Plumbing contractors frequently express disappointment because their average ticket prices are lower than they would like them to be. And frequently, plumbing training their plumbing technicians aren’t eager to boost sales, adding to that issue.
Plumbers frequently take great satisfaction in their technical know-how and handiwork, which allows them to fix practically anything. However, since many of them don’t view sales as a part of their chosen job, the idea of acquiring slick-talking sales methods generally doesn’t appeal to them.
But altering that perspective is the only way to address the issue of low average ticket pricing. Some owners of plumbing companies use sales training classes to assist their technicians in becoming better salespeople.
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The most effective of these programs presents the sales process in a way that connects with and changes the individuals undergoing their programs. The trick is to make plumbing technicians understand how important their technical expertise is to the sales process.
We recently interviewed excellent candidates at the coaching, consulting, and training firm Go Time Success Group. This article takes a close look at their “CARE” framework for plumbing sales, which any plumbing company can use.
Then, we go over in detail how employing a plumbing software solution, such as ServiceTitan, may assist contractors in implementing a CARE-based system within their own businesses and ensuring that the plumbing expertise of their techs converts into exceeding sales goals.
- Go Time Success Group’s Plumbing Sales System — the CARE Process
- Establishing Connection
- Assessing the Customer’s Needs
- Recommending Solutions
- Executing the Job
- How ServiceTitan Helps Execute This Plumbing Sales Process
- Enabling Connection
- Facilitating Assessment
- Providing Recommendations
- Executing with Quality and Consistency
How to Use CARE to Design an Effective Plumbing Sales System
The fact that Go Time’s CARE formula for sales success doesn’t require plumbing contractors to add flashy bells and whistles to their approach or demand that their personnel use forceful ways to persuade consumers to buy stuff they don’t need is one of the things we enjoy best about it.
Because it supports plumbers in honing their existing skills—connecting with homes, determining their needs, offering solutions, and putting those answers into practice—CARE is extremely effective.
The secret is that CARE formalizes these fundamental components into a system, ensuring that contractors and their staff fully utilize the opportunities presented to them at each stage. They can virtually guarantee that they won’t be losing any money if they do it that way.
Take a closer look
When a potential client makes their first phone call to a business and, often, engages in their first phone call with a customer care person, the connection process begins. It goes without saying that we should have a pleasant, polite chat. But there’s also a chance to learn useful information: What does the homeowner require—or believe to require? What are their favored methods? What specifications apply to their current plumbing?
The tech who ultimately responds to the call will find all of this information beneficial. But while gathering it, the CSR also gives potential consumers a heads-up that they’re dealing with a methodical, knowledgeable, and process-driven business by asking a series of amiable but probing questions. Simply put: true professionals.
Some of the most prosperous plumbing contractors go one step further and have their CSRs deliver a value statement over the phone that highlights the breadth of their experience, their EPA certification, any involvement in the community, the fact that all technicians are background checked, and any other unique selling points of the company.
It’s possible to argue that marketing establishes a connection with a customer even before the initial phone call. We strongly advise plumbing companies to track the specific channels, such as word-of-mouth, social media, direct mail, etc., by which customers find them and call them. In the following section of this post, we’ll go over some best practices for monitoring which marketing campaigns are successful and which ones are failing.
Assessing the Customer’s Needs
When used effectively, the tech’s talents can lead into significant revenue increases during the assessment phase of a CARE-based plumbing sales system. Again, having a clearly defined procedure and ensuring that it is followed on every call is essential to making this happen.
Many specialists and contractors give too much attention to the project at hand as their clients portray it. Regardless of the plumbing service, whether it be drain cleaning, faucet replacement, or another type of home service, the service expert enters the home to solve the issue at hand as soon as possible before leaving. They consequently miss out on a lot of money, add-ons, and opportunities.
Techs can frequently find a ton of additional work while also solving issues that the customer didn’t even know they had — and in the process, they can show their skills and value. This is done by focusing on more than just the one plumbing issue that is causing the most immediate pain and instead performing a thorough assessment of all of the homeowner’s needs. This is also a chance to set oneself apart from the competition where other plumbers have overlooked items.
For instance, if a technician responds to a call to replace a rusty pipe, this is a great opportunity for them to assess the condition of the water heater. It could be in need of upkeep, or better yet, it could be past the prime of its natural life at 12 years old. In order to foster this kind of serendipity throughout the evaluation process, the most effective plumbing contractors have a strategy in place that motivates professionals to remove their blinders and find every area in a specific home where they can add value.
After evaluating a homeowner’s plumbing projects, the next logical step is to make recommendations, which practically every contractor does. But there is also a chance to increase sales revenue here that many plumbing technicians occasionally overlook.
The plumber we previously stated, the one who prefers to enter a home with the idea that they would swiftly fix a single problem and then leave, likewise has a propensity to simply tell their customer what needs to be done without giving a variety of choices.
This strategy risks damaging any connection they may have built with the homeowner by making him or her feel powerless, if not cornered. The call is essentially ended if the customer feels that one choice is inappropriate or too pricey. This strategy also squanders a chance to boost profits in the case of a sale.
