Earlier this month, several of our technicians participated in their local Menards’ contractor expos in Illinois and Wisconsin. Our technician, Ed, first discovered the event at his local Menards in Glendale Heights, Illinois; Technicians Kevin and Ryan followed-up with the event at the Waukesha and Onalaska branches. As a small business, our team members appreciated the opportunity to meet other local contractors, participate in networking exchanges, meet more locals, and provide consultations on water heater repair/replacement.
What water heater options are available at Menards stores?
Each major hardware/home improvement store typically has one major water heater manufacturer with which they are associated. Menards is an exclusive wholesale distributor of Richmond water heaters (with Rheem and Ruud products available via order as Richmond and Ruud are Rheem companies). You can purchase or order a water heater at Menards, then head over to their plumbing desk to find a local installation service.
Technician Kevin operates exclusively out of the Waukesha area and was able to consult with several prospective clients. He was able to guide one person toward a more efficient water heater: “One customer wanted information on replacing a 12 year old electric water heater with a new unit. He was considering installing a gas water and I explained the pro and cons when upgrading. Another customer talked about the benefits of installing a tankless gas water heater and I discussed maintenance and energy saving benefits.”
Aside from networking, our primary goal is to educate, whether we are on site at your restaurant or meeting you in-store and providing a quote, we believe that the most empowered customer is an educated customer. Two of the most common questions/concerns we often receive are the ones Kevin mentioned. If your water heater is 10+ years old, you are likely going to need a replacement soon; the average lifespan of a water heater is typically between 8 and 12 years, according to most manufacturer’s specifications. If you are experiencing any major issues, however, we may recommend that you replace your unit sooner to save money and increase energy efficient in the long run.
Based on the success of these expos, our technicians are currently planning to participate in various local events across all five states. Kevin is looking forward to upcoming Waukesha-area events: “I plan to attend all of the contractor events hosted by this Menard’s store and I would like to participate in any others hosted by other suppliers and hardware stores.” He was also able to “connect with several contractors as there were […] local carpentry, roofing, and HVAC companies present” and introduce Larry, our Goshen-based technician, to our company’s networking scene.
Across all three stores, our technicians were thankful for the opportunity to meet locals, educate others, and participate in this learning experience. Outside of technicians physically visiting your site, face-to-face interaction is often very limited in the water heater industry: warranty repairs are often dispatched via e-mail or fax while our office staff calls the clients to schedule service. Even when technicians are on site, they are often working on the units and focused on quality, speed, and efficiency. Luckily events like these can provide a new perspective on water heaters and a greater level of comfort as potential clients have the opportunity to meet the technician who would most-likely be dispatched to their home/business. Psychological research also shows that “face-to-face requests are 34 times more effective than those sent by e-mail, and that a physical handshake promote cooperation and influences negotiation outcomes for the better.”
While at the hardware store looking for a new water heater, be sure to stop by the plumbing department desk to receive contact information for your store’s locally recommended contractor!
If you know of any upcoming networking events in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, or Wisconsin, or if your business is hosting any upcoming networking events, please be sure to let us know!