Charlie Diliberto is a green technology advocate. He knows the benefits it will bring both his customers and his business.
Thus, Diliberto, now in his fourth decade as owner of Norristown, Pa.-based Charles Diliberto Plumbing & Heating (approximately 20 miles west of Philadelphia), made signage changes to his 2008 Dodge Sprinter truck last September. In one of the upper side corners of the truck, Diliberto now lets customers know he specializes in green energy, specifically water-saving faucets, toilets and tankless water heaters.
“Everybody is talking green,” says Diliberto, whose company focuses mainly on residential repairs, installations and new bathrooms while dabbling in some commercial work. “Everybody is talking about saving money. That’s where I want to go. (Energy) rates are going to go up next year in the Philly area (due to state deregulation). This is the future. Energy is not going to get any cheaper. It’s important to put it on the truck.”
The new truck artwork paid immediate dividends.
“The first week on the road we had two calls about tankless water heaters,” he notes. “We tell them we specialize in fast service and we try to save energy.”
Diliberto, who has seven employees and a total of four trucks, is committed to the green movement for the long haul.
“We have the tankless water heaters, the new-generation toilets, showerheads and faucets,” Diliberto says. “Whether we like it or not, it’s coming. Once electric and gas bills go up, you’ll see a lot more of it.”
Diliberto’s marketing initiatives extend beyond his sleek-looking truck.
“In the Yellow Pages, you can’t just have your name in there,” he says. “Everybody has their name in there. My ad in the Yellow Pages says ‘Quick Response’ in big letters. I’ve had people call up and ask, ‘Is this Quick Response Plumbing?’ They don’t look at my name. That doesn’t mean anything. You have to have a message. In a tough market you need another name. It’s all part of marketing.”
Vanity license plates are also part of his repertoire. His current plate reads “PLUNG-R.” A plunger illustration sits to the right of the plate.
“I got the sign guy (Chris Licwinko of Chariot Graphics) to tie the plunger into the plate,” says Diliberto, whose estimator’s car has the plate “DRIP.”
“Everything on the truck is designed for people to remember who I am.”
While he loves the outside of the Dodge Sprinter, Diliberto is also extremely fond of the interior. “It’s the ultimate for me,” he proudly states. “It’s everything I ever wanted in a truck. I wanted this to be the last truck before I retire. I can stand up and grab things out of bins. If it’s not under the categories I have, it’s not in my truck. I’ve never had a truck so organized in my life.”
The 58-year-old Diliberto plans on being organized for the foreseeable future.
“I might go nuts if I try to retire,” he chuckles. “I really enjoy doing this. It’s always a challenge to try to figure out solutions to peoples’ plumbing problems. You are almost like Sherlock Holmes going into it.”
And this suburban Philadelphia plumbing sleuth is hot on the green trail.
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