Profiting more on upsells than the original job?

When you are out on a potential job site to perform an estimate,  pointing out issues on a home owners property, do you find you are able to make more profit on the upsells either immediately or soon after, once you get the customer to sign up for what they initially called you for?

I would figure there would be some kind of premium a customer would be willing to pay once they get to know you and are comfortable with you. Has anyone had such an experience or do you find you still need to bid your additional services as competitively as you bid your initial estimate?

Profiting more on upsells

Profiting more on upsells

This is a question I asked on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum and I was quite surprised by the responses.

One business owner said “I was called recently by an out of state homeowner that was wanting his deck cleaned in preparation for selling the home. I went to the site and by the time I was done I had washed the house, gutters, deck, driveway, sidewalk, repaired window screens and replanted the landscaping that was bad looking at the front door along the side walk.

All that while I was only called initially for a deck cleaning. I took photos and emailed them to him along with the pricing. Next call I got was go ahead and do it all.

I know what I need to make and I quote it all the same. I have no need to price gouge the customers.”

A second business owner added “I agree with this 100% in fact if I win a bid and do some add ons I’m more likely to discount the add ons. Bidding the upfront job properly is the way to go, not low ball every other guy just to get in the door and nail the customer on add ons.”

Another member shared “To me it’s all about building the relationship. If while onsite I see you have a few dead trees, I will suggest we can cut and chip those for you and for your consideration we will give you a quote. Quite often I see the siding needs to be pressure washed. I would guess generally we get the additional work, some it’s later on.

I can’t bid a project unless I see it, recent examples is leaf clean up. You may have a one acre property with what you think is a lot of leaves, to us it may be a 1 hour job. Some may have leaves six inches thick. It gives me a chance to explain the process we use (I am a very firm believer in educating the client, we win a lot of jobs because the competition comes in, looks around, says $xxx.xx and walks away). You need to understand exactly what the customers expectations are and the job to be done. This way most of the time we can do a few little added things to exceed their expectations. We often hear ‘oh my, that was nice I am going to refer you too.’ We may have decided to spend 30 min trimming when it was not part of the deal. Every one of us like to get something that we perceive as free. I have probably already factored it into your quote but didn’t mention it on purpose.

There are lots of reasons but the longer you are on the site the more money you should be making and the longer there the more people driving or walking by see you. I can’t believe the amount of business we get from people that walk up to us, happened to me yesterday while getting gas. It was a down day due to harsh rain. I took a new chipper into the gas station for fuel then to my lettering company for measurements. A guy walks up to me, looks at the chipper, makes a comment about what an animal it looks like, we laugh, wants the chipper and three staff Saturday and Sunday, chipping is simply $500.00 a day for operator and two staff, additional staff is $25.00. Chipping is one of the very few services we offer that I do not need to see the job unless the client wants to know how many days. Even then I will talk my way around this by saying, in my experience it will take xx days however that is just a guess, if you can only afford one day now, no problem, we would be happy to come back when you are ready for another round. It works and works well, why? Customer probably has a budget and they at least want some of the work done, I could say this will cost you $2,000 and never get the deal or I could take the approach I do and we at least get part of the pie now.

Now these chipping jobs for me are candy because I can send the highschool staff out there because there is a very short learning curve. I can leave the equipment the night before etc.

Another thing that we see is the customer might hire a crew for a day, they see the progress and change their mind and say, would you be able to stay another day, could you clear that area while you are here etc. You need your foot in the door, once there you have full access.”

What’s your view on this? I’d like to know. Please share it on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum here.

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