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Marketing Fundamentals

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  • #76
    Re: Marketing Fundamentals

    I may be wrong but I've been reading this for a while and it kind of feels like I'm about to the proud owner of an $1800 vacuum cleaner.
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    • #77
      Re: Marketing Fundamentals

      Originally posted by Gene Bickford View Post
      I may be wrong but I've been reading this for a while and it kind of feels like I'm about to the proud owner of an $1800 vacuum cleaner.

      Yeah but if you get add-on paint sprayer, move it up to a cool $2395.00~!




      Hey you goin to the pumper show?
      Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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      • #78
        Re: Marketing Fundamentals

        Dunbar, you asked a few questions. I will try to answer. Billboards do work, but at what cost? There are many ways to get a message accross. A billboard used as a tool for branding works for some but may not work for others, it depends on demographics. The real question here is yield. You said you spent $1400 a month for each one. OK, great, way to go, glad you saved enough money to blow on a billboard. Now tell me exactly how much you made from the effort. Do you have any clue? I ask this because thats what real business people want to know. You really have know idea of the real impact. Or how about the banners, yea, thats my favorite. What do you do spend a pile of money on a bunch of things then the phone rings. Thats real smart. I spent $137.00 on gift certificates. Put them into my system, then started tracking. Once I had customers I started re marketing to the best of the bunch. My yield is very high. I spend nothing on marketing, and through carfull tracking and weining the bad customers out I have a thriving business thats markets itself. Most of the business in the area use me only. The competition is gone, and they will never return. I know this for a fact because a great marketing system takes current customers and maximizes the value. I spend most of my time building unbeatable relations with all my service contracts, and spend next to nothing. So how about the $1400 billboard, no thanks, I have no need for strangers to come up to me and say " I think Iv'e heard of you before" Why would I pay for that.

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        • #79
          Re: Marketing Fundamentals

          Originally posted by Mikes Plumbing View Post
          Dunbar, you asked a few questions. I will try to answer. Billboards do work, but at what cost? There are many ways to get a message accross. A billboard used as a tool for branding works for some but may not work for others, it depends on demographics. The real question here is yield. You said you spent $1400 a month for each one. OK, great, way to go, glad you saved enough money to blow on a billboard. Now tell me exactly how much you made from the effort. Do you have any clue? I ask this because thats what real business people want to know. You really have know idea of the real impact. Or how about the banners, yea, thats my favorite. What do you do spend a pile of money on a bunch of things then the phone rings. Thats real smart. I spent $137.00 on gift certificates. Put them into my system, then started tracking. Once I had customers I started re marketing to the best of the bunch. My yield is very high. I spend nothing on marketing, and through carfull tracking and weining the bad customers out I have a thriving business thats markets itself. Most of the business in the area use me only. The competition is gone, and they will never return. I know this for a fact because a great marketing system takes current customers and maximizes the value. I spend most of my time building unbeatable relations with all my service contracts, and spend next to nothing. So how about the $1400 billboard, no thanks, I have no need for strangers to come up to me and say " I think Iv'e heard of you before" Why would I pay for that.


          Because when those words are spoken, I'm in their driveway and the first hour charge is implemented.

          Do you think I'd mention their statements, for any other reason?


          You make it sound that billboard advertising is a failed idea for marketing, even though it's widely used for obvious reasons.

          Given I have $3000 invested in it,

          given I've spent thousands in advertising to get where I'm at now in business, I'm not complaining. Especially when visitors to my website get to see those billboards if they look hard enough, to which they do and mention it on occaision.

          SO, that puts them on my website, snooping around, because my last billboard was put up in 2005.


          I'm so sure of the move, I'm probably going to do a billboard advertisement with my second company someday, just because I know how a penguin's face on a cartoon scheme will attract the attention of many, and the curiousity is what will lead them to a website,

          the rest is where the build of the website takes over and makes it an either good or bad experience, or a worthy one that picks the phone up to call.

