Small Business Marketing and Sales:

Increase Your Sales: Don't Just Be A Vendor-- Become A Solutions Provider

The Art Of Adding Value Step-By-Step

At first glance, concepts like bundling, upselling, and cross-selling may appear to be technical and confined only to larger businesses. But once you grasp the principles and integrate them into your daily sales activity, they're expressed as simply and as naturally as the episode in this article.

Instead of looking at your marketing and sales from a product perspective, first consider what problem your customer is trying to solve.

Educate Your Sales Force

Knowledgeable sales people can add value to a buyer’s visit to your store by making all the items needed for a complete solution available. Upselling, then, becomes advantageous to the buyer as well.

Have you ever wondered how someone came up with the numbers game concept? It was really about the rejection we constantly experience when making cold calls. The boss just said to call someone else, and so we did. The idea is that if we call a hundred people a day, then we should squeeze out at least a few good leads. However, there's a better and easier way of getting your product or service message across -- all on one call.

Here's How It Works In Real Life

I was in an auto store buying paint cleaner, car polish and wax. A salesman came out of nowhere and said “nothing works better with Show Car Glaze than this—and handed me a buffing cloth that cost $12.

When I declined he asked what kind of car I had. When I told him (“Oh Wow, those are really nice! —What color is it?”), he now had all the info he needed to press forward

Educate The Customer

He told me, with some authority (see, he has a dark car too), that when I use the Carnauba wax on a dark car atop the Show Car Glaze, I’d get the deepest shine I ever had AND without swirl marks. Provided, of course, I use this $12 buffing cloth.

I hesitated and declined again (“Maybe next time”) but not without some afterthought. You see, swirl marks-- to a dark-car owner-- can’t be lightly dismissed. They fall into the same category as jock itch, razor burn, and a funny aftertaste

Personalize, Demonstrate, and Reverse The Risk

At the checkout counter, ten minutes later, I overheard someone say, ‘Yeah, go ahead; give it to him’. It was you-know-who, who came back and said: ” I asked my manager and he said I could discount this to $10 for you if you still want it. (Still?). I guarantee it’ll give you the deepest shine you ever had. If it doesn’t; come back and ask for me-- my name is Phil and I’m here everyday except Sunday and Monday.

And if you use straight strokes (he gave me a product demo on the counter) instead of the Karate Kid stuff (he then made circular strokes), you’ll never have to worry about swirl marks again.” Then he handed it to me. Case Closed. Up sold. (20% over my intended purchase)

Complete Solutions Add Value For The Customer

Phil knew I didn’t want the buffing cloth. He also knew I didn’t really want the wax, glaze, or cleaner. He knew I wanted the deepest shine I ever had and he arranged for me to get it—and without swirl marks (or that funny aftertaste). Thanks, Phil.

The Takeaway

Upselling like this to just 1 out of every 4 buyers will increase your sales by 5% on the day. But even more importantly, when you can transform your perceived role from product vendor to solutions provider-- satisfied customers, repeat purchases and referrals are sure to follow!

Related services

Related Article