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Looking Beyond the Job: Integrating the Upsell

By David Sanders June 03, 2016


Typical homeowners do not think about their roofs before they engage with their contractor. To them, a roof is an essential piece of a building, but one that goes unnoticed unless it’s causing problems. Most customers want a cost-efficient option that will properly shelter them but also expect the best quality products and installation. 

Being a roofing contractor isn’t just about meeting the basic need of fixing your customers' roofs. It's about providing your expertise, honesty, and knowledge of your trade. When you integrate these factors eloquently into a sale, you can gracefully transition to an upsell opportunity. Never underestimate the willingness of a homeowner to upgrade- after all, their home is usually their largest investment, and one to which they have personal interest.

To avoid the “used car salesman” tactic, there are a few key approaches for naturally using the ‘upsell’ to your advantage. When done appropriately, the upsell benefits to both you and your customer provide a win-win scenario.

Know Your Customer

The first step to successfully upselling is to understand your customer’s needs. This allows you to get a full scope of where you can implement win-win suggestions. The average cost for a homeowner to install a roof is about $7,000. Depending on the need and opportunity, additional features may be suggested. Understanding the specific situation, the reasons for replacing or repairing the roof, and their general feelings about the project can help guide your next steps. Here are a few possibilities...

After the initial estimate, you can then propose better materials, better installation processes, and new ideas. Some of the most popular upsell features in roofing include:

  • Process of Installation. Installation can be meticulous or quick. Selling customers on a meticulous installation, rather than one built on shortcuts, shows them your dedication to the quality and long-term sustainability of their roof.
  • Ventilation Systems. This is a feature some building owners might not even realize is part of the project. Educating them on the importance of an adequate ventilation system and selling optimal products is an ideal upsell.
  • Skylights. Selling skylights is more than just an added feature to a roof, it presents an added benefit to the room below with natural light or replacement of old leaking windows. Skylights require the same equipment, ladders and safety gear as a roof installation, so it’s an easy added-bonus.
  •  Gutters. Every roof that requires gutters can be upsold to have lasting higher quality gutters installed. New gutters or adding covers to the gutters are easy additions to an existing project.
  •  Shingles. Convincing a building or homeowner to upgrade to better shingles often takes a delicate approach, but can be effective in selling a variety of different shingle products ranging in color and durablility that the customer wouldn’t have known about otherwise.

Simply, find what is important to the customer and fit the upsell to the situation. For example, if a roof is being replaced after a storm, you can pitch sturdy and long-lasting products and a complete roofing system. If the project is purely cosmetic, upsell what will look best with the surrounding buildings or homes.

Drive the Importance of Value

Regardless of what your upsell involves, remember to underscore the benefits and value that the higher cost product or service will provide. If customers aren’t sure what products are best, you are the industry expert and can educate them. This will lead to an optimal sales oppourtunity and a better roofing system. Ensure you explain why their lives will be better with the more expensive option, and how cutting corners will actually cost more in the long run. Personalizing everything to their interests, priorities, and needs will benefit your customer and your business.

Demonstrating expertise regarding roofing systems and technologies lends credibility to your services. This type of relationship is priceless in creating loyal customers that will gladly recommend your company with ‘peace of mind’ testimonials, the best form of advertising.

Integrating the upsell is a delicate balance of promoting optimal products and systems with the most fitting solution. It all starts with building personal repoire. 


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