          FYI,

          I don't need "dollar amounts" to gauge whether my advertising was beneficial or not. You're exercising a "I spent this X amount of money and I got X amount of money back" which in major marketing, that's the goal but it's not the focus.

          Why does Pepsi, Coke, McDonald's, KFC, Subway, why do they all still advertise when we know they already exist? I know why. Put the product in your face. You might be hungry, thirsty. The last thing you saw before you reach for that cold drink or hot food might just be what they wanted you to grab, their product.

          If I have my name plastered all over town, and it's synonymous with plumbing...wouldn't you agree that my odds are far greater that I'd be given a chance with the possibility to be first called, or to at least be first noticed in the phone book?

          I've done my homework on the internet; got that covered. I'm talking about the out in the public view for all types that don't have a computer, or a phone book sometimes.

          Once I've got them committed as a customer, I know the relationship to follow.

          Here's customer service and satisfaction in glowing fashion, and you can embed yourself real quick as "one of a kind" in your profession:


          Next time you replace a water heater and the homeowners have little kids?

          Ask them if they want you to cut the cardboard box the heater came in so the kids can use it to play in. Kids love big cardboard boxes. Take all of 1 minute while you're getting paid for anyway and cut you a couple windows in that box and between those kids and those parents, you're a hero.

          No service contract, no "special" savings, no "marketing strategy" to earn a customer's trust. Think like your a customer and be completely different from the last plumber to enter that home, which is quite easy to do and you get talked up one street and down another, every family on the street is telling you the back door is open and leave the bill on table.

          That's the life and career I'm currently living and it's pretty remarkable. And the only reason I mentioning this is because you and I are two different mindsets when it comes to marketing. When you have people wait days or weeks, like some of these plumbers on this site and others experience, it's awesome. That's worth a small bag of candy or two pieces of candy when you bring in the bill, joking that the candy cost X amount of dollars, the work was free. A sense of humor which I strongly posess goes a long way as well. You can intimidate your customer if you bilk them for what you can get the most out of. Issuing "By the way" statements are far better than "You need to fix this immediately" and "Put this in your to do list" is a great statement to make when you find a surprise and explain the seriousness of the issue at hand. I am at fault sometimes for being overcritical inside the home, but yesterday I was called out to a Expansion tank leak/replacement, and I found extremely high water pressure that led to a PRV installation, a gas leak on the homeowner's side of the meter, and a cracked 2" PVC 45 serving the exhaust flue pipe serving a PowerVent water heater.

          Being attentive to the customer and their plumbing issues if carefully mentioned and discussed without cohersion can yield more sales inside the home, above what their initial amount they was planning to spend, and they are not upset with the plumber, rather thankful.

          The guy I did this work for yesterday is upset that he's moving to texas, because he's never met someone like me that can be trusted.

          Put a value on a service tech like that, what's his worth as a representative of their company. Best billboard in town when the image matches with reputation and skill, but no physical good looks. I'm working on that, one breakfast burrito at a time. I got food on the brain and breakfast is 5 hours away.
          Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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          • #80
            Re: Marketing Fundamentals

            Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
            maybe i take things for granted? maybe i too have worked my butt off for over 30 years and paid my dues in the trades.

            i'm with you big jim rome was not built in a day.

            spending $0.00 in marketing and advertising over the years has saved me a lot of money. plus i weed out anything more than 5 miles from the house.

            work hard, honest, and good. the phones will ring.

            rick.
            Rick,

            Your marketing is word of mouth, which is fine. It is cost effective (read free); and just comes from doing a good job. Not everyone has been in business for 30 years. Those guys need to have a way to start getting customers to spread that word of mouth. Just because you're marketing doesn't mean you're trying to get rich quick.

            Hard work won't matter if you have no customers. If you have customers it won't matter if you don't work hard for them; you'll end up on a treadmill trying to replace them with new customers.

