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Cross Selling to Increase Your Profits
Cross selling is often also referred to as upselling, complimentary selling or companion selling. It offers you the opportunity to gain additional sales and profits without having to pick up new customers.

 

Cross Selling to Increase Your Profits

In its simplest form, it is just suggesting related products to your customer, but it’s important that the secondary product that you’re selling increases the value of the sale for your customer.

 

We’re all familiar with the typical upsell questions at fast-food restaurants. “Would you like to ‘super-size’ that?” or “Would you like a drink (or fries) with that?” Typically fast-food restaurants use these upsells on items with a fairly low additional cost to the customer but higher than normal profit margins for the restaurant.

 

4 tips to use cross selling in your convenience store:

 

Keep It Relevant (… and simple)

One of the keys to successful cross selling is make sure that the items are relevant to each other. When I worked for a local soft drink distributor, one of the brands that we distributed was owned by an international manufacturer of personal care and household cleaning products. They ran a promotion offering a free bottle of root beer with the purchase of a large bottle of laundry detergent. To make it worse, coordination between the local soft drink company and national marketing team for the laundry detergent was non-existent.  The storeowners had a hard time coordinating the displays and coupon redemption, and the shoppers had a hard time understanding the connection between the brands and why they were in different locations in the store.

Be an Expert

Cross Selling to Increase Your Profits

You probably know more about the products that you sell than your customer does (you should!).  A simple suggestion about an item that they’re not familiar with can lead to an incremental sale and more profits for you.  Learn what types of wines go best with certain dishes and make a recommendation. Train your staff to offer helpful suggestions too.

Don’t try to force extra sales upon your patrons just to earn a couple of extra bucks though. Be sincere about trying to help them to have a better shopping experience form you and your store. This is actually offering your customer an extra service that your competition does not. It’s all about your customer … not you.

Be Helpful

Is your customer buying rolling tobacco? Ask if the need rolling papers or cigarette tubes. Are they buying cigarettes? Ask if they need a lighter.

Asking if they need milk or bread today will sometimes jog a buyer’s memory and lead to an extra sale. Because you saved them a second trip to the store or having to do without, you’ve helped them out and are the hero in their eyes. This can produce long term benefits, and profits, when the customer thinks of you as a trusted resource for their shopping needs.

Try ‘Bundling’

Bundling is a term used to describe marketing or selling two different products as one, sometimes referred to as a ‘package deal’. Although the cross promotion that I mentioned earlier with root beer and laundry detergent did not work, a later program that offered the same root beer with vanilla ice cream for making root beer floats worked well.  Again, the key here is to offer an added value, or at least, a perceived added value, to your customer, and to have the bundled products be relevant to each other.

Fast-food restaurants have used this for years in the form of value meal packages. You can do the same with a dinner-to-go or a wine, cheese and crackers gift basket. These don’t have to be discounted for the promotion to be a success.

Next Steps:

Be creative, try different ideas and remember to offer genuine service and value for your customer when cross selling. The more value that you provide, the greater the return in increased sales and profit will be to your convenience store.

Your Hibbert & McGee sales rep can offer additional recommendations to help build your store’s sales and profits through cross selling. Ask your sales rep or contact us here.

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