How to leave money on the table

Getting the most out of every service call is more important today than ever. This post from a year ago is worth a repeat.

A couple of months ago, I needed a new water heater. I totally fit the scenario of the procrastinating homeowner who had delayed the inevitable replacement for too long. So, there we were, my plumbing contractor and me, looking at a basement still damp from when my water heater let go and all my hot water had literally gone down the drain.

I’d heard about those tankless hot water heaters. You know, those that provide a never-ending supply of hot water without storage. That sounded intriguing. It was, of course, something I had planned to research on the internet, just like I was going to replace the water heater before it failed on its own.

So, I turned to my plumbing professional: “What did he think of them? Was it a good option for my home? How much more would it cost?” Actually, I already knew it was going to cost more. I also knew that he was probably going to make more money, and he wouldn’t have to lug a conventional heater to my basement. Seemed like a nice win-win. But, I wanted to discuss and hear his professional opinion and ask questions.

Do you know what his response was? He said, “Yeah, a lot of people like those and we carry them, but I don’t have one on the truck.”

End of conversation and end of story. I was on the fence about it anyway, I wasn’t really sure about the product’s benefits, I was pressed for time, and I needed hot water. The conventional system would give me that.

How many times in our industry does this very scenario play out? Why is it that so few water systems contractors offer their customers options, and just think in terms of “getting someone back in water”? People, and especially homeowners, want options and to be part of the decision process. Water treatment, constant pressure, and battery back-up protection all come to mind. When we don’t offer the homeowner that opportunity, we leave money on the table.

Back to my water heater… you know the really sad part? The water heater that got replaced was 17 years old. Maybe we can revisit the topic again in the year 2029.

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