Friday, September 3, 2010

Completing the Sale

Rick Segel's last post was on how to raise your average ticket by selling more. His suggestion? Suggestions (read his post here).

Of course, rather than tell you what to do, he invites you to attend his webinar to learn how.

With all due respect to Rick, I don't want you to attend any webinars, so let me tell you how I taught my staff to do suggestive selling. (Hint... it's not a whole lot different than, "Want fries with that?", but then again it is completely different.)

Complete the Sale
Every customer that is making a purchase has an expectation of using that item in one way or another. But most often the item is not a stand-alone item. Most often there are accessories either optional or required that make using the item much more productive and/or enjoyable.

A radio-controlled helicopter needs batteries. A model car needs paint & glue. A coloring book needs crayons. A dress shirt needs a tie. A pair of shoes needs socks. A new car needs fuzzy dice.

Yeah, that's the low hanging fruit. But every product has something that completes it, often many options to complete it.

Teachable Moment
To get my staff to understand this concept we started with our usual show-and-tell. Everyone grabbed one new item from their department to show off to the rest of the staff at one of our meetings.

But then I challenged them. I asked them to go back into the store and find five items that they could suggest to a customer to "complete the sale". Not surprisingly, they were all able to easily find five items. Some came back with ten.

The point made was that with every item there are plenty of suggestions of complimentary products, some of which they need, some of which they might just want. But unless you are conditioned to think that way, unless your staff is already mentally thinking in those terms, just making random suggestions is as effective as selling french fries.

-Phil

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