#1 way business owners and managers can increase revenue quickly (hint - it's sales..sort of)
I love business. I love everything about it, I have since I was 19. I love profit and loss, sales, marketing, business development... I love it all!
But I especially love sales, I love it because it's the one thing in business that reminds me of building a house, let me explain; When you build a house you typically start with an empty plot of land, you put some stakes in the ground, you pour some concrete, put up some walls and a roof and then all the finishing touches.
Now that's a simplified way of how a house is built of course and I'm no expert, but, the point is day by day you can see progress made, as a builder or trades person you go home at night you can feel a sense of satisfaction and a job well done because you got the frame up today and can SEE your progress.
That's how I think about sales.
One day you start with an idea for a business and then phone call by phone call, lead by lead, contract by contract, job by job you build a business, you can go home every night to your family knowing that you did X number of new business that day (however you measure business - contracts, dollars, booked jobs etc.) You do this day after day, week after week and eventually, eventually you look up and you've built something you can be really proud of!
When you have a small business or a medium size business when you build it, you get some employees and some managers in place and you start giving up control to focus on the big picture - sales can start to slide and revenue can start to decreases... You may not even notice this because it could be subtle... Let's be real for a second - There are a million different reasons that this could happen. I think the #1 reason this happens is; YOUR EMPLOYEES ARE NOT OWNERS they don't have the same passion, love and care for your business like you do, how can they? They have no skin in the game.
The reason I love small businesses and medium size businesses is because you are nimble enough to do some creative things and do them quickly to start increasing revenue...
The #1 way to increase your businesses revenue is the add on sale or second sale
This add on or second sale can be done in every industry, you may have to think creatively, you may have to come up with a new product or a new way of looking at a product but I promise you it can be done. Below I'm going to layout how to get it done and then give a bunch of simple examples by industry on what you could do... Let's go!
How to implement:
Pick your product or products
Decide on which product you would like to sell as an add on or second sale (or products) because this will shape how you coach your team. NOTE - your add on or second sale item(s) should be of a low enough cost that when asked at the register or "check out" your customer does not have to over think it!
Decide on the schedule
Depending on your business you may have multiple products you can offer as an up sell or you may have deals that rotate from week to week or month to month. Deciding on a schedule can help you plan and keep you and your teams organized.
Coach your staff
This will be a longer training session maybe 30 minutes to an hour before work hours or after work hours where the staff all come together and you go through your plan for increasing sales by asking and adding an up sell or add on sale. You will have scripts to go through, you will do some role playing with the teams and will layout your plan to make it good for them AND the business (see below) This stage goes for all staff whether they are big burly construction workers or part-time high school students... Don't be afraid, after all it's your business!
Brief daily team meetings in the morning or by shift
This should happen at the beginning of everyday or at the beginning of every shift where you rally the troops, remind them of the mission, get them mission focused and get them pumped up for the day or for their shift
Follow up daily
This is where you should be looking at your metrics daily (ie. units sold, number of asks, money in the cash register and whatever other metrics you are tracking) THIS IS VITAL to pay attention to your business metrics that you want to increase. The more you want to increase the more often you should be looking. This also will help you follow up with employees who are under performing.
Make it a competition
Remember your business is not your employees business, so you need to give them a reason to care about the new push to increase sales and increase revenue... Make it a competition, add incentives, get creative!
Note - a fantastic by product of running this program is that, your employee engagement will go up, your customer service and customer satisfaction will go up all while increasing your sales and revenue! - It's a win-win-win-win-win!
Let's dive into specific examples of what you could do as a second sale or add on (note - there are literally so many different things you could do, these are just some examples)
As a gas station you usually have a few different things going on, you have your gas, you have convenience items like coffee and chocolate bars to oil and other fluids. You may even have a carwash. This gives you multiple options over multiple staff. You have your gas jockey's who could up-sell fluids out on the lot. You could put together some kind of "in-car package" that for a special price they get all the fluids needed to keep in there trunk(oil, washer fluid etc maybe an extension cord)
Inside staff - You should always have some sort of special on something whether it's chocolate bars, a breakfast item, coffee, candy etc that should be asked to add to every purchase.
If you have a carwash this could be added as an ask to every gas purchase. (because they are already in there car"
As a convenience store you should ALWAYS have a "special item" or package you're up-selling slurpee's chocolate bars, tubes of popcorn... It all depends on what you sell and what you want to move more of.
As a heating and cooling company I would educate customers on how to change filters, what to look for and the amount of time they should be changing filters and carry a couple different price point filters on the truck and up-sell 2,3 or 4 filters at a time. I would also keep a schedule of customers and once a year call them and schedule a FREE furnace inspection, this allows you to be the go to company and allows you to be the first to replace a furnace or furnace parts.
As a plumber I would give away some of my time for free... For example, if the home owner called you to fix a toilet you say "hey, why don't I take a quick look at all your plumbing it won't cost you anything extra" That way if you spot any problems you could bring them to the home owners attention, educate them on what it is, what the fix s and how much it would cost to fix roughly... They may just ask you to do it today.
Getting creative the other couple of things that came to mind was to keep a few shower curtains and plugs in your truck that you could up-sell. I would also look into selling garburators... It's a housewife's best friend!
As a roofer, like heating/cooling professionals I would have a yearly schedule to call each customer once a year and offer a free roof inspection, that way you could do patches as they come up.
When you are doing a job as well, you could up-sell a bundle or 2 of shingles to the homeowner to ensure when patches are needed they have matching shingles... Because shingle colors usually change before a roof is needing to be fully replaced.
Most financial advisors have a lot of different products they can sell but prospective customers are not always ready to buy so you should start looking at other problems you can solve, such as help with financial planning, budgeting, bill organization.. Those are just some ideas, really you’re looking for anything that saves peoples time and enriches their lives.
The one thing that restaurants have that not all businesses have is loyalty. Whether you're a home town favourite or a national chain, you have those fans that love you. I would have T-shirts, hats, hoodies, toque's etc. Or some combination and everyone at the till should be asked if they'd like one. You could also, while they are ordering the main course have a dessert special and say something to the effect of "today you can add one of our homemade cinnamon buns to your meal for $3 or whatever price and item you want to push.. Cell the dessert before the meal.
There are so many interesting and creative ways you could structure this. If you have any questions or if I could help in any way I would love to hear from you!