Upsells: An Easy Way to Increase Profits

We all know that it’s easier to sell something to an existing customer than to make the first sale to a new prospect. So how can remodelers take advantage of this bit of wisdom? For many, it’s by adding products and/or services that give you the opportunity to upsell. According to Wikipedia, upselling is, “a sales technique whereby a seller induces the customer to purchase more expensive items, upgrades, or other add-ons in an attempt to make a more profitable sale.” While upselling may involve selling more profitable services or products, it can be simply exposing the customer to other options that were perhaps not considered. There are many ways that remodelers are now upselling. Some have expanded their offerings to include complementary products … a design build firm adding replacement windows to their product line. Others add services, such as Universal Design or Green Remodeling to supplement their existing services. One product that is gaining great popularity as an upsell product is solar. Recent legislation indicates that the demand for solar is going to increase to over 1.5 million homes by 2017 and account for a market size of over $10B. This is a huge market that’s coming on strong. By offering solar as an upsell you will delight your clients with the savings they receive, increase credibility by demonstrating your knowledge and expertise, and increase the overall job size, allowing you to earn more profits on every project. Right now, there are many ways to offer this unlimited energy efficient option to your clients: So, by using upselling in your process, you’ll increase job size, increase profits, make a greater ROI on every marketing dollar used to generate your leads, and will ultimately make your clients even more devoted than they are today.

What About You?

What upsells are you offering your clients to increase profits? Please comment below! — Image courtesy of nokhoog_buchachon /

The Seller-Doer Paradox

I’ve had the distinct pleasure to train many seller-doers. These are people who are typically very smart, hard-working and have achieved some level of recognition in their field.  Many remodelers are perfect examples of seller-doer – they sell the work, then they do the work.

Their biggest challenge is usually keeping the pipeline full with new opportunities or engagements while still doing the actual work for the client.

“Chip, I’ll get to the business development work after I finish working for the client.” Intelligent seller-doers tell me this all the time, and they don’t see that it’s circular logic – a paradox. The only way their belief will work for a seller-doer is if

A) someone else brings in the new business for the company.

B) The seller-doer may tolerate extended periods with no work while they look for the next engagement.

Here’s the thing, A) indicates they are a doer, not a seller; and B) reveals they are either a seller or a doer, but never both at the same time.

Fixing the seller-doer paradox may require multiple strategies:

  • Address the possibility that client work is used as an excuse to not do business development activities. Procrastination is rarely the overt refusal to do a task. It usually occurs when the procrastinator finds other things to do instead.
  • Identify business development activities that are effective and enjoyable for the remodeler. Good seller-doers don’t make cold calls all day, but they do attend networking functions, give speeches at conferences and have a large network of colleagues that all refer business to each other.
  • Insure business development activities are on the remodelers calendar. Sounds simple yet I’m shocked at how few seller-doers make appointments with themselves to do the prospecting and business development which will insure their pipeline of projects remains plump.
  • Give ample recognition to the successful seller-doer, especially when they succeed at selling. A seller-doer culture embraces business development.
  • Sell while servicing the client. There’s always an opportunity to ask questions and identify an upsell opportunity or a referral. I’ve never had a remodeler receive a complaint for spending 90 seconds asking a few questions of the client during working hours. In fact, most clients want their seller-doer to look out for them and stay informed. Asking questions is a natural part of customer service.
  • Selling comes first. After all, we don’t call them “doer-sellers!” I realize that there will be a client crisis requiring immediate attention occasionally. But every week, attention must be paid to the selling aspect of the job. Create systems for accountability around business development just as you do for time cards and chargeable hours.

Good Selling!

The Myth About Repeat and Referral Leads – part 1

A myth exists in the remodeling world that repeat business and referral leads will come to you without you lifting a finger. Too many remodelers believe this myth and spend all their effort and money trying to look outside of this valuable community for business. The sad thing is that these outside sources typically deliver leads that are more expensive and of lesser quality.

In fact, many top remodelers find that 75% or more of their business comes from referrals and repeat business alone—and they represent pure gold if properly mined. 

I want to share a critical, proven principle of marketing:

The Golden Rule of Marketing

You can double the repeat business and number of referral leads you receive if you constantly market back to your circle of influence.

Capturing Business From Repeat Customers

Securing customers is one of the toughest parts of this business. Once you’ve sold someone a project, do everything you can to capture all of the remodeling work that they’ll purchase in the years to come. We all know that it costs much more to find and sell a new customer than it does to re-sell an existing customer, so focus your efforts on your previous customers first.

Communication is the key to obtaining the maximum amount of repeat business. Continually stay in touch with your clients to maintain what advertising agency folks call “top of mind awareness” (TOMA). Your marketing goal is to have your previous clients consider your company first when beginning a remodeling project. If you don’t stay in touch with them to remind them about the quality service you delivered, they simply won’t remember!

Picture this: You’re in the grocery store and run into clients for whom you completed a successful kitchen remodel several years ago. In the course of a friendly, warm conversation, the clients mention that they just finished an extensive addition to their home! You’re dismayed and quickly ask, “Why didn’t you call us?” The typical answer is, “We didn’t know you did that kind of work.” Your heart sinks as you realize that your marketing program could have easily changed this scenario.

Just as you need to remind your customers about the service and quality product you provided, you also must frequently talk about the array of services you bring to the table. Never assume that your previous clients know everything that you offer. It’s your job to educate them.

In the next issue, we’ll discuss the second component of the gold mine: Referral Leads. Until then, let me know what you think! How do you turn past clients into repeat customers? I look forward to reading your comments below!