Art of the Up-Sell
We, here at ION, have had the privilege to work with some fantastic repair shops, technicians, and owners. This exposure has given us the ability to take an outside looking in approach to their business and investment. Repair has become a very competitive business in the sense of price matching and part cost.
It is no secret that accessories and upselling services are ways to sometimes double and triple gross sales over the course of the month. Knowing is one thing, executing is a whole other realm of achieving success.
Where do we set ourselves apart from the competition and retrieve the lost profit from price matching? You guessed it, customer service and upselling. This aspect is crucial to a successful business. We have seen this miss time and time again within some businesses and would like to hit on a few key points that are required to be successful:
This can make or break a business. It all trickles down from leadership. Customer service, upselling, and accessory positioning are a direct reflection of how much time leadership spends with technicians and front of house employees practicing and training. Leadership has to be engaged with their coworkers from the beginning. It is very tough to lack in this aspect and try to turn full circle without some pushback from current coworkers, but it can be done with baby steps.
We have seen quite a few posts around what an owner needs to get employees doing while there is no work. Cleaning and repair training has been the top answers here, when, in reality, the most profitable return is roll play. This is one of the easiest and biggest benefactors to successful upselling and add on in a transaction. Practice makes perfect and this rings true in this industry as well. There will inevitably be a lot of down time in repair shops at some point throughout the day or week and this is an opportune time to engage with your employees around process and approach when it comes to connecting with customers and positioning different services/accessories. It WILL be awkward in the infant stages. It happens. Continue through the awkwardness and the practice will reveal itself when everyone is interacting with customers.
This is where all the roll play and leadership come together. There are a lot of key points to address here in the sense of making a customer feel comfortable upon the first contact. Big wireless stores have proven time and time again that a name exchange provides a few things when interacting with a customer. A main one is personal interaction. We recommend this with every customer that comes through the door. If you aren’t the one that will be repairing the device then introduce them to their tech and have them exchange names. Make it personal. This alleviates the inevitable stress created from a broken device and sets up the entire transaction moving forward. Ask questions: What happened? How have things been other than a broken device? Sometimes customers want to vent and how better than to gather the most information available about the customer while relaxing them at the same time? You may learn some things about the customer that you will be able to use as an opportunity to sell specific accessories. Questions are crucial to positioning certain items and services. Ask about the battery life of the device and how it’s been treating them if the device is two years or older. We begin to learn that the more time spent learning about the customer and their device, the bigger the opportunity there is for add ons. Another approach is to put the accessory or part in the customer’s hand. This establishes a sense of ownership. This tactic has been used for ages by cellphone companies with success. Practice and use it, it works.
This is one of the toughest aspects of being successful in finalizing solutions for a customer. A lot of coworkers are fantastic at conversation, but poor at the initial closing. During role play, this an important step to emphasize. Get coworkers to ask for the sale. “Can we go ahead and get this installed or repaired for you today?” It doesn’t have to be an ordeal, but you must ask for the sale. If the steps prior to this are followed then your success rate will see an increase and the time spent practicing and engaging will be worth it.
Some closing tips: (Pardon the Pun)
- Allow the technician to interact with the customer throughout the repair. They will give the timelines of completion and it allows an additional interaction with the customer upon returning the device. Calling the customer to let them know their device is available for pickup and to ask for the tech when they come in to continue the conversation around accessories/services. Building more rapport is vital to success in this approach.
- Hold accessory/upsell contest within your shop to strike a competitive cord with those that have it. Base the prize off what is important to the coworker. Money drives most people, but you would be surprised at how a paid off day or a weekend off will really make things interesting in the workplace.
- Be self-accountable. Lead by example. You must execute this with every single transaction you are involved in to set the standard of what is expected with each interaction. It is very hard to hold people accountable when your leader doesn’t believe in the process. Good luck with that.
- Hire smart. I have found that it is much easier to teach a previous salesperson to be a tech than it is to teach a tech to be a salesman. It does happen, but it takes time to come out of your comfort zone for technicians. There are great technicians/poor salesman then there are great salesman/poor techs. When you can combine both through determination and practice, that is when your time with the coworker will pay off tremendously.
- Be adaptable. Know your people. People react differently to approaches when it comes to coaching. Know the best way they learn and use that to connect with your coworkers.
Every customer is an opportunity to create a lasting relationship and understanding that you have their best interest at heart. Building a reputation around name to name customer service and great conversation goes a long way in a business built on accidents and misfortune.
Thanks for taking the time to read. I hope it was a great reminder of what opportunities can be created with the correct approach. If you would like to talk further about this, please do not hesitate to reach out to us here at ION Parts.