How To Boost Retail Sales With Suggestive Selling

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You’ve made a big push in upgrading your retail store. You’ve curated a group of brands that make you stand out. You’ve hired better than the other guys but still need to do more.

Look at your suggestive selling components, or as I break it down - your add-ons - where you make your profit. Selling a second item, or as some call it, upselling, when you've already realized all the marketing costs on the first, is the easiest way to juice your profits.

Here’s the secret...

The joy for the customer can be doubled with the right add-on.

Let’s say a customer is purchasing a new RV with a pop-out section. A good salesperson will know to suggest an additional cover so that when parked under a pine tree, all the pine needles and dirt that have fallen on top of the pop-out won’t fall right into the new RV.

If the salesperson presents it with a heartfelt connection and paints a picture of how that cover makes RVing better, the customer will appreciate the add-on purchase each and every time he closes the pop-out.

The same idea holds true in a pool business. Each time you install a pool, you should suggestively sell a cleaning service so the customer can always enjoy a clean pool. You should also suggestively sell a volleyball net and ball so more people can enjoy the pool for more hours in various ways.

If you are a nursery center and your customer is picking up several flats of flowering plants, you have to show the right planting mix so the plants burst into bloom.

For a florist, it might be suggesting a bottle of wine to go with the forgive me bouquet.

If you are a camera store, your thoughtful accessories allow the customer to take better pictures.

The point is to make it easier for your customers to enjoy that first product, which comes from showing them and then suggestively selling an add-on.

Some call this cross-selling.

Whatever you call these add-ons, they are the insider’s secrets to getting the most out of a product. If your salespeople approach suggestive selling in that manner, they share tips that make the customer respect their background and treat them like friends.

Don't think of add-ons as a way to make more money first, or your employees will look at your customers as if they had dollars in their eyes. That repels customers from the add-ons they surely enjoy.

Add-ons always come back to making the first product either more fun or efficient or the one-stop shop so that the customer doesn't have to look at a competitor to get the rest.

Young employees can get caught up thinking I'm making them do something they don’t want to, I'm sleazy, or I'm phony like they've seen in some bad movie.

But at the end of the day, they need to know they are helping a customer get more out of their first purchase. You and everyone on your team need to know that.

See also, 10 “What” Questions Retailers Often Ask About Retail

In Sum

Add-ons are about the joy the customer gets out of the products together; it's not that you're making the customer buy something they’ll never use just so you can make a sale.

These cross-selling tips should also be used as your employees move around the counter and stand next to the customer as a friend, showing them the secrets they need to get more from their main purchase.

That's great suggestive selling.