Sparky Surge

Whole-Home Surge Accounts for 13% Overall Revenue

Business is booming for the Mister Sparky Electric franchise in Northwest, AR, so it is no surprise that their whole-home surge sales have taken off along with it. Since 2009, they have grown from one location to nine total across Arkansas, Utah, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arizona, Texas, Nebraska, and Kansas! Made up of over 150 employees, they have about 80 electricians, 20 apprentices, and a robust contact center team to support everyone.

With no signs of slowing down, we sat down with Rachel Caffrey, Director of Systems and Administration for the franchise, to see how the whole-home surge protector product has contributed to their growth.

Whole-Home Surge Success 

One of the top-selling products for this group has been the whole-home surge product, selling nearly 300 units per month across all their locations. They have been selling this product since 2019, when they hit the market, and haven't looked back.

In 2019, when the product first came out, it made up about 8% of their total revenue. In 2023, the whole-home surge product comprised about 13% of their total revenue. This location hopes that that number will climb to 20% of total revenue this year.

How Do They Do It?

"We educate and relate on surge protection all the time to homeowners," Rachel said, adding, "It is one of the main things we offer to pretty much everyone. You need to have this in your house."

When their electricians enter a customer's home, they run through a safety inspection checklist. Surge is part of that list and can give the tech an idea of what the customer currently has and needs. "This is a good way to open the door to that conversation with the homeowner," Rachel says. "Here are all the safety things we are checking in your house, and here is what they look like."

From there, the techs educate the homeowner on the importance of having the product in their home from a safety standpoint. They break a few things down for the homeowner:

  • Here is what it does
  • Here is why you need it
  • Here is how it will affect your life

They also ensure every technician is stocked with at least four on their truck each day. Since the installation is quick, they can do it on-site if a homeowner decides they want it.

"Techs and the local managers also really appreciate that the product is branded Mister Sparky Electric. This helps eliminate the customer trying to price match, which has been really helpful," Rachel said.

Sales Training to Ensure Adoption

When asked how they have such success selling this product, Rachel said they train, train, train. It is crucial to ensure their techs understand how it works and why homeowners would want the product in their home.

"We really believe in this product, so we offer it to everyone. We do a ton of training on it because we are really impressed with it," Rachel said.

Their locations have a lot of employees to wrangle for training, and they have found it easiest to do a virtual call twice a week with their entire field staff. Their Tuesday meeting focuses on one product from their top ten safety items – surge is number 5 on that list.

They also have a training class for all new employees called Nine Steps, where they bring everyone into their Arkansas location. "They not only learn how to talk about the surge, but they also have to present it to us in the class multiple times until they have nailed it," Rachel said. They have found this is the best way for techs to get comfortable presenting the information to homeowners.

When selling to homeowners, they make sure their techs include their Power Club Maintenance program in the options they should get. When homeowners get this program, a tech will go back out in 12 months to check their work and tighten up panels. It is a great source of additional revenue, and they've seen a majority of people sign up for the club, with the goal of having 50% of their customer base join this year.

Offer Incentives to Your Techs

For every surge install their techs make, they get a commission on their paycheck. This is a great way to incentivize the techs to sell the product.

"As long as techs understand how it works, the benefit to homeowner, and the benefit to them selling it, they will do it. Because it is a low-intensity labor install, you can pay them pretty well to install the product, and it doesn't take them too long to do."

The price and margins of the product, combined with the fact that it is a low-intensity install, have also attributed to techs selling it. They price the product at a flat rate, which allows them to see higher margins. There isn't a high rate of return for these products either, making them a no-brainer.

How Else BuyMax Has Helped

In addition to the whole-home surge product, this Mister Sparky Electric also sells smoke detectors, compressors, cable surge, and 3-phase surge, which has been an excellent resource for them. They have been selling the BuyMax smoke detectors for the past 15 years and have sold about 1,900 in the last three months.

Checking customers' smoke detectors to ensure they are still safe and in service is another part of their safety inspection, so it is an easy sell to homeowners. Their techs always keep about 12 smoke detectors on their trucks, which helps ensure they have what they need for the day.

Mister Sparky Electric branded shoe covers from Shubee are another vendor this group loves using. They purchase the shoe covers for anyone entering a customer's home and like how they are branded.

If you want to learn more about the whole-home surge product, contact your BuyMax Regional Account Manager today.