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Maximizing Your Sales Opportunities
By Kelley Robertson

"If you saw a $20 bill lying on the sidewalk would you leave it there?"

Many sales people think that their job is done once they have closed the sale, particularly in a retail environment. Whew! Breathe a sigh of relief and move on to the next customer. 

But wait! You have probably left some money sitting on the counter. I don't mean that there is actually money lying on the counter. I am saying that you haven't yet maximized your sales opportunities and potential revenue. In most retail environments accessorizing is a missed opportunity that greatly reduces our potential to earn an excellent income. 

Far too often we're so focused on the primary sale that we neglect the opportunities to increase our sales and our profitability. But no sale is complete unless the customers have been given every chance to accessorize their purchases. 

Whatever you sell, you can always suggest add-ons. From my perspective, the organization who which best achieves this best is McDonalds Restaurants. Regardless of what you order, the counter person seldom fails to ask you if you'd like something else, dessert, a salad, soda etc. And these are teenagers!!! If these minimum wage order- takers can learn how to accessorize (aka. suggestively sell) it should be a piece of cake for you.

Regardless of the type of product or service you sell, there are opportunities to increase your sales by suggesting add on items. There's virtually no limit to the possibilities. All it takes is a bit of initiative, creativity and an understanding that you are actually helping the customer improve their overall purchase. 

Many sales people make the mistake of assuming that the customer will ask for specific accessories. This is not always the case. When my wife and I bought our first computer we could hardly wait to get home, set it up and become a high-tech couple. I unpacked the boxes and began plugging everything in. Unfortunately, I ran out of receptacles before I completed the setup up. I didn't have an extra power bar handy so that meant I had to get back in my car, drive to a store, wait in line, and return home before I could enjoy my new toy. A good power bar in a computer store can cost up to $100 yet I choose to go the closest store where I picked a very inexpensive one for around $12. Would I have paid more at the computer store? Willingly,. providing the sales person had done his job properly.

Another concern about accessorizing is that some sales people feel they'll come across as being pushy if they keep suggesting more accessories. The reality is that the customer will tell you when they reach their limit. 

Several years ago I was in the process of buying two new suits. The two sales people who assisted me (the store was pretty quiet) kept suggesting ties, shirts, socks, and belts. I accepted some suggestions, rejected others, until I felt I had enough variety and selection. The end result was an additional $300 in revenue for the store. My original budget was shot to heck but at no time did I feel pressured or coerced into making a purchase. I had the right and ability to say no at any time. If the sales people hadn't suggested the accessories I may have bought one or two ties, but certainly not the three or four I ended up with along with the shirts and several pairs of socks. Ultimately, when I left the store I felt great because I knew that I had several options every time I planned to wear one of those suits.

Accessorizing is part of the sales process and must be done accordingly. Rather than wait until the end of the sale to begin mentioning add-on items incorporate them into your sales presentation. If you wait until you are standing at the point of sale and ringing up the customer's purchase to sell add-ons your potential to increase the sale is dramatically reduced. The reason is simple. As they walk to the sales counter they mentally tally up their purchase. By the time they reach the counter they know approximately how much money they will have to part with and they close the mental bank. To re-open that door will take a great deal of effort and energy. Therefore, it is critical that you sell accessories and add-ons during the sales process rather than at the end.

Learn when and how to sell accessories and you'll notice an immediate improvement in your sales and customer satisfaction.

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Kelley Robertson is a Senior Partner of The Robertson Training Group and the author of, "Stop, Ask & Listen - How to welcome your customers and increase your sales." Gain practical advice on how to increase your sales by subscribing to his 59-Second Tip, a free weekly e-zine at Kelley can be reached at 905-633-7750, 1-866-694-3583

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