Managing Your Service Department: Asking Questions Will Increase Add-On Sales

Managingservicedepartment Forweb

Really great sales people ask a lot of questions. Why do you think they do that? They do it to determine what the customer’s needs are … so they can fill them!

Let’s visit a high-end retail clothing store. As a matter of fact, I was recently with my wife in a high end women’s clothing store that’s “guy friendly” – it has nice comfortable chairs if your wife is shopping there for a while!

As soon as my wife stepped through the front door one of the associates greeted her and immediately asked her if she was looking for something in particular. After a few short questions, the associate walked my wife to the area of the store containing the items she was looking for. As they were walking, the associate noted the newest items in the store and even pointed out where the sale items were. The associate continued making suggestions and even carried items of various sizes back and forth to the dressing room where my wife tried them on. To make a long story short, my wife ended up with a sizable purchase, partly because the associate asked questions.

The principles are identical in the trades industry. The tech may have been called to a home or office for a specific repair, but the potential sales are far greater than that. Note, my wife entered the store looking for one item, but left the store with several non-related items, thanks in part to the associate asking questions. If you are a tech, I encourage you to ask some general questions when you walk through the customer’s front door. Here are just a few to get you thinking:

  • Do you have any rooms that are warmer or cooler than the rest? (Potential sale: Zoning)
  • Do you have difficulty reading the thermostat? (As people get older those little letters and numbers are harder to see. Potential sale: Large viewing area on a new thermostat)
  • Do you travel a lot? (If the answer is yes, then installing a setback thermostat may be in order to reduce utilities while they are away for the home. Potential sale: Setback thermostat)
  • Do you, or any family members, have allergies? (Now you can talk indoor air quality. Potential sale: High end electrostatic air filter sale)
  • Do you ever run out of hot water while taking a bath or shower, especially when you have overnight guests? (If the answer is yes they might want to look at a larger, more efficient, water heater. Potential sale: Fifty gallon high efficiency water heater or perhaps a tankless, instant, water heater)

Asking questions can generate a substantial number of add on sales. My wife wasn’t even thinking about the jacket she purchased when she entered the store. However, when the associate told her about the latest and greatest in jackets, she bought one. Again, you entered the home to fix the furnace, or to repair the leaking facet, or fix an electrical problem but by asking a few questions you might just sell a setback thermostat, zoning system or air cleaner. Remember, when you are in the customer’s home you are the expert so talk about things that could actually be of significant benefit to the customer. How do you know what those “significant benefits” are? You ask questions!