Ask Steve

Ask Steve: Should I Sell Tangible “Add-On” Items in the Home?

Remember that the average tech has very limited selling skills

Men Selling carpet cleaning servicesSteve,

Did you ever have success selling “add-on” items to your customers? I'm talking about tangible stuff like vacuums, air cleaners, spotting kits, entrance mats and groomers. What did you “up-sell” besides the good old carpet protector?

-Meditating in Memphis


Yeah, Meditating, we used to putz around with selling spotter kits, groomers, entrance mats, vacuum cleaners, (and bags for them) plus furnace filters, etc, etc, etc.

But when we really analyzed all these up-sale items we found that:

1) We really didn't sell much of our stock and it usually got all beat up driving around in the truck, so we had to trash a lot of our inventory anyway. And more importantly…

2) These low profit add-on sales items were a distraction both to the tech and the client that kept both of them from focusing on the really profitable up-sell - carpet protector!

After in-depth analysis (and some frank talks with my better clients) I decided this “Yankee Peddler” approach of selling too much stuff to the homeowner was a negative “Moment of Truth.” Even worse - we weren’t making money at it!

So we dumped all the fluffy stuff and focused our efforts on “up-selling” carpet protector, upholstery cleaning, doing additional rooms and restoring their concrete garage and driveway floors while we were there on site.

One more thing we focused on (and gave our techs generous commissions for selling!) was our "Stay Beautiful" residential maintenance program. We put our client on an automatic withdrawal plan from their credit card or checking account and in return they got two cleanings per year for only a little more than what they were paying for one cleaning.

NOTE: For a complete guide on how to implement a residential “Stay Beautiful” program in your company just e-mail me at and put the words “ICS Stay Beautiful” in the subject line.

Remember, Meditating,  that your average tech has very limited selling skills and I wanted him or her focused on the areas that gave us the most bang for the buck!

Worked for me!

P.S. I would humbly suggest you never, ever "sell" a spotter again. Instead, make a “Cheerleader for Life” by gratefully tying your client to you with your "FREE SPOTTER FOR LIFE" program.  This is so much better than the cheesy four or five bucks you will make by selling your customer carpet spotter. The "Lifetime Free Spotter" concept was the single best marketing idea I ever came up with in my 20 odd years down in the trenches.

 NOTE: Steve and ICS want to consult for you! For a personal reply write Steve HERE with your questions, problems, struggles and challenges!  Your help is on the way! A new “Ask Steve” will premiere in the ICS eNewsletter every Thursday. Register for it by clicking here

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