Interview with Kimberly Kean from Gene Johnson Plumbing - How they grew to $2.5M Annually

The Multi-Million Dollar Plumbing & HVAC Marketing Strategy

On this episode of the Plumbing & HVAC Marketing Profits Podcast we interview Kimberly Kean, the owner of Gene Johnson Plumbing. They are a full service Plumbing & HVAC company serving the greater Seattle, WA Market.

Over the past 3 years Kimberly & Dennis have grown their family business from a team of 9 to 14 employees and built their company to over $2.5 Million Annually. Kimberly shares some tremendous insights on how they built the company, what their philosophy is, and how they market to keep their phones ringing & trucks running to the tune of over $200K per month. She even shares the specific tools and providers they use to get such great results.

Please post your comments & follow up questions below! Also, be sure to subscribe for the podcast so you don’t miss any of the upcoming interviews:

Show Notes:

  • #1 lead generation source – Kimberly talked about her #1 lead generation source being Internet Marketing & SEO. She explained how having the wrong company handling their online strategy almost crippled the company. This may sound self serving as the owner of Plumbing & HVAC SEO but during the interview she explains how working with us helped to move her from the second page in Seattle back to the top listing for a majority of their keywords and that really turned things around.
    • If you would like to learn more about Plumbing & HVAC SEO you can go to
  • The importance of tracking & measurement – Throughout the interview Kimberly talked a lot about her key metrics and how she tracks her results across various marketing channels. She explained that she is able to run reports and track the revenue per lead channel because she not only tracks her phone calls but then can run revenue reports back to the phone call. She can do this because she uses ServiceTitan. ServiceTitan is an amazing web based dispatching & customer relationship management (CRM) system built specifically for the Plumbing & HVAC Industry that lets you setup call tracked phone numbers that ring into your office and dispatch from the system. Many of our clients love this platform.
  • Customer Retention Marketing – Kimberly explained that she believes you MUST invest marketing dollars back into your customer base. She leverages direct mail & email marketing to remain top of mind with her customers & drive more repeat & referral business. She has a multi-step follow up process that includes:
    • Thank you note after every service call including a gift card to be used on their next service.
    • eMail marketing sequence that follows up with the customer after every service call.
    • Monthly print & email email newsletter that keeps Gene Johnson’s name in front of the customer
    • Referral Rewards Program – She put together an incentive based program that actually pay’s for referrals. ***BIG INSIGHT*** Rather than simply expecting home owner customers to refer them, she specifically targeted folks that have a high propensity to refer business on an ongoing basis.
  • TOP 3 Referral Sources to target – Kimberly went on to share the top 3 referal sources that now send her new custoemrs on a consistent basis:
    • Leak Detection Company – She found a company in her market that does only leak detection (they don’t really like that type of business) and targeted them to send the repair work & vica-verca.
    • New Construction Plumbers – She found a company that focuses only on new construction (they don’t really do that type of work) those companies get requests for service & repair work. They refer those leads to Gene Johnson.
    • Restaurant Owners – She found that Restaurant owners work very closely together and tend to all use the same providers.
      • The key here is that she targeted these referral partners that come in contact with her ideal customer on an ongoing basis and put an incentive program in place to compensate them for passing referrals.
      • Now she has a steady flow of consistent referral business that comes in
    • For the Customer Retention Marketing Program & Referral Marketing she partnered with g4 Marketing Group. They fulfill on the thank you cards, email follow up and manage the referral marketing program for them. If you want to learn more about g4 marketing and their services you can go to
  • The importance of online reviews & how to get them – Kimberly explained how important online reviews are to their business and how they have systemized their review request & getting process. They now have over 349 reviews online across various online review sites like Google, Yelp, BBB, Angie’s List and others.
    • She uses ReviewBuzz for her review management system and has found that it works really well for them. She also explained how with the combination of ServiceTitan & ReviewBuzz she can completely automate the review request process. So when ever a job is dispatched and closed in ServiceTitan it automatically triggers the request for review via ReviewBuzz.
      • ***BIG INSIGHT*** She explained how she taps into 2 major psychological triggers to create the review development behavior that they want.
        • The desire for recognition in front of your peers – They read all of the positive reviews in front of the team each week at their team meeting.
        • Cash Spiff – They SPIFF their guys for each positive review.
    • You can learn more about ReviewBuzz by going to 
  • Their super cool Video on YouTube – Kimberly, Dennis & the Gene Johnson Plumbing & Heating team are doing some very cool stuff with Video. Below is a link to a recent video that they rolled out. This is a great example of “Edutainment”….it’s fun, entertaining & does a great job educating customers why they should choose them. In today’s busy social media world people want to be ENTERTAINED. You can watch the video below:

Amazing ideas & insights shared on this episode. I loved it!

Please post your comments & follow up questions below! Also, be sure to subscribe for the podcast so you don’t miss any of the upcoming interviews:


Training is an important part of the business. And even Lucas is constantly training. He has 2 business coaches that help him learn more about business. Cellino Plumbing and HVAC has service managers for each department which includes, plumbing, heating and cooling, as well as underground. When a new helper comes in they train on Nexstar and in the warehouse for 2 weeks first. Lucas thinks that it helps have someone friendly to help train new employees and this also helps them retain staff. Do you utilize employee training in your company?


Employee retention is key to long-term success. Part of their retention strategy was creating a mission statement to live by. Their mission statement includes 5 company values. They really live by their mission statement and have metrics to measure each line in the mission statement. Their metrics include quality checks to measure customer service and workplace happiness. Their mission statement also includes giving back to the community. They do this in a unique way. Listen to this episode to discover how Cellino Plumbing and HVAC gives back to the community and how this also increases their revenue. How does your company give back to the community it serves?



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