Last week when I came home from work my wife informs me that there is water puddling around our water heater in the garage. What? Ughhh!!!

Like any good homeowner, I go out to assess the situation. Much to my chagrin, my wife’s initial assessment was correct. Being somewhat mechanically inclined, I channel my inner plumber to detect the source of this newly discovered leak. After my thorough examination, I come to the conclusion that this diagnosis is beyond my capabilities. I’ll have to call in the experts.

At this point, I mentally start flipping through the Rolodex in my mind of all of my contacts to figure out the appropriate person to call. It wasn’t long before I remembered that I had called two plumbers in the past—one of whom I spoke to fairly regularly in the past since we belonged to the same networking group.

I searched the internet trying to find his contact information. Eventually, I did. So I called the number only to find out that his voicemail box was full. Strike one.

Next, I tried and tried to recall the name of the other plumber I had used in the past. I came up empty. Strike two.

Finally, I remembered a friend of mine who worked at an HVAC company mentioned that they also had a plumbing division of their company. So, that is who I ended up calling. Within five hours, I was the proud (yet not so happy) owner of a brand new water heater. The final bill totaled almost $2,000, and they even enrolled me in their annual $250 heating and air inspection/cleaning program (the first year was a gift—meaning I overpaid for the installation).

So what’s the moral of this story?

Two plumbers lost money that day. Why? Because they failed to stay in touch with me. I was a previously satisfied client of theirs — but I couldn’t reach them when I needed them that day.

It’s been said that for each month you fail to stay in touch with your past clients, they lose 10% of their lifetime value to you.

Don’t make this mistake. Be sure to reach out and communicate with your clients in some form or fashion at least once a month if not more. If not, you might be missing out on thousands of dollars in lost opportunity each day.

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