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www.DunbarPlumbing.com
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Discussion Starter #1
Customer called today, a repeat customer of mine. Good distance from the shop, 10 miles.

I put a sump pump in for him but still do not remember who this fellow is from last year.

Apparently his dad or someone put in a shower valve in and it's messed up. He explained some of the specifics.


He wanted me to "come over and look at it, give him a price" and I instantly told hime to snap a digital picture and I'll tell him exactly what boat he's in.

What I was avoiding is a trip where I'm wasting my time, no faucet if it leans that way, blah blah blah.

Now,

If someone is serious about using my company and services, I would expect the pictures to show up in my email account along with a call to see if I got the images. <<< I do this all the time and it is using a resource that's extremely valuable.

Well, the fellow didn't send me an email, I called him a couple hours ago and didn't get a response, and I'm assuming at this point I just saved myself a hustle from someone who was just willing to waste my time just to get a quote.


Otherwise, I would be looking at digital images in my email.


Have you all done this, for the reason of simplicity and save yourself from those who hustle a free estimate?


This turning into a No Sale situation doesn't bother me, even with it being a repeat customer because I should be trusted on the first experience when I was there before. To bribe me into the equation by not thinking my personal time is valued, meaning the 20+ mile drive and over 1.30 tops just looking at something I could get browbeat on?


I feel good about it. I'd rather lose a job from my office than ever lose a job driving to find out the same thing.
 

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I aint CPV see in it?
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Service fees are great. Most NORMAL people realize, that if you want me to DIAGNOSIS something, it aint gonna be free. But, that is one good way to DIAGNOSIS something right there.

Google earth comes to mind. I have talked with customers on the phone, and given estimates to replace their sewer lines while looking at there house on the internet. It really freaks them out when you compliment how pretty the mailbox looks, and the color of the home. It blows their mind, and makes them think that "These guys really KNOW what they are doing", think about it, your looking at their home while on the phone, the yard and all, and most older people, have no idea how your doing that.:thumbsup:
 

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Service fees are great. Most NORMAL people realize, that if you want me to DIAGNOSIS something, it aint gonna be free. But, that is one good way to DIAGNOSIS something right there.

Google earth comes to mind. I have talked with customers on the phone, and given estimates to replace their sewer lines while looking at there house on the internet. It really freaks them out when you compliment how pretty the mailbox looks, and the color of the home. It blows their mind, and makes them think that "These guys really KNOW what they are doing", think about it, your looking at their home while on the phone, the yard and all, and most older people, have no idea how your doing that.:thumbsup:
I like that google earth idea! :thumbup:
 

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Certified Lunatic
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Google earth comes to mind. I have talked with customers on the phone, and given estimates to replace their sewer lines while looking at there house on the internet.
I have done the same thing many times. Talking ballpark only...
The firm estimate comes after the camera and locate...

"How did you know my line comes out under a concrete patio and runs by that big maple tree?":laughing:

I've also told other guys where to find the septic tank from looking at different angles...:laughing:

It seems like many of them are in different seasons...
A green rectangle in the winter and a brown rectangle in the summer...:whistling2:
 

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Hey Steve, yes I have....My Mother-in-law had a faucet in her RV go bad, she was down south so she called me...I told her to send me the pics...sure enough I coached her through it and she was able to change out the stems on her own. Gotta love technology.
 

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Always Something
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I do this all the time. I have them take pics of the name plate on their tankless so I can check for history and warranty, as well as ppl that live kinda far away or if I can't get to them for a little bit. Then again, I have had to walk ppl through uploading the image, than resizing it then emailing it to me....thankfully that doesn't happen really anymore. I use as much technology as I am convinced it works. I don't skype...tried it, the compression engine sucks.


edit: this was my 1,111 post.....just for you Dunbar! now go clean your truck.
 
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The Old (antique) Master
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This is a good topic and we should explore more ways to use it!

#1 Links on a web site to manufactures, on my site there is a products page. Granted some times you don't want to give a customer too much but you can control where you take them. e.g. Crown Boiler I just wanted to get them to Mega Store tanks. http://www.crownboiler.com/products/indirect/mega_stor.asp
Once on the site they can jump around but my intent was to get them to the product I want to sell. Some times I will go on google and copy a picture from a site. I then copy that right on a quote. It becomes part of the contract.
#2 Keeping a customer data base. Name address and phone is not enough. When applicable I keep a wife's first name on file, I also keep on file what is in the house. IE type/make of fixtures and faucets. Special Items like a crane with china spouts and the alert don't let the valve bodies turn. Another item is, I read the obituaries and when a customer, or spouse passes away I make the change. When a man dies it becomes very embarrassing when 6 months later you send a bill to
Mr. John Smith -- when it should have gone to Mrs. John Smith. Or better yet Mrs. Barbara Smith.
#3 Lastly I have for about 6 years I have been building a customer e-mail list. Nothing cheaper in advertising that sending out a e-mail news letter or an advertisment on e-mail. Or just a simple announcement of something like a reminder that a filter should be changed. Or take hoses off your outside faucets. (Cold Weather part of the country) In spring I alert them to checking as soon as they start to use outside hydrants -- to make sure no water is getting into the basement. Had one one time where some guy came out to pressure wash went on a broken outside and had it on all day. Yep 3" water in the basement lots of damage to stored items.
I'm sure there are hundred's more lets make a list!
 

