By Brian Gurry, master contractor and host of “American Builder”
Summer – viewed by many as the height of construction season – will be here before you know it, so the slower winter months give you the perfect opportunity to prepare for the busy season ahead. Amid growing awareness of climate change, businesses and consumers alike are making efforts to be more eco-friendly across the board, and they’re likely to make more room in their budgets for green building materials.
What steps can you take to replicate – or even top – the success you saw in 2016? Check out these three upselling tips to set yourself up for success in 2017.
Customers want eco-value, so offer it
Not only are consumers interested in being more eco-friendly, but they also don’t hesitate to shell out extra money for the sake of going green.
Nearly two-thirds of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products, according to the 2015 Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report. Meet the demands of these potential customers by offering the option of sustainable, technologically enhanced wood, such as Kebony. Products like this are ideal for environmentally-conscious consumers. Kebony only harvests sustainable wood species in an effort to put an end to rainforest degradation. The treatment process for Kebony also uses a bio-based liquid, so no toxins or harmful substances are found in or emitted by the product.
It’s important to remember, however, that while some customers may be quick to choose sustainable wood, others may need more convincing. In addition to its environmental benefits, Kebony is a highly durable, sustainable wood decking that requires little maintenance aside from normal cleaning. Best of all, it’s non-toxic and won’t release any harmful chemicals. When upselling green building materials, make sure you’re fully prepared to share the wide variety of benefits with your customers.
Maximize each project to its fullest
If you’re looking to sell more green building products in the coming year, and increase overall revenue, consider the size of your typical project and think of ways to make each product more profitable. This way, you can make each project bigger and better, rather than having to spread your team thin on multiple small projects to bring in more money. One way to increase profits for each deck or other project you complete is to sell add-ons.
From lighting to railings, add-ons can benefit both you and your customers. Not only will add-ons increase the ultimate invoice for each project, but they also can also improve long term safety once all is said and done. For example, installing a few lights and railings near steps will make it easier for your customers to get up and down their decks in the dark and during icy winters. Another option to increase profits is by encouraging customers to opt for sustainable building materials, as was mentioned earlier.
Customer service begins long before a job starts, and it never ends
More than 40 percent of homeowners ask a friend or family member for a contractor referral before going online for potential research. An additional 28 percent simply ask a contractor they know as the first step in their search.
Stay top-of-mind with past customers by following up every so often after you’ve finished the job. Some options might include writing a thank you card or sending a client satisfaction survey. Also, offer a discount on future work by sharing a referral code with your customers, which can ultimately keep your customers – and their friends and family – coming back for more. You might even consider an annual “checkup” to perform any minor repairs or cleanings free of charge at least once a year, to remind clients of your top-notch customer service.
Although the days might be shorter this time of year, the longer summer months will be here in no time. By encouraging customers to go green, expanding upon each project and following up with past customers, you’ll rake in profits throughout the 2017 building season.
About the author
Brian Gurry is a master contractor and founder of Tuff TV network’s “American Builder,” a reality-based home improvement and commercial construction media brand with television shows that have won five Emmy Awards. Brian is also known for National Geographic’s “Bid and Destroy,” and he is the commercial face of Renewal by Andersen windows.