Five ways to boost your average ticket

Jan. 7, 2014
The simplest way to boost your average ticket is raising prices One of the great ironies of service is that slowing down and taking fewer calls results in more revenue People who call a plumber have already chosen to spend more Dispatchers should match the opportunity to the plumber One remodel sale is roughly the same as 23 service calls

The goal of every plumber is boosting the average ticket. A $30 increase in the average ticket for the typical four-plumber company will boost the bottom line by $60,000. Here’s how you can do it.

  1. Raise prices: The simplest way to boost your average ticket is raising prices.  Since most plumbing contractors price too low, this is a good place to start.  Are your prices truly based on your costs? If you answered yes, when was the last time you updated your pricing? Even though inflation is low, it’s still present.  Consumer prices have risen 7% over the past three years.  Have your prices kept up.
  2. Sell more add-ons: One of the great ironies of service is that slowing down and taking fewer calls results in more revenue. It’s not intuitive, but when you slow down you notice repair and upgrade opportunities that are missed when you’re plumbing at warp nine. In addition, you have the opportunity to better build rapport with the homeowner, strengthening relationships, trust and consumer satisfaction. 

Teach your plumbers to make a list of everything they find and to present this to the homeowner. Note the items that are critical and those that will be in the future if something isn’t done today. Many repairs will cost less if performed proactively, plus the homeowner can avoid unnecessary water damage.

Prepare literature to support add-on sales, such as flyers and brochures for water alarms, washing machine hose replacements, water purification systems, and so on.  Give the literature to the homeowner at the start of the service call. Few people will be willing to consider add-ons when anxious about a repair, but after the conclusion of the work, some will ask about the items in the literature.  Sales are made simply by answering consumer questions honestly.

  1. Sell higher end products: Some consumers will always opt for the lowest cost solution to a problem. We call them do-it-yourselfers. People who call a plumber have already chosen to spend more. Chances are they have more disposable income, value a plumber’s knowledge and skill, and will be more open to upgrades.

Take every opportunity for a water heater replacement to sell a tankless water heater.  The homeowner saves money on utilities, gains continuous hot water, and eliminates the need to worry about a tank bursting (or worse). Depending on where the water heater is located, replacing a tank water heater with a tankless water heater may free up a closet. This alone will make some sales.

Bring product catalogs and offer higher end showerheads, faucets and porcelain.  The reason the big box stores carry more than the cheapest available is because some people want better products. You can offer even better products than the big boxes and can explain why they are better.

  1. Dispatch for dollars: Dispatchers should match the opportunity to the plumber. Some plumbers are better at add-ons. Some do a great job selling tankless water heaters.  Others can fix anything, but practically refuse to offer a replacement.  Some do extremely well with homeowners from their own ethnic group.

Send Mr. Fix It on warranty calls or to calls at newer homes. Send Mr. Tankless on all water heater calls, even if he has to pass another plumber on the way to the call.  Match the plumber to the opportunity.

  1. Add a remodeling department: If the average service ticket is $350, the average remodel is $8,000.  That means one remodel sale is roughly the same as 23 service calls with a whole lot less windshield time. 

People are staying in their homes longer. As a result, they’re spending more on updates.  Kitchen and bath remodels at the top of the list for return on the homeowner’s investment. Adding a remodeling department should be at the top of every plumbing contractor’s list for business enhancement.

Want more plumbing marketing ideas? Download the FREE Plumbing Marketing Toolbox for Apple or Android. It’s filled with dozens of simple ways you can promote your business. Simply search the Android marketplace or iTunes store for “Plumbing Marketing Toolbox” or call 877/262.3341 and ask the Service Roundtable Success Team to help you locate the app.

Matt Michel is CEO of the Service Roundtable, contracting’s largest business alliance. Check out the free downloads at For more information, call  877/262.3341 and ask for a Success Consultant.

About the Author

Matt Michel | Chief Executive Officer

Matt Michel is CEO of the Service Roundtable ( The Service Roundtable is an organization founded to help contractors improve their sales, marketing, operations, and profitability. The Service Nation Alliance is a part of this overall organization.

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