The question: How can an owner motivate techs to sell more without them “gaming” the system or causing “unhealthy” competition?
Steve’s answer: Focus on creating delighted clients and loyal employees. And set up clear advance communications with the customer to avoid confusion at billing time.
I am struggling with when to pay commissions on “Additional Service Options” or as you say, “ASO’s”. (My techs keep calling them “Up-sells”!)
Currently I say an ASO is anything that was not initially asked for by the customer. The problem is how can I know if my techs are fudging the numbers? They can easily claim an ASO that was already asked for by the customer! (And with no selling effort on their part!)
I’m also thinking about doing a GROUP commission where the techs and my phone people that book the job could share a “pot” at the end of every month. I want to create a team atmosphere….BUT not everyone is motivated the same. I could also see jealousy or the good, old “They aren’t doing his/her part” bickering!
What do you think, Steve?
Not Sure in Nashville
Dear Not Sure,
Tell your techs to not feel bad. I still slip and call ‘em “up-sells” too! (Heck! It is still in the title of my free Special Report “Upselling Scotchgard on the Home Front” HERE!) But even so keep on reminding your employees…
The reason you call them “Additional Service Options” (we used the acronym ASO’s internally in my company) is that it gets away from the high-pressure “up-sell” philosophy that is the curse of our industry. Pressuring the customer to spend more is not only unethical it is also ultimately counter-productive!
Plus “Additional Service Options” is a nice sounding phrase your employees can actually use with the client as in, “So Mrs. Jones, let me review your Additional Service Options with you”. (Somehow “Let me review your up-sells” just doesn’t sound right!)
Remember that you want to “pre-orient” your customer on their ASO’s throughout the booking and work process. (Remember: They can’t buy if they don’t know the service is available! HERE are some ASO’s you may not have thought of.) Your goal here is to gently and routinely give your customer the option of saying “yes”!
Most of our members use the SFS Phone Format that brings up any applicable “ASO’s” at the time of the phone call. If the client books these then they are written on the Work Order and do not count toward a tech’s bonus. (I recommend a small 5% or so spiff for your phone dispatcher.)
Then after booking the job immediately send out your “Getting Ready for Your Big Day” Customer Check List email to your client. This Check List should have links to all your different Additional Service Options. (With a separate landing page for each ASO!Be sure to illustrate them with photos or even better short videos!)
If the customer emails or calls requesting any ASO’s then these would be added to the tech’s Production Day Sheet and Work Order before they receive it and would not count toward their ASO bonus. However, once your tech walks through the door and they book an ASO that is not on the Work Order then you should pay the bonus. Don’t “nickel and dime” your people! Set up clear and fair parameters and then pay up after that! 🙂
Can an employee fudge and cheat you? Sure. But don’t let trying to catch one bad person allow you to create negative employee “Moments of Truth” for all your other good employees. In other words, “Trust but verify”! NOTE: Download my free manual on “Adding Employee Accountability” HERE.
Now on your “team shared bonus scheme” you are smart to weigh the consequences BEFORE you implement any commission plan and especially a shared one! (One of my favorite sayings with employees is “no good deed goes unpunished” and so it is!)
Look over the Employee Efficiency Bonus Pool concept HERE for some basic principles. (I would be interested in seeing what you come up with.)
Best wishes and thanks for sharing your issues. As I always say, “We’re all in this together!”