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How To Upsell & Cross-Sell To Achieve Rapid Sales Growth: January has been a busy month of sales seminars, sales training and motivational speeches so I hadn’t had any time to think what I was going to write about this week until about half an hour ago…
I was sat at my PC in my home office, tidying up some emails when one of my good friends called. It’s been a while since I have spoken to him so I was delighted to hear from him. After a quick catch up we quickly focused our attentions onto setting the world to rights! He said that he has something he thought I would be interested in hearing…
This story starts with my friend’s 18 year old son who is currently enjoying a gap year, getting his head down and working. He has a job in major UK supermarket and he is really enjoying it.
Based in South West London the store he is working in is busy, affluent and diverse. It’s not huge but it’s a decent size. They have around about 150 staff and shifts would mean that at any one time there might be 40 or more people working in the store.
Like most retailers the store chain in question are keen on their customers owning and using store cards. This creates loyalty, allows the store to compile details on personal shopping habits and group trends and, perhaps most importantly, allows them to extend credit to their customers.
And as any business who has cards like these knows, customers on credit are worth far more than those paying cash!
So back to our little store…
Like most stores they have targets and goals and their most recent “push” is on encouraging customers to sign up for more store cards. Each member of staff, whether individually or as a group, is trained to “up-sell” these cards and are then let loose on the customers. Not particularly ambitious, their target number of take ups is 4 cards per week… for the whole store.
So for the next week our young hero, despite not being on the till much of the time, asked every customer he could if they would sign up. Despite his lack of experience or formal sales training and techniques our hero signed up… 18, in one week. Now I have to admit that I have no idea how this rates or how many you or I would have signed up but it is obviously well over the target of 4 that was set for the whole store.
I remember as a young salesman one of my best clients buying something off someone else. I rang him to ask why he had not bought from me and he told me that he would have but that he was unaware that I could help in this area! Ouch! I never made that mistake again!
A reader rang me yesterday to tell me that he was running a short training session on up-selling. The first thing that he had done was outline for his team all of the options they had for up-selling and how these would benefit the client. This knowledge is critical if you want to maximize your sales.
Whatever! The biggest problem with up-selling, as with asking for referrals, is that most salespeople quite simply just do not ask.
Call it the McDonalds affect if you like… you have to ask! They up-sell on everything and they get a lot of “Nos” but they also get a lot of “Yeses”! You need to make just asking part of your sales process too. You could significantly increase your sales results over night.
Yesterday morning I met my sister and her kids in the afternoon. I only wanted a cup of tea. As I ordered the woman said, “I’ve just baked some home-made scones. They’re still warm. Can you smell them? Would you like one whilst they’re still warm?”
“Yes please”. An easy sale!
As you are selling ask questions that uncover the need for an up-sale. They needn’t be complex but they do make a huge difference to the relevancy of your up-sell and the final result.
When booking keynotes I don’t just suggest that people buy the books or audios as well, I ask a few questions first to identify what exactly is needed and how it would add benefit for my client.
Many salespeople walk in to my seminars and demand the advanced stuff because they are so experienced yet, when you follow them around, they have forgotten or are not doing many sales basics.Without the basics you are screwed!
My friend’s son may not know the intricacies of selling yet. He may not have the skills or the experience. He may not be as subtle, as sophisticated nor as cunning as his more experienced friends yet. But subtlety, experience and cunning are no substitute for action and if he keeps on taking action he will outsell his more established but less proactive peers.
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