How should I bonus my techs for “up-sells”?

motivate-cleaning-technicians-to-make-addon-salesQuestion:  How should I bonus my techs when they “up-sell”?

Steve’s answer: Pay “more” when you make more profit!

Hi Steve,

How should I reward my technicians when they up-sell additional services that weren’t on the original invoice? BTW, your SFS: Business Transformation has been a a huge help in my company!

Pumped-Up in Pittsburgh

Not to dodge a good question, Pumped-Up, but my answer really depends on the profit margins you are working with on your “Additional Service Options”. (ASO’s)

NOTE: I don’t really like the phrase “up-sell”. (And yes, I’ve been guilty of using this phrase, including here on our SFS website.) But “up-sell” implies sort of a pushiness. (Never allow your staff to high pressure a home owner. It is unethical, counter productive and just plain wrong!) Instead, I much prefer “Additional Service Options” and “gently pre-orienting” your clients.

One suggestion we make in our SFS seminars is to increase your prices by 20% on protector and then DOUBLE your tech’s commission. This way you will make just as much net protector profit per square foot BUT your tech’s will get excited and sell MUCH more. the result? You all make more money!

So many times our SFS members will go with a two-step commission where they pay more for the fast, high profit stuff like protector and pet deodorization (We”ll call these high-profit items “#1 ASO’s”) and less for extra rooms and furniture. (Especially if the work has to be scheduled for a separate trip!) So let’s call these more “challenging” services “#2 ASO’s”.

I find to even get your tech’s attention #1 ASO’s (such as protector) such as protector the bonus should be paid at 20% of the extra work and the #2 ASO’s at least 10%. Your goal? Try to be as “dramatically generous” as possible while not losing money yourself.

Remember that when the work is done while there all your marketing, general overhead and travel time has already been covered (hopefully!) by the original job. So you can afford to be generous!

However, now for a warning. Calculate this stuff carefully BEFORE you announce a compensation change to your employees. Once you give something it is a very negative MOT for techs to take commissions away! (Can’t say I blame ‘em!)

Another suggestion is to (as much as possible) remove the “Low lying fruit” as in not giving out a bonus to techs on extra work that the customer would have done anyway. You really want your techs to show the initiative and effort to make the extra work happen that their customer hasn’t thought of! So how can you make the separation between the two types of work?

The secret is to “pre-orient” your customer as much as possible with your optional services so they book early BEFORE your tech arrives. So now after booking the job your phone person verbally mentions other “complementary” services that your company has available. (You’ll be amazed how often your client will say, “Oh, I didn’t know you also clean upholstery!” BINGO!)

Some big advantages of pre-booking additional work is you can now schedule the time to do the work instead of trying to “cram it in”! And finally you are now not putting all your hopes on the backs of your over-worked and always-running-behind young technicians!

Now if your customer can’t think of anything right away on the phone call just fall back to your “Getting Ready for Your Big Day” Cleaning Check List” email. I suggest you send this out after booking the job. This email should include links to all the services you offer. (Hopefully you have a separate landing page for each additional service.) Here is how to give your client “another chance” to buy “extra services”:

After getting the email address to send the Check List your phone person should say, “Why don’t you look this list over and may I call back tomorrow at this time to see if there is any other services you would like to have done at the same time? That way we can save you both time and money!”

NOTE: Be sure to bonus your phone people on any extra work over and above what the customer initially asked for. But you can do so at a lower rate since the phone dispatcher has very little time invested in this transaction. I suggest a 5% spiff.

I’d really appreciate seeing what you (and all our other readers) come up with.


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