How Plumbers Can Build Strong Business Relationships
[John]: And you’re listening to the Ask The Experts Radio Show. I’m John Wolf from Talk Radio 1190. I’ve got two guests with you today. Our usual star here, Roger Wakefield of texasgreenplumbing.com. Our number here (214)-787-1190 if you have a question. Roger’s number (972)-442-4101, any time. Again, texasgreenplumbing.com. We’re going to speak with Chas in a second about some training programs. Roger, you mentioned that the time to find your plumber is not when you’ve got a leak coming from your second floor, right on through your living room. But obviously if a plumber comes out to your house, there’s got to be a charge. It takes time. How would you recommend that someone efficiently, effectively line up a plumber that they would need when there is an emergency?
[Roger]: A great way is through networking, believe it or not. I’ve met so many of my customers through Master Networks and it’s not just them, but it’s people that they’ve told me about and people will literally call and say, you know, look… Chas’s mom has actually called us and we were able to talk her out of emergency, and talk her into different things and I believe we actually went out and looked at something for and it turned out we were able to help her by not helping her. Said look, you really don’t need us you need somebody else and, you know, I get people call the time and say “Oh my gosh I’ve heard such good things about you, I feel like I know you” and when you’re in a networking group and and luckily for me, I’m in the largest Master Networks group in the nation. So there’s so many people there and there’s so many guests brought in all the time and I have visitors walk up to me afterwards and say “Oh my gosh, I’ve heard about you before I even got here” and, you know, the way you talk and how passionate you are about not just plumbing but about networking. When I walk in, when I hear people talk I’m automatically thinking “Oh my God, you know what? I need to introduce them to so-and-so because that can help them” and, you know, the more people we help, the better people I think we are.
[John]: And it’s a qualified referral, it’s not just a couple of, you know… “Oh 37 out of 40 reviews look good…” But I mean sometimes that’s what you have to do but this couldn’t preclude that.
[Roger]: You know, and the reviews are great. I believe in reviews. We go out to people’s houses we ask them, look, you know, would you give us a review? Tell us what you think? Whatever it is. But, you know, back to your question. People need to know a plumber, they need to know who they’re gonna call before they have an emergency. When you have an emergency you’re at the mercy of who will get there first and that’s not a good spot to be in.
[John]: I can attest to that. Let’s switch back to Chas Wilson of Master Networks. Masternetworks.com is their website. Tell us a little about the training that you guys are involved with.
[Chas]: Yeah, so we train people how to systematically build relationships. It’s – you know, we’re talking actually before the show, we all kind of walked in and met in the lobby and here we were all were on our phone, right? You go to a restaurant you see people on their phones and it’s just how things are done and listen, I’m not against phones, I run my business on it, we’ve got cameras in here right now, like, phones are important, but relationships are what matter. You go anywhere people want to know… It’s like that – remember Cheers? When Norm walks through the door? Everybody knows your name, right? Norm, you know, walk in. That’s what people want. You know when I relocated my family to Texas three years ago, I have five children, when we moved here the thing my children were most nervous about was lunch time. Because when they go to class they’re told where to sit, when, what to do, etc. Lunch time was kind of a free-for-all and they got to talk to people and they got to build relationships. you know, we’re not any different as adults. We’re really not. We go somewhere we want to connect with somebody right away and what we teach is how to do that. We do it through a method we call the “BOND” method, it’s an acronym for business owners. How to “bond” with other people, not to just go hand out cards. We’ve been to those events where they passed cards around. We train this. So we train relationship building, we train business building. There are timeless truths in every business that are – it doesn’t matter, like I said Roger is a plumber, I own a business, I own multiple businesses. The things that we need to do are the same. I don’t need to know plumbing to know business and I think sometimes people get into business, they know the technical skill but no one show them how to run their business. I mean I have family who went through, you know, chiropractic school they know how to be a chiropractor but do they know how to run a business? That’s what we teach at Master Networks.
[John]: It’s like Edison was both one of those rare people who was both a genius at what he did and a great marketer, whereas Tesla was just a genius but he couldn’t – his ideas didn’t sell as well, and it’s rare that you could find someone who can do both with such acumen. How did you get your business rolling? I’m sure the first day, Roger, that you went into business the phone didn’t ring off the wall.
[Roger]: It didn’t. Luckily I know a lot of people and I had been talking to people about the possibility of starting my own business. My wife is an etiquette and protocol consultant, she owns JW Etiquette, and she teaches networking and she had been going networking and in her line of business is not the kind of business that people need every day. So, you know I’m watching her do this for three or four months and she’s doing face to face is she’s meeting people and she’s getting calls every now and then she kept trying to get me to go networking and I’m like “look, that networking, it doesn’t work. You know, I’ve seen you do it, you go to meetings, your phone’s not blowing up.” She went to an evening networking event which is one it’s almost like speed dating you go around, you talk to people, you hand out cards, you exchange it, you go
home the next day and look at all the cards and try to remember who all you met. I went to this networking event and I told her when we got there I said “okay look, you go your way, I’m gonna go my way and I’ll figure this thing out.” Whenever we got ready to leave, she says “Oh my God, Roger, every time I looked up you’ve got a crowd of people around you, you’re talking and you know, you’re waving your hands and you’re talking and you’re going on and on and these people are really watching you. What were you talking about? I said I was talking about plumbing. I mean, that’s what I know and understand and I do. I’m passionate about plumbing, I love it, but since joining Master Networks and I joined Master Networks probably two or three months after that, I met a wonderful lady named Susan Hubeck told me about it and when I found out she was with Keller-Williams, I wanted her connection because of Keller-Williams. She’s like No, No, you need to come to Master Networks and I did and I mean from the day I walked in, I mean and I can go down the list, I met a lady named Tracy Bradley that was all about look, how can I help you grow your business? And it’s like, you know, this is completely different, this isn’t just “hey I’m Roger, I’m a plumber, you know, tell all your friends to call me” and don’t get me wrong we do have time to stand up and tell people what we do and what makes us different. But the training there, Chas has a guy named Dave Jenks that is phenomenal and the training that they have put together – every time I walk in I learn something new and it’s something that can help my business. It’s like Chas says I’m a good plumber and I hired Michael Gerber as a coach and Michael Gerber told me look you got to fire the plumber you got to become an entrepreneur. Well to tell you what to do is one thing, Chas and Master Networks show you how to do it and that is huge.
