Roger Wakefield is a YouTube sensation. The owner of Texas Green Plumbing in Dallas has more than 141,000 subscribers who consider him YouTube’s resident plumbing expert. His rapid ascent to social media stardom came after he attended a video marketing conference in 2018.
Wakefield, a recent guest on ServiceTitan’s “Toolbox for the Trades” podcast, is a big believer in sincerity, sales training, and connecting with customers by being their personal expert in the field.
Here are Roger Wakefield’s top tips for home services companies:
Key TakeawaysMarketing efforts need to be genuine, not lip service.Sales training will make your trade business stand out.Hire people who complement your industry expertise.Giving away DIY tips can lead to bigger sales. YouTube videos can build a connection. Take time to educate customers. Being environmentally conscious is an advantage. Be open to new ideas and ways of doing business. Recommend research and reading from Roger Wakefield
Marketing efforts need to be genuine, not lip service.
Wakefield recalls working for a commercial plumbing company that decided to go into residential service. The owner of the company told the team, “We are going to market ourselves as having the best customer service and the best-trained plumbers.”
As director of operations, Wakefield asked what kind of training was going to be implemented. “The owner looked at me like I was crazy,” he recalls. “She said, ‘Our plumbers know how to say, ‘yes ma’am’ and, ‘thank you.’ We’re good.’ That blew my mind. It doesn’t work that way.”
Sales training will make your trade business stand out.
When Wakefield sent his team to a particular sales training program, he found out he was the only residential service company that had done so. He believes it can be a big advantage.
“They aren’t just teaching sales, they’re teaching communication,” Wakefield says. “And how to listen. We are giving people great options, and our knowledge and experience leads to sales.”
Hire people who complement your industry expertise.
“Look, I’m not the systems and processes guy, I’m the 30,000-foot guy,” Wakefield says. “If you’re like me you need to go out and find the right person who can do things that aren’t your specialty. If you’re like me you need to bring on a systems process guy.”
Giving away DIY tips can lead to bigger sales.
A lot of the YouTube videos that Wakefield posts are tips about how homeowners can do small plumbing jobs on their own. Isn’t that giving business away? No, and in fact, he says, he also sends out emails with DIY tips.
“If you can really help people with small things, you’re building a relationship with them,” he says. “If you can give them something of value for free, they’re going to love you forever.”
YouTube videos can build a connection.
Wakefield says he gets calls from all over the country from people who’ve seen his videos and want to ask him plumbing questions.
“You’ve heard the old adage, ‘people buy from people they know, like and trust,’” he says. “I say people buy from people they know, love, trust, and are connected to. If people watch my videos, we have a connection.”
Take time to educate customers.
Any residential service trades person—roofers, electricians, landscapers, HVAC guys, or plumbers—can build a relationship with a customer by teaching homeowners what they are doing and why they’re doing it.
“Show them the benefits of what you’re doing,” Wakefield says. “You’ll have a customer for life—because you’re not just their plumber, you’re their trusted advisor.”
Being environmentally conscious is an advantage.
“We train our plumbers to teach people about water conservation,” Wakefield says. “Our plumbers are go-to experts on efficient toilets, low flow aerators and shower heads, and rainwater harvesting. Our team can walk in and say, ‘Look, I can save you a lot of water.’”
Be open to new ideas and ways of doing business.
Wakefield recalls his former marketing plan of paying for people to search and find him on Google.
“I went to a conference and found out that YouTube is the second-largest search engine,” he says. “And that if you make videos and put them on there and do it right, they’re searchable and findable.”
And when he also learned that YouTube pays some people to put up videos, “it was like the Fourth of July fireworks going off in my head.”
Recommend research and reading from Roger Wakefield
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t, by Jim Collins
E-Myth Mastery: The Seven Essential Disciplines for Building a World-Class Company, by Michael Gerber
Sandler Sales Training Program