I’ve met so many contractors in the plumbing, electrical and HVAC industries who work incredibly hard and put in intense hours to complete as many calls as they can in a day. These contractors have often been “trained” by customers to only present the least expensive, lowest value option, which means the only way to increase sales and profits is to fit as many calls into a single day as they can. As we all know, this is exhausting.
What I try to teach instead in my service technician training is that we first need to listen to our customers, and then present a number of options at different values that each meet our customers’ needs. This technique is called bundling. Bundling is one of my favorite topics to talk about because it’s a genuine “art.” To learn how to present bundles requires a lot of training, time and faith, because the shift in your thinking will be significant.
Bundling is critical to increase your close rates and your average tickets. Here are the three basic reasons you should be bundling:
- To reduce the number of value decisions needed to be made by customers. When a customer is presented with the bare minimum to complete the job, anything you suggest on top of that will feel like an add-on. Instead, start with a complete package. Your customer will be less likely to want to strip away items.
- To develop emotional ownership with customers. Give your customers a fully loaded solution that helps provide for their comfort, safety and convenience—not just the simple repair. Let them dream big with you. We need to let our customers know everything we can do.
- To make your medium option bigger. People are more likely to make a purchase when they feel like they are making a moderate decision. This is the reason you need to provide multiple options; with more “medium” options, customers will have more to choose from if they say no to the “supersized,” top service option.
You may be thinking that this sounds like a lot for customers, especially if they called for a routine repair job. But don’t forget: You’re the expert. Every repair you do is part of a system that you know inside and out. Your visit may be to repair, but while you’re with the system, you may find that there are other opportunities to improve it. By offering this up, you’re giving customers the opportunity for you to improve their quality of life.
When you are ready to embrace the bundling concept, be assured it will take some creativity and coaching from a peer or industry organization, such as Nexstar. You’ll have to decide how you can best bundle multiple tasks and assign one value to them based on your business plans and your market. But if you are looking for increased close rates and tickets—bundling is the business system you need to learn and implement now.