Leaving Money on the Table

September 3, 2007

By: Matt Michel

Let’s face it.  No one likes calling a service company.  It’s a hassle.  Usually, it involves repairing something, which means something broke down.  Thus, the situation is negative and irritating before the first call is made.
Complicating matters for in-home service is the need for the homeowner to wait around for the technician to arrive.  It makes people feel helpless.  Once the technician is on the scene, once the repair has been made, there’s a sense of relief.  It’s over.  And it probably was less painful than the homeowner feared.

Shortly after moving into our home, we had an electrician install a light in a closet.  When the technician arrived, he was friendly and professional.  He did a good job and as he finished, we asked him how much it would be to install a small pole lamp on the patio.  He all but refused to give us a quote.  He said he couldn’t do it.  He told us *we* needed to call the office. We were practically begging him to sell us a pole light.  He all but refused to sell.

We never did get around to calling the office.  We still don’t have a pole light on the corner of the patio.

Would You Like Fries With That?
I wonder how much money technicians and salespeople leave on the table every day.  The number’s got to be staggering.

At the end of every service call, every technician should be trained to ask the customer, “While I’m here, is there anything else I can do for you?”

  • An electrician could ask, “Is there anywhere you would like a wall light or reading sconce installed?  We’re running a special this month.”
  • A plumber could ask, “Are there any faucets you would like replaced with one of our new designer models?  We’re running a special this month.”
  • An HVAC technician could ask, “Are there any rooms that are always too hot or too cold?  We’re running a special on balancing the temperature this month.”
  • A locksmith could ask, “Have you ever thought about a combination dead bolt system for your back door so you’ll never get locked out?  We’re running a special this month.”
  • A carpet cleaner could ask, “Are there any stains on furniture fabric that I could remove while I’m here?  We’re running a special this month.”

Is This Selling?
In a way, it’s selling.  Really, however, it’s helping the homeowner to get everything taken care of while the technician’s on the scene.  This is less hassle for the homeowner and less expensive.  Besides, they may never get around to calling again.

Source: Comanche Marketing. Reprinted by permission.
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Copyright © 2004 Matt Michel

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