- THE MAGAZINE
In any business there is one type of sale that brings the most profit, a single sales activity that can make the greatest difference in the profitability of your company. Not taking advantage of this all-important sales opportunity will cost you thousands of dollars. That sale is called the “up-sell” or “add-on” sale.
The reason this type of sale is so profitable is because you have already invested the cost of acquiring and serving your client. You have already paid for the gas and the wear-and-tear on you and your equipment.
Therefore, anything that is added to the ticket is extremely profitable. This makes the add-on sale the most profitable sale you can make.
With that said, how do we add on more sales? And more importantly, why don’t you make the add-on sales that you should be making?
The actual techniques of up-selling are not difficult or tricky. In fact, just the opposite – many times, simply opening your mouth is all that is required. I will discuss technique in just a moment, but first, there is a deeper issue that must be addressed.
The deeper issue has to do with overcoming fear (remember the definition of FEAR? False Evidence Appearing Real). Many times we are afraid to ask for an extra sale. We feel like the client will get upset. They will think we are too pushy. They will see us as a used-car-salesman type.
Prepare to be shocked: you are actually doing your customer a disservice by not offering the additional services. You’ll see why in a moment.
You should realize the value in making the add-on sale. You should also realize the potential loss of not making it. This should motivate and inspire you to focus and act on this extremely valuable and profitable opportunity.
We must come to grips with the importance of this activity and communicate it to our staff.
Making additional sales has great value to at least three different people:
- You (or your company)
- Your employee
- Your client
YouLet’s look at you first. What’s the value of an up-sell? If you are a solo operator and you were able to add only $50 per day average in sales (this should not be difficult in most companies) over and above whatever you are doing now.
Five days a week, 52 weeks per year, would total up to $13,000 annually.
The cost of acquiring and servicing that client has already taken place. Let’s say that your additional materials involved in providing the additional product or service was 20 percent.
You still have $10,400 leftover. That’s over $866 per month! Translation: a monthly payment on a Mercedes (or whatever your fancy), just by focusing on that $50 per day.
What if it was an average of $100 per day? Get the drift? That’s a great deal of money without much effort.
Your EmployeeFor companies with employees, let’s say you have three; that would be $39,000 in additional income to the company. Obviously, you will have some material cost, labor, and perhaps some extra incentive costs used to motivate your people to sell more.
Let’s say that your costs are normally 50 percent, but now that you have already acquired that client it goes down to 35 percent. You now have $25,350 in additional profit. That’s a real nice chunk!
Now let’s talk about your employees. Let’s say that of your 35 percent cost, 20 percent goes to the employee for providing the service. And let’s say you put in another 5 percent incentive for each up-sell that is made.
Here’s the value to the tech: $50 x 5 days x 52 weeks = $13,000 x .25 (25%) = $3,250 per year in additional income to the employee.
That’s $270 per month! Maybe not enough for a Mercedes, but maybe a used Mustang! How many dinners or diapers would that buy over the course of a month? A lot!
When you add compounding interest over a 20-year period, you can actually show your employees how this little process can create a very healthy nest egg.
Your ClientLast but not least, let’s talk about your clients. How could they possibly benefit from your taking more money from them?
Obviously, the benefit of having the service or product is there, and hopefully you believe that much in your product. But more important than the benefit is the potential loss to the client if they do not get this product or service.
What is the actual, realistic, potential loss your client may experience by not purchasing this “extra”? Fear of loss is one of the greatest emotional motivators known to man.
Communicating potential loss by not taking advantage of something always outweighs the benefits of taking advantage of it. Don’t overdo it, just understand the power that it carries.
Once you have clearly advised your client what could happen if they don’t use the service (in a professional, courteous, concerned manner), follow with the benefits and incentives.
Outline the benefits of using the service, how your company uniquely provides that service. The fear of loss plus the extra benefit of getting that service from you adds up to an effective presentation.
If you add an extra incentive for your client to take advantage of that service today, instead of some other time, you will also increase your response.
One last thought about your client: If she needs a service that you offer and you do not mention it, she may call your most despicable and unethical competitor to provide that service for her. Now how do you feel about offering extras to your client?
If you feel like you are “selling” something rather than providing a legitimate, needed, extremely valuable service or product that will help them avoid pain and loss, you will not be very successful.
Are you completely convinced that this extra item will benefit your client? If so, don’t do them a disservice by not offering it.
Understand that by offering a great add-on service you are doing your clients a favor. You are helping them, not hurting them.
How To Do ItThere are more sales techniques and concepts than I could possibly mention in a single article, but here are just a few tips that will help you and your staff add more sales:
- Just mention it. A multitude of sales have been made by simply asking, “Did you know that we offer…?”
- Get specific. Point out a specific service by asking, “What are your plans for...?”
- Avoid “no” questions. Try to avoid questions that can be answered with a closed “No.” In other words, don’t ask, “Would you like some…?”. Only ask a yes or no question if you are sure that the answer will be yes. You can ask a qualified “open no” like “Did you know we offer…?” The client may say, “No, I didn’t know you offered…” after which you can say, “Oh yes…” followed with your presentation.
- Use presentation materials. A booklet that outlines your products and services, brochure, product description sheet, flip chart, or post card can be a great help. Statistics prove that a listener retains up to 60 percent more with a visual presentation.
- Demonstrate. Someone once said, “A presentation without a demonstration is just a conversation!” Don’t just tell them; show them what the product does.
- Use testimonials. Written testimonials or verbal testimony about how this product helped someone else is always more powerful than what you say.
- Offer a free trial. If providing a sample of the service has the potential of leading to a larger order, offer a free trial. Once a client sees the product or service in action, they become more familiar with it, therefore making a believer out of them.