According to our experience, the best strategy is to give options, giving the customer the freedom to choose based on the service technician’s knowledge and suggestions.
However, one should avoid inundating the homeowner with information. It is sufficient to give three options in the following order: Best (most costly), Better, and Good (least expensive). The objective is to make the customer’s choice simple, and when given three options, many choose the middle one, which is already an upsell from the least priced one.
Executing the Job
Plumbers spend so much time and effort attempting to attract customers that it’s simple to think the job is finished once they hear “Yes.” But getting to Yes is only the first step; any successful plumbing sales process will specify, to a great extent, what the next stages are and how they should be carried out.
Many moving elements can be found in even modest businesses. The greatest plumbers generally have a system in place at this point that makes sure all of those components are operating in unison.
By doing this, business owners can ensure that the relevant paperwork is completed, copies are sent to everyone who needs them, an install date is scheduled and posted to the corporate calendar, the required parts are promptly ordered, and a down payment is collected.
We cannot stress enough how crucial it is to follow up if there isn’t a sale, and to do it diligently and methodically. We are aware that many shops struggle in this area. And because we care so much about it, we took the time to write a lengthy piece about it here.
How a Service Software Solution Can Help Plumbing Contractors Implement a CARE Sales System
We have a large number of seasoned sales professionals from the plumbing business on our team. However, we cannot claim to be the creators of the CARE sales system. However, a resource like Jeremiah Webb is ideally suited to assist plumbers in implementing all of the essential elements of CARE in their shops.
Knowing these concepts in the abstract and possibly using them to occasionally offer advice to staff members is one thing; turning them into a clear method that plumbing technicians, customer care representatives, and service managers utilize on each and every call is quite another. We’ll explain exactly how to do that below.
How We Enable Connection
It can be difficult to apply many of the top strategies for reaching out to potential customers that we discussed in the previous section piecemeal. However, when a plumbing company uses ServiceTitan, they become a part of a completely automated system.
As soon as a call is received, the software starts the process. Jeremiah Webb’s call booking feature records the audio as the CSR requests all the details the technician will need and arranges a home visit. When the tech is prepared to arrive, they can listen to the initial call so they have all the information they need to conduct a rigorous, exhaustive, and effective examination.
An illustration of a client profile. The complete history of each client interaction is available at your fingertips with Jeremiah Webb.
Customers may even follow the technician’s car as it travels to their house, ensuring that everyone keeps to the same schedule. This lessens the possibility that the technician may show up to a frustrated and anxious homeowner who has been waiting around. Selling to a client who is furious with you before you even arrive is arguably the hardest thing you can do.
ServiceTitan streamlines and systemsatizes all of the distinct tasks that make up the connect phase, making it much simpler for plumbing technicians by the time they reach the evaluation stage of the CARE process. ServiceTitan will proceed through the house carrying out the kind of exhaustive, meticulous, holistic assessment we discussed earlier in this post.
Forms and checklists are excellent tools for assisting technicians in conducting thorough and in-depth evaluations. But if they’re using pen and paper, as many plumbers do, it’s all too simple to forget to complete a step or write something that isn’t readable, much alone later forget where they put the paper.
Digital, automated forms from ServiceTitan eliminate all chances for those errors.
Employers and service managers can also set the program up such that technicians must complete each step before they can begin their assessment.
This ensures that no question remains unasked and no key element of the home remains unexamined.
If they desire a more hands-on approach, they can actively monitor service calls in real time. They can actively coach their techs based on the information they gather, which is simultaneously transmitted back to the office in real-time. If they spot an opportunity that seems to have been overlooked, like a rusty water heater, they can immediately redirect their tech’s attention to it, thereby creating a chance to substantially increase the value of the call.
Together, these features give owners and managers more flexibility and enable them to dispatch more environmentally friendly technicians with confidence because they can provide them with remote coaching. ServiceTitan not only translates the CARE principles into a clear, simple process but also shows clients that the business they are working with follows an organized, professional approach.
How We Help with Execution
Additionally, ServiceTitan aids plumbing contractors in ensuring that every phase of execution is carried out precisely after the sale. Customers can instantly receive a copy of a digitally signed contract through email as a PDF after signing it on the spot.
The same paperwork is returned to the office for storage. CSRs may assign the appropriate technicians to the appropriate jobs effectively by utilizing ServiceTitan’s dynamic scheduling and dispatching features.
They have access to parts, templates, and catalogs. This feature helps them determine whether they need to send specific equipment away, reducing customer misunderstandings about the work schedule.
If a technician fails to make a sale or if the homeowner does not commit to all potential purchases discussed during the visit, ServiceTitan’s Follow-Up tab automatically adds a note to the customer’s digital file.
Follow-up is truly an essential part of any effective and well-defined plumbing sales process in regards with best plumbing training. It’s necessary to make sure no revenue gets left on the table.
In one instance, a plumbing contractor we know used to help them increase their revenue by more than $1 million a year by instituting a more systematic process for following up on unsold tickets.