow, I am definitely in the wrong biz.............
        I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

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        • #5
          Re: targeting customers?

          Does your ad say DRAIN CLEANING real BIG? Look at my web link, the first page has my phone book ad and I get calls day and night.
          Last edited by All Clear Sewer; 02-21-2008, 11:01 PM.
          http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: targeting customers?

            that's interesting that you can't get drain cleaning business.
            i'm a plumber and it seems like most of my referrals from other plumbers and contractors are for drain cleaning, drain related work.

            do a good job at what you do and it will come faster than you think.

            years ago i never carried a main line machine in my truck and only loaded it when i needed to.

            today, it's in my truck and used almost every day.

            rick.
            phoebe it is

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: targeting customers?

              Originally posted by Cuda View Post
              I have been using Service Magic for leads works pretty well in the Seattle area. I do not know how they are in and around Portland or Vancouver. But you can ask them before you sign up they will tell you how many hits you have missed. Cost is around $100 to sign up and $9 per lead they give you, but they dont just give the lead to you they give it to 3 others as well so you have to act fast to get the job once they notify you. But people trust them because they check your insurance and license. They even check your refrences. I also tell every plumber I see at the supply house and a lot don't like to do drains and turn them on to me. It is a win/win deal because if there ends up being a mainline repair I turn it back to them.
              I get bad leads from em. Not one good one to this date....errrrr
              http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: targeting customers?

                The reason Service Magic has been working I think for me is that I gave them the zip codes of about a 10 mile area that I like to work in, most of the homes are around 100 years old and I know the plumbing pretty well for this area. I stay in my zone and I am fast to arrive. The people for the most part are computer savy people who would actually use a service like Service Master a lot are even Microsoft employees. So it works out pretty well I don't get all the jobs they send as sometimes I am busy and one of the other guys is first to call them. The other one I tried was findaplumber.com and I have got 0 work from them.
                Last edited by Cuda; 02-22-2008, 12:08 AM.
                Seattle Drain Service

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: targeting customers?

                  thanks for the response guys. i'd say i use my k7500 once a month. its kinda hard to justify to my wife why "i have to have it". when it just sits i know it will eventually pay off. i was hopeing sooner though. is there any good classes at the pumper show about generating drain cleaning customers? how do you sell to a resturaunt? whats your pitch? all the restaraunt owner's i do work for are cheap. maybe im not selling it right?
                  Mike
                  Clark County Plumbing And Drain
                  www.plumbinginclarkcounty.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: targeting customers?

                    Originally posted by haycad View Post
                    thanks for the response guys. i'd say i use my k7500 once a month. its kinda hard to justify to my wife why "i have to have it". when it just sits i know it will eventually pay off. i was hopeing sooner though. is there any good classes at the pumper show about generating drain cleaning customers? how do you sell to a resturaunt? whats your pitch? all the restaraunt owner's i do work for are cheap. maybe im not selling it right?
                    restaurants typically require jetting over snaking. it can be nasty work and odd hours to not interfere with their peak periods.

                    i would sell to a management co. first.

                    also when you need it, it's not on your truck. hard to justify putting it on the truck without the work, but hard to get the work without it on your truck

                    let your regular customers know you do drain cleaning too. believe it or not, some of my customers thought you need a drain person and not a plumber

                    it takes time, spread the word. don't spend more on advertising than you will take in.

                    my pipe bursting machine only gets work a few times a year. my wife had a hard time with that purchase too. but at the time she was not my wife

                    rick.
                    phoebe it is

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: targeting customers?

                      rick said" my wife had a hard time with that purchase too. but at the time she was not my wife"
                      I can't quit laughing at that
                      I been married 3 times and I know the spending difference when I am single.
                      Bryce
                      Seattle Drain Service

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: targeting customers?

                        Originally posted by haycad View Post
                        how do you guys target drain cleaning jobs? i have several adds in the local phone books for plumber. i receive alot of calls for service work but rarely for drain cleaning. i bought a couple nice machines but they just sit in my shop. how do i put them to work? i would like to have them running non stop.
                        Get in good with other plumbers. All plumbers get drain cleaning calls. Just make sure you never ever steal a customer. I won't even leave a card when a plumber sends me on a job for drain cleaning or service. If the customer asks for a card I explain if they have a problem with the job I did feel free to call but anything else please call the plumber that sent me, and I still won't leave a card just my number on the bill if I'm billing them.

                        The only problem with drain cleaning for plumbers is the need for a camera and locating equipment. No need to call you if the job can't be inspected when needed. I tell plumbers "I spent all the money on video equipment for them not me or my customers".

                        My drain cleaning competion has good equipment. they do a good to great job depending on the guy they send out and they are cheap. To cheap, but we are making inroads.

                        Like Rick eluded to , being tough keeping all the drain cleaning stuff on the truck when it doesn't get used but to get to a job fast you have to. Fast might lead to more jobs until you prove your good enough to wait for.

                        The add in the drain cleaning section of the yellow pages does O.K for us .Good enough to keep it going.

                        I hope some of this helps

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: targeting customers?

                          Originally posted by saysflushable View Post
                          Get in good with other plumbers. All plumbers get drain cleaning calls. Just make sure you never ever steal a customer. I won't even leave a card when a plumber sends me on a job for drain cleaning or service. If the customer asks for a card I explain if they have a problem with the job I did feel free to call but anything else please call the plumber that sent me, and I still won't leave a card just my number on the bill if I'm billing them.
                          100% good business right there.
                          I don't do drain cleaning...been toying with the idea, but that is the #1 deterrent for guys like me to call a drain cleaner.
                          Getting that right out in the open & up front probably generates you alot of business.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: targeting customers?

                            Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
                            100% good business right there.
                            I don't do drain cleaning...been toying with the idea, but that is the #1 deterrent for guys like me to call a drain cleaner.
                            Getting that right out in the open & up front probably generates you alot of business.
                            Duck , you definitely should invest in some drain cleaning equipment. 2 or 3 grand will get you all you need to clean drains properly. Not only will the equipment pay for itself quickly, but it Will also generate a lot of money in repairs.
                            THE GLASS IS ALWAYS HALF FULL

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: targeting customers?

                              Originally posted by Crappy days View Post
                              Duck , you definitely should invest in some drain cleaning equipment. 2 or 3 grand will get you all you need to clean drains properly. Not only will the equipment pay for itself quickly, but it Will also generate a lot of money in repairs.
                              Yeah, I know...been chatting with several about it.
                              Friends say liability is also a concern, as far as damage to older exisitng plumbing & the obvious mess.
                              I'm always slow to leap without investigating, but at this point it's obvious your right.
                              Top that with my license and it's big leverage on repairs and versatility.
                              The number one problem I have is trying to decipher what the hell you drain guys are talking about with all the different machines, jetters, camera's cutting heads/blades & so on.

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