Why Upsell?

Sometimes you are so happy just to make a sale that you don’t dare suggest any additional products they could buy. You don’t want to ruin the momentum you’ve built up to get to this point. Yet, I think you should ask yourself, “Are you serving your new client, and yourself, the best you possibly can by keeping quiet.”

Upselling is the right thing to doThis week I’ll discuss breaking the silence, and what you can do to increase your revenue per project, and give your clients better value. There are many ways to add value to a project, but in this case I’m talking about upselling. Using your knowledge and know-how, to suggest items that will make the project you are selling even better. Sometimes it’s these unique add-ons that make a project stand out. These may well be the conversation pieces talked about as your clients entertain their guests. And guess who will be mentioned when the subject is brought up? You guessed it – you will.

I’m going to list several things you can put in your upsell repository. Keep these in mind when you design and sell your next project.

“You might want to think about…”

  1. Extra storage – there are few homes that don’t need more storage space. Bookcases, built-in wine storage, built-in cabinets and drawers under the stairs. In the kitchen it might be slide-out cutting boards or nested tables that make up the island or are part of the island. Bunk beds with drawers underneath are another great way to make the most of the children’s limited storage space.
  2. Space savers – Many times, as I’ve drawn a design, I find dead space or unknown potential spaces in walls, or between walls. Some of these you might find in oversized plumbing walls, or where walls intersect at odd angles. These are great places to build some shelves or bookcases. Microwave drawers can add extra space in a crowded kitchen. Murphy beds are another space-saver that can transform a normal bedroom into a multi-purpose room. If you have a client that doesn’t mind paying through the nose for something that’s unique, check out the LiftBed. It’s made by a German company but you can  buy the mechanism in the US (http://www.flyingbeds.com/ for all your hide-away bed needs). The LiftBed goes up into the ceiling when you don’t need it. When raised it looks like a tray ceiling. And it has no support other than its attachment to the wall. Oh, and the mechanism alone costs over $25,000. Talk about an upsell.
  3. Organizing systems – these could be workbenches, shelves or storage devices for the garage. There are spice racks, inserts for kitchen drawers, tray racks, lid racks, knife racks, and recycling drawers. They could be specialized containers for the scrap room, or sewing room. Always mention the benefits of being clutter-free when it comes to organizing systems. There aren’t many who don’t dream of having clean, organized spaces. 
  4. Accessibility enhancements – this field is wide open, as long as you know your stuff. Grab bars, walk-in tubs, improved lighting, lower thresholds, all add to a safer and more accessible home. Never sell a bathroom without utilizing some of these safety items in your design. Your client will thank you for looking out for their safety and future needs. 
  5. Energy efficiency – many homes need additional insulation in the attic, better windows, tighter doors. All these create a more comfortable home. Using foam in the attic or crawl space can lower heating and cooling bills. Newer appliances use less energy. Stress the importance of saving energy, as the world continues to use more and more each day. 
  6. Green features – some clients are obsessed with “green” products. They want efficiency and cleanliness. Suggest adding an electronic air cleaner. Add low voltage and LED lighting whenever possible. If they are using exterior lighting, see if they’d like to make that lighting, that’s on every night, all night, more efficient by changing to LED and creating an automated system that turns on the lights at dusk and off at dawn, no matter what the season.
  7. Exterior improvements – even if your project is inside the home, you can still suggest improvements to the exterior, especially if they are preparing to re-sell in the near future. It could be landscaping, exterior lighting, better windows, a new roof, or a new front door. 

If you don’t have these, don’t try to upsell

There are two key factors to being successful at upselling. 

One is that you must know your client’s needs, personality, and lifestyle. It is not enough to know their basic needs and their budget. You really have to get in touch with them in a personal way. With this knowledge in hand, you will know how to suggest the additional items that they may need or want, even if they don’t know it yet. 

The second factor is product knowledge. You cannot sell what you do not know. There is nothing worse than erroneous or sketchy information about a product you are promoting. Take time to research new products. Find innovative products to add to your catalog. Attend local home shows, the Remodeling Show, and the IBS and KBIS conference. Talk with vendors about the features and advantages of their products. I can honestly say that every time I returned from a conference I was able to promote and sell a new product that I discovered on the show floor.

Set yourself apart

Next time you meet to sell a project or a design, expose your prospective client to a few of these new ideas. Your product knowledge and creative suggestions will keep you ahead of the competition. It’s smart, it’s fun, and it sure helps the bottom line.

Wishing you the best of fortune, Randall

This article was written by Randall S. Soules – Remodeling coach, adviser, and educator. You can reach him at Randall@scientificremodelingsystem.comExplore his Scientific Remodeling System eCourse, where you’ll discover better ways to advance your business, raise your profits, and improve your life, all through the use of superior remodeling processes. If you would like to learn more about this eCourse, click here. He also offers one-on-one coaching that will take your remodeling business to new heights!

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