Stop Leaving Money on the table…


Most small trades business owners are very good at their job, fitting boilers, changing consumer units, building extensions etc…But many will openly admit they have had little to none business training.

I am no business guru, but I have some experience and feel a lot of people could really take what I am about to say in this article to really rocket their net profit!

What is Up-Selling and Cross-Selling

For those unaware of the term up-sell and cross-sell I will quickly explain,

Upselling is a sales technique that people use to maximise revenue from clients, Wikipedia’s definition is –

“Upselling is a sales technique where a seller induces the customer to purchase more expensive items, upgrades or other add-ons in an attempt to make a more profitable sale. While it usually involves marketing more profitable services or products,[1] it can be simply exposing the customer to other options that were perhaps not considered (A different technique is cross-selling in which a seller tries to sell something else). In practice, large businesses usually combine upselling and cross-selling to maximize profit.”

Up-selling is encouraging the purchase of anything that would make the primary product/service more expensive. For instance, when selling a Boiler Installation you could upsell the clients a better model of boiler or better control system to complement the performance of the boiler.

Cross-selling is the suggestion of any other product/Service to be purchased in conjunction with the primary product, for example, whilst selling the boiler installation you could sell the customer A system filter, maintenance plan or smoke/ CO alarms

So now you understand what up-selling and cross-selling is, let me explain how and why you should be utilising these very simple techniques to start maximising your revenue and net profit from every client!

How to up-sell/cross-sell

Depending on your business there are many ways to use up-selling/cross-selling…Let me start with a very simple example to start us off with-

Basic up-sell Example

You have just sold a boiler installation to your customer, you could then explain to them that for just £x extra they could have a better/higher output of boiler or all singing and dancing control system… Obviously with some added margin for yourself added on!

Basic cross-sell Example

You’re at your customer’s home carrying out a boiler service, the customer is already in a safety mindset so it would be a perfect cross-sell to mentioned to them is that you can provide smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms, Right there and then. These products are super easy to acquire at discounted rates via trade suppliers and online sources and can be sold by almost any trade on any job for solid mark up.

All you need to do is carry a few on your van and at some point on the job if you feel that it would be beneficial for your customer to have them, simply highlight the facts, ie, to protect their family and home, give peace of mind etc and make the sale.

The above examples are just to open your mind to the possibilities, see below some products/services that I up-sell/ cross-sell within my plumbing company-

  • Sure stops
  • Scale reducers
  • Service/maintenance plans
  • Smoke alarms
  • CO alarms
  • Inhibitor dosing
  • Eco flush syphons
  • Internet controllers
  • Add a Boiler Service to your landlord safety
  • System flushing
  • Other services ie plumbing, electrics, plastering etc

The list could go on and on.

DO NOT offer multiple options to the customers, this will only turn them off to what you offer, be strategic in what you offer each customer, for example, you would be wasting your time trying to sell an internet controller to a 70+ retired person, but a Sure Stop isolate on the other hand would hold great value to this customer.

Up-Sell / cross-sell sales give a huge boost to Net profit because whatever mark up you make goes straight onto your net PROFIT! ( the most important pot of them all) As there is no new specific overhead to account for ( apart from the initial costs of goods/labour). I challenge you all to buy 5 smoke or CO alarms and make the decision to cross-sell them a soon as possible and see the results for yourself.

That said, as with anything you sell the customer has to see the value in what you are offering, so don’t be ‘the pushy salesperson type’ this will only hinder your chance of up-sell/cross-selling and could damage your reputation. Only offer a product or service to someone if you feel it can bring value to that person otherwise, this may have a negative effect on your business

A lot of tradesmen feel uncomfortable when selling, but the easiest way to overcome this fear is to simply offer your customers something that you honestly feel would benefit them, it sounds simple and is… We as human beings have a habit of over-complicating things when in reality simple is the best way to do anything!

Up-selling/Cross-selling is used by all the big company’s, its a proven way to increase profits from every sale. As with anything dont run before you can walk, simply try a few of the basic tips i mentioned earlier and build on from there.

Well, this has been Wayne Bettess writing his views on up-selling/cross-selling, if you found this article to be helpful please share it with anyone else you feel it could help.

Thanks for reading.

No Excuses… Let’s Go!

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