Ask Steve

Ask Steve: At What Point in the Job Should I Sell Carpet Protector?

The easiest way to sell protector? Ask!

chemicals_green_FTHi Steve,

I know I need to sell more protector to my customers, but I’m just sort of hitting a brick wall mentally. Maybe you can help me.

Usually I’ve quoted the price to the customer over the phone and they are expecting to pay, let’s say, $150. So I normally just show up and start cleaning. When should I start pushing the protector?

Did you start upselling the carpet protector (and maybe deodorizer or whatever) right from the start of the job or did you sell it over the phone? Or did you like to wait and hit ‘em at the end? My problem? Too often I hate to seem pushy and don’t even try!

Steve, I always enjoy your comments and personal experiences, so thanks for your advice.

-Struggling in Spokane


Hi Struggling,

What we affectionately call "upselling" is really giving the customer an opportunity to spend more money with us. Please don't take this chance away from them.

NOTE: In our Strategies for Success seminar I prefer to use the term “additional services” instead of the “upselling” moniker. It just seems less high pressure.

Remember what may seem like an outlandish amount to you or me (or our techs) may just be pocket change to the homeowner! And what might seem like an absurd “over protection” to us may be just what the customer wants. How does the scripture go? "Judge not, lest ye be judged...?"

However, please remember that high pressure selling is counterproductive in the home. (Not to mention just plain wrong!)

But mentioning the carpet protector as an option during the initial phone call, then double checking during the inspection phase and then a last gentle check as in, "Mrs. Jones, you know these carpets have cleaned up much better than we expected. If you want us to protect them I can still do it before I leave ..." during the final walk through could hardly be called “high pressure!”

You can also say during the initial phone call, "Mrs. Jones, I'd like to send you our carpet cleaning checklist on how to get your home ready for your carpet cleaning. If I can have your e-mail address I'll zip it over to you right now."

NOTE #1: It is important that you start collecting your customer's e-mail addresses. But if you don't give your customer a valid business reason for wanting their e-mail, many will be reluctant to give it out. But this phrase "send you a checklist" puts their mind at ease. And even better, you will explain the benefits of “re-applying” the carpet protector in this checklist!

NOTE #2: If anyone wants the Carpet Cleaning Checklist I sent out to our customers just write me at and I’ll e-mail you a copy - no charge!


P.S. I almost forgot. The easiest way to sell protector? Ask! Most carpet cleaners don't and they are losing thousands in their pocket every year. The easiest way to remember? Post a picture of your newest dream toy (i.e., new boat, RV, motorcycle, computer, shotgun, Jaguar convertible, etc!) on your van’s dash. Look at it as you get out of the truck ... If this won't motivate the old additional services juices I don't know what will!

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 debut in the ICS eNewsletter every Thursday. Register to receive it by clicking here.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to i Cleaning Specialist Magazine.

Recent Articles by Steve Toburen

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

The 2014 Experience Conference and Exhibition

A look in photos at the 2014 Experience Conference and Exhibition, which was held from April 24-26 at the Embassy Suites Convention Center and Spa in Frisco, Texas.


Yes, it's only February now - several weeks or months before the thaw depending on where you live - and hopefully this winter has been a profitable one for your business during the historical slow season. But now's also the time to start planning for the busy season - spring - so that you can hit the ground running. In this episode of The Hitman Advertising Show, John Braun shares tips and tricks on how to make this spring your most profitable yet.
More Podcasts

ICS Cleaning Specialist Magazine


2015 Jan/Feb

The Jan/Feb ICS issue features content on cleaning services during the winter time, commercial cleaning, rug cleaning, new with rugs, marketing for restoration and new products.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Janitorial Work

In addition to residential and commercial carpet cleaning, do you do any janitorial work on the side?
View Results Poll Archive


The Carpet Cleaner's Book of Unlimited Success! (ebook)

Don’t worry about the recession or about your competition.  Now you can be the owner of over 400 ways for carpet cleaning professionals to make more money and get more jobs!

More Products


Director_Buyer.jpgThe premier resource and reference guide for the cleaning and restoration industries.

Click here to view


facebook_40.png twitter_40px.png youtube_40px.png


Truckmount.jpgEquipment listings and specifications from the leading industry manufacturers.

Click here to view