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wow, I never though about, thank you, guys, for great advice about earth google:)
But we still go for FREE for second time customer. Just don't want to loose customer, it's hard to build long term relationship with customers, most of the time we get the second, third job from the same customer just because they are our customers, but I wish to charge them for visit. Too many competitors to be so picky:(
 

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&#1641;(&#865;&#3663;&#815;&#865;&#3663;)&#1782;&#
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I do the same thing for solar customers all the time. I already have the system designed for their roof and proposal in hand when I show up for the sale. Makes ya look all johnny on the spot.

Service fees are great. Most NORMAL people realize, that if you want me to DIAGNOSIS something, it aint gonna be free. But, that is one good way to DIAGNOSIS something right there.

Google earth comes to mind. I have talked with customers on the phone, and given estimates to replace their sewer lines while looking at there house on the internet. It really freaks them out when you compliment how pretty the mailbox looks, and the color of the home. It blows their mind, and makes them think that "These guys really KNOW what they are doing", think about it, your looking at their home while on the phone, the yard and all, and most older people, have no idea how your doing that.:thumbsup:
 

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www.DunbarPlumbing.com
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Discussion Starter #17
Update on this thread

This fellow actually called back this morning, told me he tried to send the pictures yesterday and kicked back. He was trying to send them all *5* which won't work.



If he cannot get the trim kit back on, along with full motion of the crystal handle, I'll probably be replacing that faucet inside that wall through the front of that wall.

Done it plenty of times and I love the challenge. I even tell people that I'm the only plumber in town that can do it without a remodel plate or access to the backside.

That's cocky, but who cares; it makes me money. :yes:

First thing I'm going to do if I have to replace instead of rebuild is drop that valve to center the hole, then diamond blade the maximum opening so I can work inside there and the hole still get covered up.


Another repeat customer called today for an estimate that was 9 miles away, told her I can go walk in my bathroom and see basically the same thing as she's describing.

She agreed and I'm set for next saturday after the new ceramic tile sets for 48 hours and I'm installing another Champion 4 toilet, vanity sink/cabinet/faucet combo and rebuilding a 600 series delta like pictured above.
 

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www.DunbarPlumbing.com
Joined
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5,478 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
This is a good topic and we should explore more ways to use it!

#1 Links on a web site to manufactures, on my site there is a products page. Granted some times you don't want to give a customer too much but you can control where you take them. e.g. Crown Boiler I just wanted to get them to Mega Store tanks. http://www.crownboiler.com/products/indirect/mega_stor.asp
Once on the site they can jump around but my intent was to get them to the product I want to sell. Some times I will go on google and copy a picture from a site. I then copy that right on a quote. It becomes part of the contract.
#2 Keeping a customer data base. Name address and phone is not enough. When applicable I keep a wife's first name on file, I also keep on file what is in the house. IE type/make of fixtures and faucets. Special Items like a crane with china spouts and the alert don't let the valve bodies turn. Another item is, I read the obituaries and when a customer, or spouse passes away I make the change. When a man dies it becomes very embarrassing when 6 months later you send a bill to
Mr. John Smith -- when it should have gone to Mrs. John Smith. Or better yet Mrs. Barbara Smith.
#3 Lastly I have for about 6 years I have been building a customer e-mail list. Nothing cheaper in advertising that sending out a e-mail news letter or an advertisment on e-mail. Or just a simple announcement of something like a reminder that a filter should be changed. Or take hoses off your outside faucets. (Cold Weather part of the country) In spring I alert them to checking as soon as they start to use outside hydrants -- to make sure no water is getting into the basement. Had one one time where some guy came out to pressure wash went on a broken outside and had it on all day. Yep 3" water in the basement lots of damage to stored items.
I'm sure there are hundred's more lets make a list!
Top notch Plumber Bill. You're doing great and I won't call you an old timer, but for you to know the internet like you just mentioned, that's a plus.

Too often people can't even check their damn emails, they get frustrated and give up.

Once you know the internet and how it works, it's freaking unbelievable how we managed back in the years before computers. How freaking inefficient things really were.
 

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www.DunbarPlumbing.com
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5,478 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
i'l be in mason saturday. should i bring my grandkids down and finish cleaning out you truck? they have hazmat suits lol. breid................:rockon:


lol! We gotter done verge! Nobody got hurt either! There's some mcdonald's food going bad in the box van but with it being so cold I guess it froze.
 

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This fellow actually called back this morning, told me he tried to send the pictures yesterday and kicked back. He was trying to send them all *5* which won't work.



If he cannot get the trim kit back on, along with full motion of the crystal handle, I'll probably be replacing that faucet inside that wall through the front of that wall.

Done it plenty of times and I love the challenge. I even tell people that I'm the only plumber in town that can do it without a remodel plate or access to the backside.

That's cocky, but who cares; it makes me money. :yes:

First thing I'm going to do if I have to replace instead of rebuild is drop that valve to center the hole, then diamond blade the maximum opening so I can work inside there and the hole still get covered up.


Another repeat customer called today for an estimate that was 9 miles away, told her I can go walk in my bathroom and see basically the same thing as she's describing.

She agreed and I'm set for next saturday after the new ceramic tile sets for 48 hours and I'm installing another Champion 4 toilet, vanity sink/cabinet/faucet combo and rebuilding a 600 series delta like pictured above.
Dunbar
I love those too. That customer, & jack ash tile man that says "hey, the tiles all done, now lets call the plumber.
This is where I use my super duper Ridgid electric solder gun. It works awesome, & you don't burn the house down, cuz I don't think you can get propress in there.
Now if your really good, I wanna see you put in a personal shower opening, & maybe a couple body sprays, with volume controls:laughing:
 
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