Upselling is a word that makes plumbers cringe. But as a professional plumbing contractor, your job is to solve problems — and sometimes there’s more to a plumbing problem than meets the eye.
In these situations “upselling” is not some pushy sales tactic. It’s the right way to offer the best solution.
If your goal is to solve problems and save your customer from future emergencies, selling more will be the natural result. Increasing your profits and your plumbing sales is the direct result of offering bigger or better solutions. Here’s how you can increase sales without feeling sleazy.
Invite Customers To Ask Questions
During that initial phone call when your customer schedules, take a moment to prime them for the future sale. A good phone script can set you up for success in this area.
A script will guide you or your call-takers to ask the right question. It can include an invite for customers to prepare a list of questions or other plumbing problems they’ve been experiencing.
Do your customer service reps struggle to convert leads? Scripts are the answer! Find out Why Your Home Service Company Needs Phone Scripts
Many customers have a laundry list of plumbing work that needs to be done, even if they’ve only called about one specific issue. And since they’re already paying to have you on-site, they might as well get the most for their money.
Give your customer the opportunity to discuss other plumbing or goals. You might be able to save them money with add-on services while chipping away at necessary maintenance. Bundling services together creates a high-impact, yet affordable offer that’s easy to say yes to.
Most homeowners who hire you don’t realize all their plumbing is interdependent. Low water pressure from a faucet could be as simple as a bad aerator, or as complicated as a major leak from the water supply line. As the pro, it’s your job to look at the problem from all angles and find the root cause.
Just replacing that aerator or faucet will not only be a small sale, but the customer will be frustrated when the problem persists, their water bill rises, and they eventually have to call a different plumber to fix the problem you overlooked.
Don’t rush the process. Take time to carefully inspect every possible contributing factor. Educate your customer on their plumbing system and why your recommendation will save them from stress in the long run.
Use A Whole-House Inspection
Using a detailed home inspection checklist makes selling easier. After inspecting the problem at-hand, your technicians should use a checklist or quick-reference for the most common problem areas in a home’s plumbing system.
If there’s a leak under a sink, a toilet that’s running, a water heater that’s 15+ years old, etc. then there are opportunities to create a bigger sale.
It’s not about finding problems where there are none, it’s about looking for issues that need attention. It’s especially important to make customers aware of problems that could lead to a major emergency. It might cost them a little more up-front, but it will save them a fortune in property damage later.
Do you use flat-rate pricing or time + materials? If you use flat-rates to price your plumbing jobs, then you have a chance to increase sales while keeping the customer in control. You can do this by offering 3-tiered pricing, or good-better-best pricing.
Using your careful troubleshooting and your home inspection checklist, you should have gathered a few ideas on how to give your customer multiple solutions. Simply bundle these solutions into 3 different packages:
“Good” is the cheapest package. It’s generally a quick fix and not meant to be a permanent solution. It’s a great option for customers with a small budget, but they need to understand it won’t solve the problem long term.
“Better” is the mid-level package. It's a permanent solution while still being somewhat economical. This package gives the customer peace-of-mind, while giving a solution that can be upgraded down the road. This price will probably be chosen by most of your customers.
“Best” is the bells and whistles package. It's the highest price and may include upgrades, additional maintenance, or other services that protect the customers entire plumbing system.
The ball is now in your customer’s court. They can decide what solution is right for them and how much they can afford.
Using all of these approaches, you should be able to confidently sell your customer the solutions they need, without feeling salesy.
Now tell me — do your plumbers build estimates with good, better, best pricing? How has this increased your sales? Share your experience in the comments! 👇