Volume 49, Issue 4 - April 2014


All the Buzz
What Can This Three-Month Program Bring You?
By Paul Bieber

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, what’s the newest thing of all?” asked John Doe from Glass Company XYZ. This very sarcastic mirror replied, “Have you been living under a rock? Look around, not here in your shop, but at the industry. It is adding value to your glass. Printing on glass used in the commercial marketplace and color in the residential marketplace are the hot topics.” And, with that, the mirror stopped talking and just hung there on the wall.

C’mon, think about it. It costs exactly the same to take an order for a mirror (polish, deliver and install it) whether the mirror has a polished edge or a beveled edge. You always want to upsell your products.

Upsell Options
Plain glass may cover the overhead, but added value is where you get the bucks to take your vacation. And like the mirror said, printed glass is a hot topic (Don’t believe me? Turn to page 28.) Train your employees to upsell. Set up a three-month program where your employees get a $10 gas card for selling up on a certain product … maybe a higher quality window line, or a mirror with safety backing, or using thermally broken metal in a storefront job. How about any table top or shower door sold with Starphire™? Or maybe a shower door with an etched pattern?

"It costs exactly the same to take an order for a mirror (polish, deliver and install it) whether the mirror has a polished edge or a beveled edge. You always want to upsell your products."

Sounds easy here in USGlass magazine. Give your employees selling tips on each item you want to really sell. Don’t know them? Ask your distributor or fabricator for these tips. I’m sure they will help as this is upselling for them too. Ask your fabricator to split the cost on the employee gas cards as well. When I was running a fabrication facility and found a customer willing to push our products, I almost always helped with their sales promotion costs. And this concept can work for all levels of business.

Get Employees Involved
The employee who earns the most gas cards at the end of the three months should earn a reason to use those gas cards. Give a Friday off and send the winner plus one away for a driving-distance vacation and pay their hotel for two nights.

Don’t forget the folks in back either. Set a team company goal. If the sales team earns X number of gas cards then every person in the company gets a reward. If the people who do the installing do a good job, and earn a referral, then the sales team may be more likely to upsell. The whole company award doesn’t have to be big; it is recognition that everyone is involved. Nice pocket knives engraved with the company name, an inexpensive digital camera or an Amazon gift certificate are all good ideas.

After the three months are up, it will become second-nature to your sales crew and the upselling will continue. Don’t make this a permanent program. A year from now, do it again with different products with which your fabricator or distributor work.

Upselling equals more profit for you. I’m sure you are okay with that.

Paul Bieber has 37 years’ experience in the glass industry, with C.R. Laurence and as executive vice president of Floral Glass in New York. He is now the principal of Bieber Consulting Group LLC and can be reached at paulbaseball@msn.com. Read his blog on Tuesdays at http://usgpaul.usglassmag.com.

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