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How To Sell More To Your Customers (Would You Like Fries With That?)

Aug 17, 2007
Adding upsells to our order form. That's right, regardless of all the different traffic techniques in the world, even with proven sales copy and conversion methods in place, even with years of studying and applying various direct and indirect marketing approaches, the one thing I have found that brings in the most money to our company is the ability to upsell each individual customer on an additional item they did NOT intend to originally purchase.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the term "upsell," let me use an example from one of the world's most famous companies to illustrate this point:

When people walk into the fast-food giant, McDonalds, to order a simple hamburger or a Vanilla shake, without fail they are presented with the phrase that has helped this company dominate the fast-food market:

"Would you like fries with that?" Other fast food outlets will ask you, "Would you like a drink or an apple pie with your meal?" This is another very effective example of an upsell.

These fast food giants sell millions of dollars worth of extra food and drinks worldwide every year because they know how to effectively use an upsell. So now you may be saying that that is all well and good for McDonalds, but I am in a totally different business. I don't sell fast-food.

Upsell for internet marketing success

Upselling your customers is simply providing the next logical solution to your customer's next logical need. It's your job to always create that next logical need and continually sell and sell. There's always one more thing to sell.

One of the major mistakes I find in dealing with small businesses is that they believe once their business has provided their product to the customer, that's the end of the process. There's nothing that could be further from the truth.

Every sale needs another sale because every need that's satisfied will create still another need sometime in the future. The conclusion you should draw is that you need to create the upsell and continue creating upsells as a neverending logical step in the launching of an effective marketing mission.

You might say, I don't have any product or service to sell as an upsell. My answer to that is, develop one.

Even if you don't produce the product or service, someone else does and that someone else gladly will pay you to allow them to have access to your client base so they can upsell your customers. There's always something else to sell them.

The practical implications to upselling will most likely result in forming joint venture relationships. Businesses today operate differently than before.

Another good example can be seen in mail-order flowers. On the average, there's actually 6-10 days from the cutting of a flower before a customer receives it and puts it in a vase in his/her home, whether as a gift or simply to brighten up the home. The lag time is caused by the traditional distribution system of wholesalers, distributors, and retailers. A real entrepreneur, who worked literally for years on an idea for flower delivery in up to 9 days, created a direct from the grower to the customer via Federal Express. Today, that generates $10,000,000 in sales. What was the entrepreneur's product? It was an idea worth $10,000,000.

That business is merely a series of relationships between a catalogue company, Federal Express, and several independent flower growers throughout the United Slates. It's a business of joint ventures. Even though this guy didn't actually have the product or service, he created one.

This leads us to finding Your Business Within Your Business. A real powerful concept is to challenge yourself, your clients, vendors, and employees to constantly search for new businesses within your business.

There are an unlimited number of offshoot businesses you can create. You can have an offshoot of consulting to those people you sell to. You could then communicate and market and also do seminars and workshops.

For car dealers, they can provide extended warranties and insurance to new car owners. For a contractor, whether it's heating and cooling, pools, pest control, or whatever, they can also provide annual service contracts.

An example would also be a pool contractor, who for instance, might use upselling through the offering of an annual service contract to clean and service a pool four times a year. This can dramatically improve his bottom line. In fact, this can actually double the value of your customers by an added income of 40% when they sign an annual contract.

Let's say the service call for a pest control or pool service call is $100 and there are 100 customers per year. There's a gross of $10,000, which is $100 per customer. The upsell strategy is an annual contract where you're going to visit four times a year. The cost for each visit to the customer is $100, so the total cost at this point is $400 (before giving a discount.)

If they buy today, you give them a discount of $150, so $250 is the cost to the customer. If you close just 40% of these people, your new revenue is $10,000. 40% of 100 is 40 people times $250 which is the cost of the annual contract.

So, the new value of these 100 customers is $20,000, $10,000 for the service call ($100 x 100 customers) and another $10,000 for the 40 people who paid $250 for the annual contract. The value per customer is now $200. You made $20,000. You still have the same 100 customers. They're now worth $200. That's double the value.

What service can you upsell to your clients? Virtually every business can add a newsletter or an extra month of a diet plan for half the original price. Maybe a consulting service could be provided. The possibilities are endless. Let your creative mind work for your business instead of limiting it to just one product or service.
About the Author
Don Resh is CEO of WebForce, Inc. A more detailed bio is available at:

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