Every retailer on the planet wants to increase their sales. They spend money on advertising to attract more customers so they can grow their sales that way. They drop catalogues, use bill boards, newspapers and even TV.
A number of these are expensive options when the answer is sitting (or probably standing actually) in your store already. Yes, your existing customers. They already know you and hopefully, you have built some rapport and trust. The research also tells us it is much easier to sell to existing customers than to new ones. In fact:
The probability of selling to a new customer – 5 – 20%
The probability of selling to an existing customer – 60 – 70%
Figures from Marketing Metrics via Help Scout.
What are you doing to capitalise on this massive opportunity? Are your staff providing great service in the first place? We know from experience that customers will not buy anything else and sometimes not even the product they come in for unless your service is good. Another frightening statistic from an Amex survey in 2011, revealed that 78% of customers have abandoned a transaction or not made a purchase due to poor customer service. This is criminal, we have to get our service to the level where customers will want to spend time with us and come back.
Here are four more ideas on how to increase sales to all customers:
- As I have already mentioned the first step is to get your service right – provide an experience not a transaction
- Sign up as many customers as you can into your loyalty card program – these customers always spend more than non-loyalty card customers
- Look for opportunities to tell your customers about your promotions, new products and what goes with what – this has to be done in a non-pushy way. It’s simply making them aware of something else and not asking them “Anything else today?’ or “Would you like a …. today.” Customers are so sick of these lines that have been used for so many years
- We have to make it easy for customers to buy extra products from us – store layout is critical for this. Locate complementary products within easy reach and train staff so they can prompt customers for these extra items
I have said many times, there is no point welcoming new and existing customers through the front door when you have left the back door wide open and customers are heading rapidly for the exit and not coming back.
Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Retail Solution” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.