[John]: Now Chas, turning to Chas, what is the history of Master Networks? How did – I know you’re a co-founder of it, How did you get started? Where did you get started and obviously Dallas is a huge growing marketing area, but give us a little of the history?
[Chas]: Yeah so I started in the real estate industry. I was growing the real estate business, we had a real estate franchise we were growing that and was all through networking referrals. You know, it’s the most effective form of advertising is the referral. As Roger was talking about and we grew it that way and my business partner, who’s a chiropractor, we met at a Panera Bread, had lunch, we had a napkin, we started mapping out these thoughts that we had about building our own networking group and the way we wanted to look really to grow our own businesses. But this was different I mean a lot of people map out ideas, they write them down they – notepad or a napkin, whatever it might be. We knew we needed to do something with this idea, we didn’t know how it would all happen but we started with building one chapter for our own businesses. Again, built on relationships, added with business education and what happened was people started coming to this group. Now it’s an exclusive group meaning one plumber, right? And so when another plumber shows up we didn’t have space for them so we had to start a second group, a third group. Next thing we knew we had groups all over the country wanting to start and one of us, between my business partner I, we kind of look to each other and said one of us has to run this. This is now a business and so I jumped in and did that sold my interest in the real estate company and in the mortgage company and we started growing Master Networks. I was coming to Dallas because, as Roger mentioned, Susan was a business partner we had here in Dallas. She was growing in this area. This area of Dallas was just exploding. Such entrepreneurial mindset, great people. I was coming down here all the time and so one of those times I brought my wife and said “hey I’m doing a training down there and meeting with some Master Networks folks. Why don’t you come with me?” And she came with me and just fell in love with it and the next trip we brought our bunch of our employees and several of them moved with us and we’ve been now in the Dallas area as our headquarters for the last three years.
[John]: And what is it about the training that separates you from – there are other, mixer group is the wrong word, there are other groups such as yours that try to get people together. I mean you see it all the time “come to our mixers and and meet people” What type of training do you do?
[Chas]: We do as I talked about, networking, training, relationship building and then business training. I wrote a book called Five Plus One. The five business disciplines and the one master skill. I think you can take any business discipline into one of those five disciplines: thinking, targeting, tracking, timing and team building and we – I’ve worked with people like Dave Jenks as Roger mentioned who’s written multiple best selling books, helped build three national brands. We have – we’ve dissected business truths that can transform into any business. Any business you can use these and so we’re not teaching a bunch of theory. I run businesses every day, I have over 30 companies we run those every day. I’m talking about what we do every day, not theory and so that makes for practical wisdom that people can apply today.
[John]: You’re in the trenches!
[Chas]: In the trenches.
[John]: Roger, what is it that you would tell people about when once they make it through this summer, what could they do now to help with the rest of the year to keep costs down and keep problems down?
[Roger]: The good thing about plumbing is your systems always in need maintenance. it’s a great business for me to be in. There’s things that you can do take care of your water heater, flush it once a year, if you’ve got a new water heater start flushing it out or draining it or not draining it. Hook a drain hose up to the bottom of it, open it up flush out about five gallons of water every couple of months. This helps to keep the sediment, the calcium and magnesium from building up in the bottom. Test your water see if your water is extremely hard. If it is, think about a water filtration system. As for that, if you hear toilets running, if you see a faucet dripping, guys these things cost you money whether you realize it or not and if you’ve got a hot water drip it’s costing you double because you’re paying to heat that hot water and then watching it drip down the drain. So just your plumbing system, is keep an eye on it. Going back to a question you asked earlier though, you know, start doing research on a plumbing company, an electrical company, an HVAC company. I tell people all the time go to my YouTube channel, I’ve got a YouTube channel “The Expert Plumber” go to it, look at the YouTube videos that we’re making. We teach people how to take care of their own plumbing system and how to do a lot of the plumbing repairs around the house themselves.
[John]: And is your YouTube channel I’m assuming at texasgreenplumbing.com?
[Roger]: There’s links to it. You can go to the Texasgreenplumbing.com, you can link over to the YouTube channel or you can just go to the YouTube channel and search ‘The Expert Plumber“, search “Roger Wakefield”, any of that it’ll come up.
[John]: And I was on your regular website this morning and it covered so many different areas and in fact you’re talking about, you know we’re almost out of time on this segment, about if you call by 10 a.m. you can have a water heater installed that day and I thought that’s pretty quick that’s a lot to demand because you never know what how many jobs you’re gonna have that day.
[Roger]: Sometimes it’s great sometimes me and the office manager my wife yeah you never know who may have to come out and try install a water heater.
[John]: Come out and do it. Alright, again Rogers number is (972)-442-4101. Texasgreenplumbing.com. Our number here, have a question? (214)-787-1190.