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As an electrician, when asked to quote for a specific job, you may simply provide a quote and then carry out the job specified if the quote is satisfactory to the customer, however, by following this process, you are potentially missing out on the opportunity to maximise profits through up-selling and cross-selling.
‘Sales’ can understandably be a dirty word for some people and the thought of trying to sell something to someone else may make you feel slightly queasy. This is due to the long-standing stereotype of the pushy salesman trying to force useless products and services on to customers that they don’t want or need.
That’s not to say that these people don’t exist. We’ve all been in the situation, when purchasing a car, where you are just waiting for the conversation regarding an extended warranty to rear its ugly head. But ‘sales’ doesn’t have to be this way. The best salesexchange is when the outcome is mutually beneficial and nobody feels ripped off. Below are a few tips on how you can up-sell and cross-sell as an electrician to increase profits without feeling dirty. But first…
What is up-selling and cross-selling?
The basic definitions of up-selling and cross-selling is ‘persuading a customer to buy a higher-priced item’ and ‘persuading a customer to purchase a product that’s related to what’s being bought’. When you purchase popcorn at the cinema and they ask ‘Would you like to ‘go large’ for an extra 25p?’ that’s up-selling. When they ask ‘Would you like a Pepsi with that?’ that’s cross-selling!
In the electrical industry, persuading a customer to buy a SMART thermostat rather a standard one would be considered up-selling, whereas convincing a customer to purchase a floodlight and camera in addition to a video doorbell is cross-selling.
How to cross-sell and up-sell
This article may have already convinced you that selling isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you’re willing to give it a try, how would you go about it?
The easiest way to cross-sell or up-sell is to provide added value to the customer. For instance, if you are quoting to replace plug sockets and it is obvious that there are 3 teenagers in the house, there is a high chance that there will be continuous arguments regarding who gets to have their smart phone, tablet or laptop plugged in. By suggesting plug sockets which include USB portals, you will be providing a solution to a problem which the home owner will be more than grateful for. Alternatively, if there is a crawling baby in the house,suggesting plug sockets with a cover will satisfy safety conscious parents, despite the additional cost.
Understand your products
The greater understanding you have of the products you are providing and their unique selling points (USPs), the more comfortable you will feel about making suggestions and discussing the additional benefits that they provide. For example, if you are installing a wireless router and you are aware of its maximum range, recommending Wi-Fi boosters will even be expected by the customer is if the size of the house exceeds this.
Another scenario that may occur, where in-depth knowledge would benefit, is the installation for a thermostat. A SMART thermostat may be more expensive in the first instance, but by providing statistics regarding how much an average customer can save in heating bills each year, may convince the home owner to upgrade if they are going to save more money in the long term.
Assess your surroundings
By assessing your surroundings whilst evaluating a job, opportunities to cross-sell will start to become apparent. Again, the key is to look for opportunities which will help improve the customer’s life for the better. For instance, when installing a ventilation system in a bathroom, you may notice some damp towels hanging on a hook. If the space is available, the customer may be open to the suggestion of installing a heated towel rail at the same time.
Alternatively, when changing plug sockets, it may be obvious that there are areas of the house where sockets would be useful, but aren’t currently available. By pointing out the benefits of having additional points in these locations (e.g. vacuuming, additional lighting, opening up space by moving the television) may convince the home owner to make the additional investment.
When quoting for a job, it is beneficial to provide more than one option. For instance, if a customer is replacing all of the light switches in their living room, it is perfectly acceptable to provide a quote for plain switches, a more elaborate switch which may compliment the décorand for one with additional functionality such as a dimmer. It is then in the customer’s handsto decide if they wish to upgrade. Also, you may think that customers will always go for the cheapest quote, but when confronted with three options (cheap, medium and expensive) people will more often than not opt for the middle.
Finally, bundling associated products and instalment, so that there is a discount for purchasing several items at the same time, may convince customers to opt for additional items if it is cheaper than purchasing and installing them separately at a later date. An example of this is someone purchasing SMART technology. Someone interested in tech will usually be interested in similar innovations especially if they are getting it at a discount.
TradeSparky is a UK online electrical wholesaler who specialise in providing a comprehensive collection of high quality, branded products from the world’s leading manufacturers to contractors, electricians, tradesmen and DIY consumers.