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Graham McGregor: Creating profitable 'add on' retail sales

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You can easily give customers the opportunity to spend money on something else. Photo / Thinkstock
You can easily give customers the opportunity to spend money on something else. Photo / Thinkstock

Something that is worth testing in many retail businesses is 'add on' sales.

Here's one system to do this...

Each time a customer has agreed to make a purchase in your retail business do two things.

1: Acknowledge that sale.

"Thanks for that. I will write this up for you in a minute, or ring that up for you in a moment."

2: Give your customer the opportunity to buy something else (at an attractive price) at the same time.

Here are two examples that may be helpful.

A: Shoe Shop Example:

A client has just agreed to spend money on one or two pair of shoes.

1: You acknowledge the sale:

"That's fantastic. I know you will be delighted with these shoes."

2: You then you introduce the special offer. A very pleasant, low key way to introduce any add-on sale is to use a couple of sentences like this.

You: "Hi thanks for your business today, by the way we have an unadvertised special offer for anybody today that spends more than $100 on shoes. Can I tell you about this special offer?

Customer: "Sure. How does that work?"

You then give your customer the opportunity to spend money on something else. (And you package the offer so it is easy to say 'yes' to.)

You: "Well here's the offer. For anybody that spends more than $100 today on shoes we have over here this remarkable little shoe cleaning brush or sponge. All you do is you brush your shoes and in about three or four seconds it instantly shines them. It gives a little wax coating and it works on any colour shoes.

This is great to have in your car, at home and even in your purse. It means you can have great looking shoes at any time in a few seconds. They are very, very popular and we sell hundreds of these every month. They normally sell for $15 each. However for any client that spends $100 or more dollars on shoes today, you can actually get two of these magic shoe sponges for only $20. Is that of interest?"

Customer: "Well that sounds quite good, yes."

Important Point:

The key with any add-on offer or add-on sale is to ensure that you make a profit on it. So let's just say (hypothetically) these little shoe sponges sell for $15 each. And let's imagine you buy them in for $5 cost each.

You've got a profit margin of $10 on each one. However if you are then selling say two for $20 you are then making a $10 profit on that add on sale.

Let's just imagine that only ten people in an entire week take advantage of this little add-on sale. So you've got ten people that are buying your two little magic shoe sponges, you've got a profit of $100 extra in your shoe business.

$100 a week is $5,000 extra profit every single year.

That's enough to pay for a nice family vacation!

B: Paint shop example:

Someone comes in and spends $100 on paint.

You say the same thing again.

"By the way, we've got a special unadvertised offer today for anyone that spends more than $100 on paint, can I tell you about it?"

Customer: "Sure, what are you doing?"

You: "We have a great little painting survival kit we've put together. It's got a little cutting in brush for tricky corners, it's got a little clean up pad to mop up any spills that you have, it's got a little knife to cut masking tape, a little roll of masking tape etc.

This 'painting survival kit' normally retails for around $25. It's been very popular, but for anybody that spends more than $100 on paint today, they can have one or more of these painting survival kits for only $15 each. Would you like one? "

Customer: "Yes, that's a good little offer."

Even if you make a $5 profit on each 'add on sale', 20 sales a week is $100 of new profit. (Which is $5,000 a year of new profits.)

A small add on sale to a few customers each week could easily put thousands of dollars of new profits in your pocket with very little effort.

'Opportunity is as scarce as oxygen; men fairly breathe it and do not know it'
Doc Sane

Action Exercise:

Test an 'add on' offer with your retail customers. Only share it after a customer has already bought something and is getting ready to pay for it.

Graham McGregor is a consultant specialising in memorable marketing. You can download his 396 page 'Unfair Business Advantage' Ebook at no charge from www.theunfairbusinessadvantage.com

Graham McGregor

A weekly marketing column by Graham McGregor

Graham has had 36 years 'hands on' experience in sales and marketing. He has sold a range of services including advertising, sales training, personal development, life insurance, IT services, investment property and business consulting services.

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