Increase Close Rates and Average Tickets with Bundling

Originally published: 04.01.13 by Keith Mercurio


Reducing decisions, presenting the best option, and offering choices will get you started.

Bundling is the assigning of a single value to a combination of multiple items, and it is one of my favorite topics because it’s a genuine “art.” To learn how to present bundles to potential customers requires a lot of training, time, and faith because the shift in your thinking will be significant.

Bundling is critical to increase your close rates and your average tickets. It’s a complicated concept, but I have condensed it into three points to help introduce the process.

Reduce Value Decisions

Value decisions tie directly to the emotional ownership for customers. Every time a technician lists a line item, he forces the customer to ask: “Is this worth that?” But, we know customers have a limit to how much they will agree to when it comes to listed items. Instead, we want customers to have to answer only one value question. When a customer says “yes,” it needs to be for a total solution. You want customers to say “yes” to an air quality upgrade package versus trying to get them to say “yes” three times for a humidifier, a filter, and then UV lights. 

An interesting

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example highlighted by Barry Schwartz in his book “The Paradox of Choice” considered two groups of people. Each group was given the same car. One group’s car was fully loaded, and the other group’s was a basic model. They then were given an identical list of options with a dollar value assigned to each option. The group with the fully loaded car was asked what they’d like to take away, and the group with the basic car was asked what they’d like to add. Not surprisingly, the group with the fully loaded car took away less, and the group with the basic model added fewer options. The group with the fully loaded car had taken ownership emotionally for those extra items, and the end result was that the purchase price for their car was higher. It’s easier for people to retain ownership of something than to add something extra. Applying this same kind of thinking to our business is critical and relies on the value perception. People are more likely to let an item remain on a list than they are to add it if it’s not there.

Create Emotional Ownership

You want the customer to envision what life will be like after buying the service or product. Equate it to buying a new car. Do sales people have you test-drive the most basic model? No, they want you to experience the top model so that you can decide for yourself what level you want to buy. Similarly we want our customers to have the opportunity to choose their level of service or product, and that starts with providing them with their personal best option. This “want” option is drawn directly off lifestyle questions that your team gathers from the customer during the call. Without owning what they “want,” customers will have a hard time deciding what they “can.” Dream big. Our customers deserve to know everything that we can do.

Make Your Medium Bigger

Maybe the most important piece to bundling is adjusting a customer’s value perception for your services. Essential to adjusting that perception is to make your medium bigger. This time, let’s look at your favorite fast-food chain. This chain knows that 60% to 70% of its customers will order the medium-size drink, regardless of the ounces or cup size. The middle option feels safe. It’s not the biggest or most indulgent, but it’s also not the cheapest. You’ve probably also noticed this chain has started to offer more and bigger options on their value menu, and the medium cup is now larger, and there are even more size options, including “Super” or “Extra” large sizes. 

I know we are not selling soda, but the medium concept is still relevant. We have to start thinking bigger when providing customers with three options. The key to drive the medium up is to increase the top options you provide. Look at giving customers at least four, five, or even six options to solve their service or installation issue. Customers will feel safe making a choice in the middle when they are presented more solutions.

Remember, changing the value perception with customers and expanding your options is not up-selling or padding your estimates. It is your ethical obligation to offer the least-expensive option that safely addresses the issue you were called to solve. 

Once you have done that, then you can present additional options that are based directly on the lifestyle questions asked during the call. When presenting the options, don’t devalue any of them. Your goal is to give customers the freedom to choose the solution that works for them. If the option doesn’t work for you, then rethink the option. At this point, you are giving the customer the power to choose their solution and the power to be satisfied with your services.

When you are ready to embrace the bundling concept, be assured it will take some creativity and some coaching from a peer or industry organization. You’ll have to decide how you can best bundle multiple tasks and assign one value to them based on your business model and your market. But if you are looking for increased close rates and tickets, bundling is the process you need to learn and implement now.  

Keith Mercurio is the sales trainer for Nexstar® Network and trains members on sales, customer service, and motivation. Before joining Nexstar, he worked within a Nexstar member company, first as a plumber, then developing an HVAC sales division that produced $3.7 million within the first two years while incorporating many of the same techniques he teaches today. 



Articles by Keith Mercurio

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Increase Close Rates and Average Tickets with Bundling

Bundling is the assigning of a single value to a combination of multiple items, and it is one of my favorite topics because it’s a genuine “art.” To learn how to present bundles to potential customers requires a lot of training, time, and faith because the shift in your thinking will be significant.
View article.