Hunter Plastics discusses cross and up-selling

Hunter Plastics discusses cross and up-selling

With the ongoing political and economic uncertainty currently surrounding the construction industry, maintaining and increasing that all-important profit margin has never been more important for merchants. Rod McLachlan, Category Manager – Rainwater at Hunter Plastics explores the large cross and up-selling potential that rainwater systems offer merchants. 

Up-selling and cross-selling are two key sales strategies for merchants to employ within their business. Used as a means of maximising sales and revenue, it involves encouraging customers to purchase either a higher specification product or ancillary item that relates to their main purchase. However, in order to implement such a strategy successfully — and whilst also providing customers with a valuable service — comprehensive product and industry knowledge is essential.

Rainwater systems are one area of the industry that offers significant up-sell and cross-sell potential, with a wide range of accessories available and comprehensive product ranges suitable for a variety of styles.

A feature on every building, rainwater systems perform the vital job of directing rainwater off and away from the structure, protecting it from potential water damage. While the primary products are of course the gutters, downpipes and brackets, there are also a wide range of additional items that merchants can recommend to customers, whether to help the installation process or reduce maintenance throughout the system’s lifespan.

A good example of such a product for a domestic property is a gutter leaf guard, produced by some manufacturers alongside their primary rainwater systems. As the name suggests, it prevents leaves and other debris from blowing into the gutter or downpipe and causing blockages. What’s more, some manufacturers also produce drain leaf guards, which work in a similar way, preventing leaves and debris from blocking the drain or from entering the underground drainage network.

It is also worthwhile being aware of the various tools available to help installers improve the overall speed or efficiency of the rainwater system installation. Indeed, manufacturers will often have several ancillary items available for sale alongside the main product range; from bracket spacers (designed to assist installers in the correct spacing and fitting of fascia brackets) and quick fix clips, to silicone lubricant sprays (which can help speed up the installation process and keep gutter joint seals moist, unlike washing up liquid — as can be often used — which dries them out).

Some manufacturers also offer telescopic offset bends within the key product ranges. As a result of its adjustability, the length of pipe can be easily changed depending on the project requirements, making it an ideal solution for customers who are perhaps faced with a challenging installation or where the offset angle required is unknown.

Rainwater systems are also increasingly providing merchants with a means of up-selling as the market expands. Gone are the days of gutters only being available in a black Half-Round profile. Instead, there are now a wide range of styles, profiles and colours available, with rainwater systems viewed by both homeowners and contractors as an aesthetic feature as much as a practical essential.

For example, inspired by Gothic architecture, Hunter Plastics offers the Regency gutter and downpipe system, with a bold and decorative profile, and also available in the ever-popular anthracite grey shade. There are also other styles available to suit a variety of buildings and aesthetics, such as rectilinear profiles, perfect for the more contemporary property, and PVC finishes that provides the look and character of cast-iron, such as Hunter Plastics’ Foundry Finish range.

Therefore, should you have a customer who is considering a standard gutter profile, why not introduce them to the wider market availability and suggest that they instead consider a higher-specification system?

The plumbing and drainage sector presents merchants with valuable opportunities for cross or up-selling, with such a huge array of primary product ranges and additional items and tools available. However, in order to successfully implement such a strategy, it is important that merchants take advantage of product training, whether in store or online, and other educational resources, such as videos and articles, that their suppliers and manufacturers offer. This will provide them with the comprehensive product and industry knowledge required.

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