Are You Advertising Your Capability or a Supplier’s?

Be conscious about how you’re promoting trenchless rehab options to customers. You might not be reaching them as effectively as you think.

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I passed a trailer recently that advertised a particular pipe bursting process. Nowhere was the contractor’s name listed. The graphics depicted the equipment manufacturer’s process and touted how great its trenchless solution was for clogged drains.

I wondered why the contractor didn’t promote himself. If you’re a vendor who wants to sell more of his systems, you’re definitely promoting your process. But if you’re a contractor doing the work using a certain manufacturer’s system, what are you selling?   

If it’s lateral lining, not many people call up to have you line a sewer line just because they feel like they need to spend $10,000 to show off to their friends. Most people don’t have any idea why their sewer lines are plugged anyway. They just know that they are plugged and want them fixed. A few, but very few, know that roots are their problem. If they do know there are roots, they think that “trimming” them, like trees, every few years is all they need to do to keep the problem in check. 

If you advertise permanent solutions to recurring sewer backups, you are probably finding more success than by only showing your supplier’s bright, shiny piece of equipment. That means absolutely nothing to your customer. No one cares if your lining or pipe bursting system is named Joe’s or Rapid Sewer Fix or something else. They call you because they’d like you to fix their problem.

So what should you be advertising? If you are a full-service plumber, then advertise the most common service you are called for. If you give fast service, note that. The impression you promote on your vehicles should be something that can be seen and registered in the mind of prospects in a very short amount of time. If you have a lot of verbiage on your vehicles, most people passing the truck or trailer won’t have the time to read all of it.

If a guy fixes plumbing problems fast and his name is there, I’ll remember it. If he tells me he has the best pipe bursting equipment of any contractor around and can install new pipe with only two open cuts, I really won’t care. Even if I need my sewer line rehabilitated, the signage won’t register with me unless I actually know about lining and bursting. The graphic is lost on most potential customers, but it allows your competitors to see what you’re doing and could inspire them to want to copy it.

Before you paper your vehicles with graphic advertising, make sure you define what you want to advertise and not necessarily what a supplier wants you to advertise.

About the Author

John Heisler is the owner of Pipe Lining Supply and Quik-Lining Systems Inc. He has 20 years of experience in the CIPP lining industry and over 40 years in the underground construction industry.


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