Leverage MRO jobs to grow sales
With the right approach, maintenance, repair and operations tasks can be an opportunity to grow sales.
At first glance, maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) jobs might not seem like an opportunity to grow sales or the customer relationship. In reality, the methodical and recurring nature of these jobs creates the perfect opportunity to do exactly that.
Take water heaters, for example. Typically, you do inspections once a year and replace the unit once every decade. But with new Department of Energy regulations that went into effect April 16, now is the perfect time to educate customers on the changes and guide them in decision making.
The new energy-efficient water heaters are bigger, so it might make sense for customers to rethink the available space and consider upgrading the unit they now have. This type of routine maintenance job can easily transition into installation of a new tankless water heater.
Pipe maintenance is a relatively common MRO task, and there are effective ways to expand that into a larger job. Water conservation, for example, is more than just a trend. In many any parts of the country facing severe drought conditions, people are being required by law to reduce water usage.
One effective step to conserve water is upgrading water fixtures to Watersmart and/or low-flow models in the bathroom and kitchen. These products will save water and may save the customer money on utility bills. Once you have an opportunity to work in the bathroom or kitchen, the upsell opportunities are considerable – from paint, cabinets and countertops, to flooring and lighting.
More opportunities to grow sales
Paint is probably the most overlooked upsell opportunity. Almost any MRO project will take place near painted walls, which is a perfect time to engage customers in conversations about upgrading colors or improving durability. That conversation could quickly become a much larger job – allowing you to use programs like Home Depot’s Pro Xtra to drive savings.
In addition to saving money with rebates and loyalty programs, you can save time on the jobsite by taking advantage of new products and technologies that can shave time from MRO jobs.
Innovative new products allow you to work faster while still producing quality results. One example is SharkBite for pipe work behind the wall. Push-fit systems like SharkBite can dramatically reduce the time it takes to complete a job by eliminating soldering, clamps, unions and glues.
Perhaps the most critical part of this entire process is establishing trust with the customer by taking MRO tasks seriously – doing good work, finishing jobs on time and knowing when to follow up. Use Pro Xtra to track your purchases and help identify the best time to revisit a customer – once again initiating the conversation with MRO but expanding the job where relevant.
Building that relationship with a customer will inspire them to think of you for far more than the simple MRO project that started all this.
–By J.T. Rieves, Vice President, Pro Business, The Home Depot
J.T. Rieves has been with The Home Depot for 27 years. During that time he’s held many positions including hourly associate, store manager, district manager, regional vice president and two rotations in the corporate office. Rieves has spent time working in hardware and store operations. He is currently in his fifth year as Vice President, Pro Business.