Use Contractor Rewards to Increase Your Upsell Rate

contractor rewards

As a manufacturer, it’s not always easy to motivate contractors to upsell your products or services. After putting so much work into researching, developing and marketing upgrades, useful supplemental products, top-notch aftermarket services, high-end or energy efficient products, you may wonder why contractors don’t sing their praises. It’s because they have different priorities than you, and they don’t hear you speaking to those priorities. A contractor rewards program can help you speak the same language as contractors, tapping into effective upsell incentives.

First, let’s take a closer look at the disconnect between manufacturer and contractor. It’s important to understand that contractors typically aren’t upselling your brand out of laziness or ill will. As building industry sales growth consultant Mark Mitchell says,

The way to get contractors to sell upgraded building products is to talk to him in terms that are important to him. And some things are more important than profit to him.
(Source: http://www.seethewhizard.com/blog/contractors-sell-upgrades)

Think of it from the contractor’s perspective…

  • At the end of the day, they just want to make the sell. They’re often their own boss.  They don’t have sales managers or manufacturers looking over their sales process, studying their customer base and developing sales strategies.
  • Contractor sales are usually all about the customers’ best interests. Contractors push the most affordable option. Maybe because that’s what they would choose for themselves. Or, maybe because consumers these days are trained to track down the best deal. In this hot pursuit of the cheaper option, contractors and end-customers both may zero in on a product with a lower price tag. This may happen even though it may not be the most sensible or cost-effective choice in the long-run.
  • They don’t necessarily have sales training. Approaching customers the right way, with transparency and a true solution to their needs, is an artform.

How can contractor rewards help you fix it?

When training contractors, use their language—the language that’s geared toward being helpful and beneficial to the customer. They want to serve the customer, but they may be mistaken in thinking that customers always want the cheapest option. At the heart of any contractor incentives or rewards program should be a solid customer value proposition and a sensible explanation for why cheaper isn’t necessarily better.

For example, let’s say your contractor meets with an end-customer to discuss installing an HVAC unit. The end-customer wants the cheapest unit available.  However, the customer doesn’t realize the coolant in the unit is outdated in terms of the latest energy efficiency innovations, and will be obsolete in a couple of years. Many end-customers would veer away from the unit with outdated coolants, given this information. But contractors may only be able to give customers this information if they receive and retain it from you. This is where contractor rewards step in to fill in those missing gaps of information and motivation.

Contractor rewards program benefits

Use a contractor rewards program or contractor loyalty program with training incentives and sales rewards to get contractors to upsell when it’s better for everyone in the long run. Contractor loyalty programs help you accomplish these four things:

  1. Motivate contractors to participate in training. Whether it’s answering online quizzes and surveys, attending training seminars, expanding their skill set or earning certifications, training incentives can motivate contractors to go the extra mile in becoming knowledgeable, confident advocates and spokespeople for your products or services.
  2. Offer contractor rewards for product/service upsells. This adds even further incentive for contractors to take a little more time to sell customers the upgraded or additional products and services that will increase their satisfaction and improve their experience.
  3. Use sales tracking technology to schedule multiple, simultaneous contractor sales promotions. You can follow the progress of different contractors, different products/services, different regions, etc., gaining insight into how effective your sales strategies are and where you could improve.
  4. Use sales claims uploading technology. This gives contractors the ability to upload invoices, warranty registrations, aftermarket sign-ups and other sales documentation to your contractor loyalty program. This can grow your customer database so you have a clearer picture of buyer personas and spending habits, determining with better accuracy which customers can benefit the most from upsell.

Communicating to your contractor sales reps, as with most communication, is more effective through actions than words. Using contractor rewards to reinforce helpful information about your products can motivate contractors to upsell and expand end-customers’ options, building trust and loyalty while ensuring you’re meeting demands with the best possible solutions.