TOP TEN #2- Make More Money by “Selling Less”

I hope counting down our “TOP TEN Ways to Make More Money (MMM) from Each Job” list has helped you sell more.  But now my #2 MMM TIP is to …

Sell less! (Instead, focus on your most profitable add-on sales.)

That’s right- SELL LESS!  You can easily overwhelm the home owner with too many choices. For example, I used to sell entrance mats/ groomers/ deodorizer/ carpet spotter/ vacuums (and vacuum bags!) and Scotchgard/ extra rooms/ upholstery and drapery cleaning and even electrostatic furnace filters!  But then I discovered this “Yankee Peddler” approach is counter-productive:

1) It turns off the home owner- Your customer has probably been burned before by the typical bait-and-switch carpet cleaner.  So even if you absolutely stick to your agreed upon price if you are pushing one up-sell option after another the home owner can feel pressured.

2) A high “spoilage factor”- Riding around in a hot and bumpy van all day means your different “display items” get shabby real fast.  (We threw out a lot of damaged up-sell stuff.)

3) It is tough on your employees- Most techs aren’t comfortable “selling” anyway.  Plus offering all these options takes time.  With such a bewildering menu of options most techs will just “opt out” and offer nothing!  So I picked my battles …

I analyzed where our company made the most PROFIT.  (And what add-on services/products were best for the home owner.)  I came up with three “add-ons” we gently offered at every job:

A) Additional services–  We gave a 20% discount on extra carpet/furniture/tile and grout cleaning/garage floor renovation, etc. that we did while there on the job.  You are already there- saving the travel time and gas easily justifies a generous discount.

B) “Reapplication” of ScotchGard carpet protection-  Probably the single most profitable (and fastest to perform) add-on service out there.  (Sell more protector with this free Special Report.)

C) The “Stay Beautiful” Program- Once they understood the concept my customers loved this “pre-paid maintenance service contract”.  Even better, my accountant LOVED the regular cash flow the automatic monthly payments brought in!

So what “up-sell stuff” have you dumped?  And which ones do you (and your clients) love?  Tell us in the comments below.

Steve Toburen

PS: The one thing I NEVER “sold” was my “FREE Lifetime Spotter”.  Instead, on every pre-inspection (whether I got the job or not!) I would hand the customer a bottle of Spot-Out (with my logo and contact info printed on it) and say:  “This is a gift for you- a free lifetime supply of carpet spotter.” So please don’t “sell” spotter- give it away!

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2 thoughts on “TOP TEN #2- Make More Money by “Selling Less””

  1. Steve,

    You’re not kidding about the Scotchgard/carpet protection!

    Last year we did just under $35k in protection sales offering two different types of carpet protectors (one with a one year spot/spill warranty and one without). I think so many cleaners are missing the boat on this one. I’ve spoken with quite a few that don’t “believe” in protection and feel that they would be scamming their clients by selling it to them. I just can’t grasp this mentality. What’s the harm in offering it to them, and let the consumer make the decision? That is how we do it…the power of suggestion and very low pressure. (I mention it when we book the appointment and the guys offer it again once onsite). So simple, yet so profitable!

    We also protect upholstery and that dollar amount wasn’t figured in to the number above because we quote our upholstery with the protection so it’s not really an add on.

    In addition, we have “protection” for grout lines by offering to seal them once we’ve cleaned the tile and grout. Hardly ever does anyone not get the grout sealed once it comes up so bright and clean.

    In the words of Steve, “Seriously, folks”, if you’re not offering protection sales, you are leaving money on the table.

    We love the idea of the Stay Beautiful program and have just been stuck in FIT due to the paperwork, tracking and billing. I’m kind of nervous about not having a system in place so this becomes automatic. That is until now…..I’m super excited to have been talking with John Mapes about this and to know he’s in the process of developing an online portal that will automate this program just like he did with the retailer spot and spill warranty. I can’t wait for that! It will be a real revenue changer for us and other cleaners.

    Once again…SFS is on target! The connections and relationships we’ve made through being SFS members are certainly paying off for us.


  2. Yep, Meg. Sometimes I feel like “a voice crying in the wilderness”. Oh well- thanks for your support and for letting us help you and John make that extra 35K last year! See you folks in September!
    Your “Partner for Success”,
    PS Let me know how John’s new venture with the Stay Beautiful program goes.

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