I just got a crazy idea.
As part of your plumbing maintenance and/or another service, does anyone offer “winterizing?” Here we are closing a year and beginning a new one – what a great time to write up a simple script and call your existing customer base to ask if they need anything winterized.
I realize those of you above the Mason-Dixon line have mostly frost-proof faucets, etc., but what about all the other stuff your customer owns…the overlooked stuff? You know, the generators, motorhomes, boats, cars, go-karts, motorcycles. Okay, a little overboard on the variety, perhaps, because not everyone has those things, but most everyone has something.
Shoot, I know it’s the dead of winter, but some things still need taken care of, and they’re a pain…but a better word for it would be an inconvenience.
I would gladly pay to have my motorhome winterized each year. What a pain, and as a homeowner, it’s just another ‘thing,’ an item on my already busy honey-do list that the honey doesn’t even ask me to do – it’s really the list that I know I have to do, but it eats into my focus time, my playtime, my fun work time.
I forgot to winterize my boat once; that cost me a new engine.
If I buy a new motorcycle or ATV and the former owner just added water, not antifreeze, well, that means an expensive trip to the Powersports dealer.
I hear all the time people agonizing over slow seasons, but I’m here to tell you, there’s no such thing as slow seasons if you just think about everything that you are capable of doing. Proactive winterizing would be a great thing to offer in the slow fall. But hey, why not in the winter, too, if you already missed your shot at the fall? You can even use the weather forecast in your script to make it more relevant and time-sensitive. “Mr. Jones, this is Rodney over at Best Plumbing. The forecast says it is going to drop down to freezing temperatures tonight. Have you winterized your home this year? I’m going to be in your area this afternoon; would you like me to stop by and winterize your home and any other things you have in your possession that could be at risk for freeze damage? I’m running a special for $______; did you know that a typical frozen pipe/frozen _____ can cost you upwards of $_____?”
Just throwing out some ideas for fun.
I had a plumber re-pipe most of my house a couple of years ago and had him add two faucets for my hot tub. Hot and cold.
I was not there when he did it (how often have you heard that?), and he just put regular faucets on my deck with no frost protection.
I’m in Georgia, but it is North Georgia; we have already had about four nights get below 32 (cry me a river, right?) but usually have a few low 20’s, and every two or three years, we might get a night or two in the teens.
So, I try to remember to put the Styrofoam covers on, but my plumber did tell me that they have never had one freeze yet. I bet he gets 35 miles per gallon with his service truck, also.
A professional pair of eyes might remind me to add those Styrofoam covers on my non-frost proof faucets. That professional pair of eyes could be yours! And if you keep good notes in your system, you could run through and check everyone who doesn’t have frost-proof pipes; you could even check if you noted from a previous visit that they had a boat or a motorcycle or another gadget. There are so many possibilities!
Continue to let your customers know how helpful you are and in all the ways that you can help them. Maybe you aren’t in plumbing, but what else could you be helpful with right now? It could be something as simple as going around and offering to collect dead Christmas trees! There is always something you can do with your abilities and with the equipment you own. Write out your plan and follow the plan to execute the new marketing initiative.
By the way, I have some good news. These seasons, as I’ve noticed, tend to cycle! So, once you see something working, go ahead and put it on your marketing calendar for the next year. You don’t have to reinvent the strategy. If your winterizing campaign works, they’ll need it every year as long as winters continue to show up!
Be safe out there.
Rodney Koop is the founder and CEO of The New Flat Rate.
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