Small Upsells You Should be Doing as an Electrician


It’s hard enough to make a living in today’s economy. As an electrician, especially if you’re working for yourself, you should always be on the lookout for ways to bring in more money while offering something of value to your customers. 

One way to increase your profit and your customers’ satisfaction is by utilizing small electrical upsells of things that the customer needs or wants. This can look like offering deals on upgrades to a product or additions to the customers’ order that would add value to their homes. 

Table of Contents 

  • Things to Look for to Help with Upsells
  • Why Upselling Matters
  • How to Offer Upgrades Tactfully
  • Things to Look for to Help with Upsells 

    Evaluate your customers’ homes as you’re working. Do you see tons of appliances on the counters, all plugged into a six-way wall outlet or power strip? Is that array of shock-hazards-waiting-to-happen right next to the kitchen sink? And does that overcrowded outlet share the same breaker as the refrigerator and stove? Offering to make their kitchen safer and more energy efficient will not only help the customer in the long run, put more money in your wallet. 

    For example, does someone in the home use any durable medical equipment? Do you see any evidence of backup power sources in case of an outage? How many hours would their machinery keep working in the aftermath of a blackout due to a tornado, hurricane or flood? Offer to help them determine a game plan. 
    Does the home have flowers and herbs drying from a ceiling hook or garden beds growing herbs and vegetables in the kitchen? Is there a compost barrel in the backyard? You may be working for someone that might need some electrical outlets for grow lights, aquaculture or home growing production. 
    Do you see an electric or hybrid vehicle in the driveway? Does the owner have a recharge station yet? Offer to install one. And while you’re at it, put together a proposal to maximize solar power availability in the event that they could benefit from it. 

    Why Upselling Matters 

    Data from industry reports demonstrate that the electrical industry as a whole operates on a razor-thin, 2 to 3 percent profit margin. Any time you and your team can push that margin higher, that extra effort equals success, so ask for that upsell every time you enter a home in a graceful way. 

    Here are a few worthwhile upgrades to suggest on your next residential job. 

    Outlets with USB capability: The increasing number of wireless devices in almost every home makes outlets with a USB port built into the wall a huge convenience. Suggest these in bedrooms, closets, and the kitchen to add value to the home and increase the price of the product that you are offering, making this a win/win for both you and the customer. 
    Outdoor outlets: Many homeowners use outdoor decorations for holidays or during the summertime. If they don’t have a dedicated outlet on the exterior of their home, this can be a great upsell that will make their lives easier. This upsell is particularly beneficial for customers who own homes in neighborhoods with similar houses, as peer pressure to participate in community events may make outdoor outlets more appealing  
    Dimmer switches: Dimmer switches add comfort and convenience to a home in ways that a standard switch can’t. These are especially great for bedrooms, bathrooms, and any other room where a person might need to use the room at night and prefer not to turn the lights on at full brightness. Most dimmer switches are not expensive but make a huge difference. You can check out a list of options like these dimmers from Sunco. Just make sure customers remember that they’ll need compatible bulbs.  
    Cabinet lighting or display lighting: Lighting above, below, or inside cabinets with glass doors adds a touch of sophistication to a home. It is especially nice in the evening or at night when the main light is too bright to be comfortable, or when someone gets up for a midnight snack and only needs enough light to see what’s in the pantry. 
    Childproof outlets: Parents of babies and toddlers may be eager to switch normal outlets for childproof ones. They’re more expensive than the little plastic covers many parents use, but they are much more convenient and far safer than the alternative. Old homes won’t have them, and many parents might not even know they exist. 
    Integrated combination smoke/carbon monoxide detectors: Offer to replace battery-powered smoke detectors with an integrated system of combo smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This is another option particularly well-suited to parents who worry about the safety of their little ones but is an easy sell to most homeowners. 

    A smart thermostat: Who wouldn’t love to be able to control the thermostat from their phone? Customers with older homes may think they need to spend an arm and a leg for a device like this but let them know there are many options under $100, and power companies often offer rebates. A rebate alone is often enough to convince a buyer to upgrade. 


    How to Offer Upgrades Tactfully  

    The best electricians will never try to convince a customer to buy something they don’t actually need. It is important to gain your clients' trust and give them options with no pressure. Too many salesmen with "commission breath" can drop a sale by being far too aggressive and pushy. One way to offer upsells successfully is to offer customers a “good,” “better,” and “best” option. Let them know what you offer, but don’t pressure them into spending more on something they don’t want or won’t need. You might be surprised at how many people are willing to pay a little more for a bit of added convenience and honesty. 

    As an example, you might be working on switching out the retrofits in your customer’s kitchen. You can give them a few options, increasing the value of the product with each option. You may offer a general retrofit light from a local hardware store as the “good” option, a slightly more expensive light as the “better” choice and show off the high quality and value of a Sunco downlight as the “best” bang-for-your-buck option. 
    Another method is to go over a list of potential upgrades with a customer when you leave a job and then let them know to contact you if they decide they want to follow through with any of them. It won’t take much of your time, and it won’t make the customer feel pressured or uncomfortable. Imagining the added convenience of a dimmer switch every time they wake up in the morning can be a great incentive to call you back.  

    Each small upsell is another stone from which you build your business and your reputation as an electrician.  


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