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            • #81
              Re: Marketing Fundamentals

              Originally posted by Big Jim
              Look, it takes time to build a successful business, but the quickest way is to be the best at what you do. Along with proper pricing and good service. If you're the best it won't take long for the word to spread.
              You forgot marketing...again. I have been in business less than 2 years and I am successful. I make far more than the average plumber's salary in my area and I am extremely busy everyday. Sure, word-of-mouth is great, but I certainly can't live on it at this early stage of busness. If I didn't market myself or advertise, I wouldn't even own a business at all right now.
              You don't seem to understand this simple fact.

              What about guys that already working hard, giving good prices, doing good work and yet are very slow??? Mayebe they are the best plumber in town technically speaking, but they don't have any business sense. (Which is very common.) What do you tell them? Being a good tradesmen doesn't make you a good businessman.
              Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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              • #82
                Re: Marketing Fundamentals

                Originally posted by cpw View Post
                Rick,

                Your marketing is word of mouth, which is fine. It is cost effective (read free); and just comes from doing a good job. Not everyone has been in business for 30 years. Those guys need to have a way to start getting customers to spread that word of mouth. Just because you're marketing doesn't mean you're trying to get rich quick.

                Hard work won't matter if you have no customers. If you have customers it won't matter if you don't work hard for them; you'll end up on a treadmill trying to replace them with new customers.
                Exactly. This fact is so obvious and so simple, its amazing that some guys don't get it.
                Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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                • #83
                  Re: Marketing Fundamentals

                  Originally posted by cpw View Post
                  Rick,

                  Your marketing is word of mouth, which is fine. It is cost effective (read free); and just comes from doing a good job. Not everyone has been in business for 30 years.

                  never said i was in business for 30 years. i've been plumbing for 33 years and on my own for 11.

                  Those guys need to have a way to start getting customers to spread that word of mouth. Just because you're marketing doesn't mean you're trying to get rich quick.

                  it takes years of learning the trade to get good at what you do. putting in the time will eventually pay off. what i see with new companies out here is young inexperienced guys either working for themselves or for companies that charge a lot of money for someone with no license or formal training. there are literally 30 pages of ads in the yellow pages of our local book. lots of them are new licenses and others are license pending. companies spending thousands of dollars a month that don't even have a 1 year track record.

                  get established in your community. if your community supports you, you're doing something right.

                  why is it that i get door hangers from companies 30-40 miles away. including leonards and the newest one on saturday that starts off " i didn't walk on your lawn to deliver this" really you squeezed through my driveway in the rain

                  Hard work won't matter if you have no customers. If you have customers it won't matter if you don't work hard for them; you'll end up on a treadmill trying to replace them with new customers.
                  hard work will pay off with new customers.

                  you can market yourself all you want. but without working hard, knowing the trade and pricing yourself appropriately, you'll have to keep marketing yourself to find a new pool of customers.

                  there's a few local companies that solicit other companies to buy them. all they need is a company with a good reputation and change the way they do business. how do i know? my shop is 5 doors down from them. i did a job for them, first and last time, i get their solicitation letters and i hear from their former customers.

                  now if they worked as hard hiring real plumbers that know the trade, then they wouldn't have to keep coming up with plans to bait and switch. they keep the old companies name and phone #'s. but they change the employees and pricing structure. they also have more trucks that sit than go out.

                  more hard work, knowledgeable employees, and competitive pricing. last i heard they laid off 50 guys. didn't say 50 licensed plumbers.
                  less marketing.

                  rick.
                  phoebe it is

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                  • #84
                    Re: Marketing Fundamentals

                    These are some pretty good opinions from guys who have started,built up and now are ready to move on.

                    Rick you don't even crawl anymore.
                    Your done.

                    You started off when people were puking money.

                    You've been down the road and made the mistakes when times were the best you will ever see.I was there raking it in too.

                    You work hard.

                    These days a guys is going to need more than a good heart.He/Me better be out there bustin' his butt to get the word out.

                    I'm not worried about impressing once they call.
                    I just need them to call me when the have their once in a decade plumbing issue.

                    I appreciate all the help I can get from others getting my phone to ring.

