Marketing recommendations of things to do that will differentiate your company from others

A customer asked me what type of things they could do that would stand out from their competitors. We were discussing something about how the company sends out notice of a sale on water heaters and I quickly came back with, water heaters are boring! Who cares about a water heater sale? Really, if you need a water heater, it would be nice if it is on sale, but when you need a water heater most people don’t go out shopping the “water heater sales”

My point is that the consumers are tired of being sold things. Consumers are bombarded with postcards, phone calls, flyers, brochures and all types of media blasts trying to sell them things.

A couple ideas came to mind of how a plumbing company can differentiate themselves from the “average” competitor. I will address one such idea in this blog and may continue with some others in future posts.

Getting back to the sales thing, I believe that is not always a good strategy. In plumbing there are so many innovative products that most consumers don’t know about. If a plumber takes the time to educate the consumer about certain products, the consumer is smart enough to decide if that is an appropriate product. There are on demand water re-circulators that save water and get hot water faster to the tap, automatic water shutoffs and leak detectors, solar hot water heaters, seismic valves, tankless hot water heaters, radiant heating and so much more. I believe that education about innovative products can become a great value added service. First of all this is perceived as non threatening, because you have switched from a plumber trying to sell something, to an “ambassador of goodwill” that teaches the consumer about different options they did not know about. So, now you become the local expert and the consumer will realize that you are not just looking to sell them something. If you present one new product a month and let your customer’s know what the features and benefits are and how it works, I believe that will go a long way in building a relationship with your customers as they will start to realize that you are the local expert and can assist them with any plumbing problems or challenges they may have.

Also, this empowers your customers with the knowledge they need to make an informed decision if a particular product is of interest. If the product is appropriate for the consumer and you have educated them properly as to the details, then they will ask for it and now you have a consumer asking to purchase a product that they want or need rather than you trying to sell them something!

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