Any owner of a plumbing or HVAC business can tell you what their biggest fear is:
When the phones aren’t ringing, you aren’t booking jobs.
And when you aren’t booking jobs, you aren’t getting enough cash flow to pay your techs and keep the lights on.
So, as someone with roughly 25 years of experience in the industry, I know how important it is to market your business—especially on the Internet, which is where everyone is turning to find a plumber or HVAC technician these days.
That’s why I was paying a marketing company $55K a month to manage my online presence a few years ago.
But there was one problem...
I was hemorrhaging money.
That marketing company was delivering junk leads that didn’t create any real revenue.
I was wasting so much money, I started to think Internet marketing was a scam.
But right when I was ready to give up on Internet marketing all together, I found a solution that not only worked, but doubled my sales while cutting my marketing budget in half.
You see, it wasn’t Internet marketing that was the problem, it was who I was marketing with.
I had to find the right partner.
A partner not focused on meaningless statistics like impressions and clicks, but dollars and cents and SENSE...
Calls. Jobs. Revenue.
My Yellow Pages Epiphany: Saying Goodbye to Fear-Based Marketing
Let’s backtrack 15+ years.
It was the era when the Yellow Pages reigned supreme in plumbing and HVAC advertising.
Like everyone else in the industry, the phone book was how I got new customers.
But with a company name like Winters Home Services, my listing was always in the back of the book, so I had to spend money on ads if I wanted customers to find me.
And that’s exactly what I did.
I never gave that strategy a second thought...I’d receive a call from a Yellow Pages rep asking me to sign on for another year, and I’d do it, no questions asked, afraid that—if I didn’t—the calls would stop.
But after a few years of unwavering loyalty, I started to wonder if I was spending my money in the wisest way because I had no way of knowing whether my ads in the Yellow Pages were actually paying off.
So, on a leap of faith, I finally decided to cancel my contract with the Yellow Pages, and move my entire advertising budget to Internet advertising.
Broken Trust and Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars Lost
Making the switch from the Yellow Pages to Internet advertising had to be the right choice, right? After all, the Internet was the way of the future!
But I have to be honest with you...I had a lot doubts and a lot of initial regrets about the decision.
I worked with a lot of shady players—seven to be exact—who kept eagerly taking my money, while delivering little in the way of results for my business. I was spending an arm and a leg on marketing that wasn’t delivering the calls or the customers I wanted.
Over time, I lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Right when I was about to pull the plug on Internet marketing all together, I came across a marketing company that COMPLETELY changed my perspective.
How I hit my revenue goals for 15 months straight and cut my marketing expenses in half
It was 2017, and I was at a conference in Philadelphia, listening to a man named Michael from a company called Scorpion, talk about the future of websites in the plumbing industry, and the importance of page speed.
His talking points captured my interest, so I made sure to find him after the presentation and corner him for a conversation.
I grilled him on Internet marketing, and how it applied to HVAC and plumbing business owners like myself.
I told him about my frustrations with Internet marketing, and explained why I didn’t believe it could really work for my business.
Michael just sat there listening until I stepped off my soapbox.
And when I did, he proceeded to prove himself as one of the most helpful individuals I’ve ever met, taking time out of his day to share advice, information, and wisdom that I could immediately apply to my business to get better results.
“How much do you spend on web marketing, Tim?" Michael asked.
“Fifty-five thousand,” I answered without hesitation.
I still remember the look of surprise on his face.
“Fifty-five thousand a year is a lot of money for what you’re getting,” he said.
I instantly corrected him.
“No, that's what I spend per month, not per year.”
In that moment, I knew I had to make a change.
I had many more conversations with Michael and his team after that day, and we discussed my goals and how many calls and jobs I was hoping to bring in each month.
They said they could get me there with HALF my previous marketing budget.
I signed with Scorpion, and they launched a new website for me with a refreshed design on their platform, with little work on my part. Their marketing team also helped me launch digital ad campaigns designed to bring me the exact types of jobs I wanted.
It didn’t take long for the revenue to start flowing in.
Since then, I’ve been able to hit my monthly revenue goals 15 months in a row.
Now that I’m a client of Scorpion, I appreciate that my marketing manager and I don’t talk about irrelevant numbers like page views and impressions. We talk about calls and conversions, which is the way it should be.
Phone calls, online appointments, and live chat are where the business lives and dies!
Yes, there are times when my three-day schedule has some holes. But all I do is send an email to my marketing team and normally, by the end of the day, the holes are filled.
If you’re just starting out with Scorpion, this may take a bit longer to achieve, but it will happen.
Two Things to Consider Before Hiring a Marketing Company
So now that you know my story, here are the two most important takeaways you should leave with today:
- Anytime you find a vendor that doesn’t educate you about your marketing and how it impacts your business, beware!
- If your marketing company is telling you your marketing’s working because your pageviews are higher this month, run (don't walk) away. There’s another company out there that will measure your marketing success based on what matters most for your business—leads, jobs, and money in the bank.
For my friends and fellow business owners across the country who know me, they know I’m an operator who pays for results.
After over a decade of being burned by marketers, I no longer settle—I don't stay in a bad spot for long without making a move to better my company and myself.
For those who have met me at a conference, I show them my numbers and dispatch systems in real time so they can make a better decision for their own companies.
If you’re reading this and you want to see if it’s real, just reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll be more than happy to arrange a time to chat and help you find a better solution.
Don't resort to fear-based marketing. Email me instead, and we’ll talk.
To learn more about what Tim Flynn did to get more jobs and revenue at a lower cost, read the full story here.