                    ADAM

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                    • #85
                      Re: Marketing Fundamentals

                      Originally posted by drtyhands View Post

                      These days a guys is going to need more than a good heart.He/Me better be out there bustin' his butt to get the word out.

                      I'm not worried about impressing once they call.
                      I just need them to call me when the have their once in a decade plumbing issue.

                      I appreciate all the help I can get from others getting my phone to ring.

                      ADAM
                      RIGHT ON! I'd help Adam, but my market area is radically different than yours, so the marketing tactics I use effectively in my area wouldn't likely work the same in your area.

                      I do recommend certain things that seem to work in EVERY market. I'll send you a PM.
                      Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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                      • #86
                        Re: Marketing Fundamentals

                        Originally posted by Big Jim
                        Methinks he doth protest too much.

                        There's only one question you need to ask yourself.
                        Can you trust a guy that dresses his turds in little hats?
                        Wow, another useless, uninformative post from you. If you have nothing constructive to share about marketing ideas, then the least you could do is butt out, and let Mike teach his methods to those willing to learn. You obviously aren't interested, so the only reason you are posting in this thread is to be disruptive.
                        Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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                        • #87
                          Re: Marketing Fundamentals

                          He's just teasing Carl,
                          Thanks for the private message.It helps to have support.I'm not in emergency status I just want to get this ball rolling in a non step wasting manner.

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                          • #88
                            Re: Marketing Fundamentals

                            finally got through all of this. damn, i'm spent

                            anyway i'm a one band band drain cleaner, in a small market with a small market mentality. that's the market not me, but i need to be able to market to my market.

                            when i 1st started out (less than 3 years ago) i put as newspaper add in that said,"there's a NEW snake on island" and listed my number, name, what i did, the tag line "we'll get your water flowing" and it had a border that said, "cut & save". people cut it out and kept it

                            after i was in business for a while the ad changed but the border stayed. it still works

                            i came up with a HEADLINE:
                            if your drains don't
                            if your flushes won't
                            if you water just backs up
                            don't call a plumber
                            calll SewerSnake

                            and the same tag line

                            i did a TV spot around the same HEADLINE and Tag Line. it works

                            i have a simple phone book ad (only 1 phone book here) and it waorks because snowbirds and new people, and west indians use the phone book.

                            i print up business cards on my computer and have handed out over 1,500 since day one.

                            my van is a rolling billboard, and everytime i go out (except for pleasure) i'm wearing a company shirty. people behind me in the bank line or elsewhere have become customers.

                            even a negative radio spot from my competition has led to jobs.

                            YMMV but this sure works for me.

                            i'll keep reading but i'd like some meat and potatoes soon. or maybe some Stewed Conch and Fungi

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

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                            • #89
                              Re: Marketing Fundamentals

                              Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
                              Wow, another useless, uninformative post from you. If you have nothing constructive to share about marketing ideas, then the least you could do is butt out, and let Mike teach his methods to those willing to learn. You obviously aren't interested, so the only reason you are posting in this thread is to be disruptive.

                              He is just messing with you...dont ever forget how to laugh at yourself. Heck, dont ever forget how to laugh at someone else...say hi to Mr. Hinky, or hanky?? I cant remember.

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                              • #90
                                Re: Marketing Fundamentals

                                For you guys that have been sucked into this guys line of BS I feel kind of bad because I wish I could have found a way to get your dollar first so I suppose he is good at something In 11 pages he has given you absolutly nothing that you didn't already know. Like I said before, you can sit in some 500 dollar seminar and have some schmuck tell you the bleeping obvious or you can get your butt out the door and go to work. If there is no work in your area than you need to move. Maybe your market isn't big enough to support a half dozen plumbing companies. Maybe you can't compete because you aren't big enough or don't offer competitive prices or services. In that case change or move. listening to endless advice about cards, banners, pens or whatever is all just plain fluff and crap. You can't afford that kind of outlay untill your business is making a spendable profit. Mike is no plumber he's leading up to getting you to spend your money on his plan. Real plumbers don't screw around with this crap, they work.
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