All restorers crave plumber referrals. However, far too many are being held hostage due to their “plumber addiction” and the “ransoms” that their plumbers are constantly increasing. Some weeks ago I shared how we motivate plumbers to happily refer us for free! If you don’t remember my initial steps please review them before reading further.
Now that your initial research has been accomplished it is time to put THE PLAN together. The purpose of this plan is simply to target those plumbers who will gladly refer your company by orienting them on the “Leverage” you bring to the table.
For the restorer that is well known and highly respected within the plumbing community, a pre-scheduled telephone contact with plumbers will probably be adequate. But let’s assume you are lacking in name recognition and need a method for grabbing a) maximum results in the b) least amount of time with as c) little of out of pocket expenses as possible. (Actually even long term companies will like this combination!) So what to do???
First off, you simply cannot afford to sit around the phone like the Maytag repair man waiting for it to ring! It simply isn’t going to happen. You need a much more aggressive plan that will yield excellent results in a relatively short period of time.
In our own service company we adopted the mantra of “We’ll take the game to them.” So we approached plumbers with ideas and concepts that will help them better serve and grow their OWN business. (Now that is motivation.)
We wanted maximum exposure for the least amount of cost and most importantly to get the Buzz started in our community which would grab the attention of plumbers.
A simple Press Release (download a sample one below) will grab the attention of plumbers and the community as a whole. Submit this to your local newspapers and also send a copy to every plumber in your market area that you wish to build a relationship with.
NOTE: Newspapers are usually thrilled to run this release free of charge to fill dead unpaid advertising space. Even better, this tactic will give you a lot of credibility as a community minded service operator.
When mailing to your plumbing list also send a copy of the Referral Network form (a sample form is also in the below download) and a self addressed STAMPED envelope. (Use a real stamp.) It is amazing the number of plumbers who complete and send this form back to you. When you receive a filled-out Referral Network form the rules of the game change. Now all of a sudden they are waiting for you to call them to discuss the idea! Others may actually give you a call. If so- great!
However, don’t wait for plumbers to contact you. You must also take the scary step of reaching out to them! However, remember that your plumber Prospect will have already received your Press Release mailing and be expecting your call. So this step is easier than you may think.
I’ve never been one to use scripted material for introductions however it is good to have a simple outline in front of you that will structure your conversation. The best advice when calling plumbers (or any of the niche group) is to be yourself. Think about it; you have already piqued their interest or they wouldn’t have completed the Referral Network form. When they sent it back to you they were basically saying, “I’m interested in your Referral Network. Call me please and let’s talk!”
Most plumbers do not have fancy offices that you will meet at. Like a lot of cleaners they work out of their “rolling office” better known as their truck! Plumbers are very receptive to being taken to lunch for a meet and greet. Or it is even easier to set a breakfast appointment. Most plumbers are early out of the gate in the morning and an early morning breakfast meeting means you get in first before they start receiving those wonderful emergency water loss calls!
PS You don’t need to wine and dine plumbers at fancy restaurants. Local diners or any of the franchise chains like Applebees or Chiles etc. work just fine. Let your plumber suggest the location and time that works best for him.
NOTE: However, think twice before taking male contacts to Hooters or any other establishment that will cause a “distraction” for your guest. Hooters may serve some awesome wings but we all know their “main attraction” is and frankly, if I am buying a plumber, agent or adjuster lunch, I feel that he should be giving ME the attention that I deserve!
Download: Plumber Referrals Paperwork
Ivan Turner is the CEO of ShowMe Marketing Solutions. ShowMe Marketing helps cleaning & restoration companies grow in a very competitive industry. Ivan has authored two books- Marketing to Agents & Adjusters, Plumbers and Building a Successful Cleaning & Restoration Business and has been published in “Millionaire Blueprints” and “ICS” magazine. ShowMe Marketing also offers a comprehensive Employee Policy Manual package that can be customized to fit your business. Contact Ivan at (573) 291-0234 or check out showmemarketingsolutions.com