How To Sell More To Your Existing Customers – Part Two

In the first part of this article the focus was on developing your product range and in particular your next generation products. The example provided was the iphone where Apple apply a “tick, tock” approach, providing small incremental changes every year. These are sufficient to please enough customers to upgrade their existing handsets, however they stop considerably short of being a game changer and pushing most of the competition to one side.

In this part we focus on 4 methods of promotion:

The Up-sell

Clever organisations thrive on finding ways to continually engage with their customer or client. They are superb at developing the sales process that entices us with more buying opportunities. They achieve this through systemization. A good example of this is McDonalds. Love them or hate them, they have a clever system. You enter the store for a burger and immediately they are trying to ‘up-sell’ by suggesting you add fries or a drink to your order, and then up-sell you again to the largest possible size of each product.

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The Cross-sell

Amazon also has a similar system online with their “recommendations” which are worded something like “people who bought this also bought these items too.” Instead of going to the checkout, your curiosity button has been pushed and very soon you’re checking out the other items and all too often adding extra items to your basket.

Both of these organisations know that when you are in buying mode, you are far more susceptible to persuasion.  This brings me onto the question “what’s your version of this?” Have you actually got one? Can you see where a potential up-sell or cross-sell may fit?

The Down-sell

Of course, the opposite to this is the down-sell. What do I mean by this?

There will be times when your customer is not ready to buy again. This could be budget issue or perhaps they remain unconvinced that your product fits their needs entirely. You should know this if your questions are good. It’s always worth a test to see if there is another option, even a quick win sale for lower price than the product you were discussing. It could be that instead of the super-deluxe version, the basic version is the one that creates the most value to your prospect. So, a down-sell could be the way to get the sale. If not that, another product could do the job.

The Freebie

With online sales, sometimes the way to transform your old, cold customer is to offer a free product but ask for them to cover postage and packaging costs, or in the case of an online program, offer a limited time ‘trial’. This then recreates the buying/selling relationship, even if the postal costs are small. It’s a change in the relationship, subtle but you now have warm customer, as they have got their card out and agreed to purchase something from you again. From this you can nurture and develop the relationship further until they are ready to buy other products and/or services. If the product is good, then trust is regained and your customer will be more susceptible to purchase from you again.

This strategy also works well for acquiring new customers. Think about it, how many of you have made a purchase in the past where you have just paid postage or taken a small value trial  I know I have on a number of occasions and then gone to make higher value purchases.

There are ways to continue making money from your customers, even those where there is little potential for further sales from existing product lines. You’ll discover this in part 3 of this article.