I was in New York City speaking at the annual AFLAC meeting. All of the top producers were there, and they were eager to learn and grow. The meeting was held at the Marriott Marquis, which is located in Time Square. Having a little extra time on my hands I went out for a walk.
The first store I came across was an electronics store. The window was filled with every imaginable cell phone, digital camera, video camera, and MP3 player. Each piece of electronics was state-of-the-art in design, features and miniaturization. The signage in the window promised great prices, and believe me when you went in the store the sales personnel didn’t disappoint you. I wondered how they could sell all of those items at such competitive prices.
Once I started talking to a sales person it became very clear what their formula for success was. If you wanted to buy a camera, they gave you a great price to make the sale. Then, they started in with ad-ons. Of course you would need an extra battery, memory cards, a mini-tripod, a case, and don’t you dare forget the extended warranty. You could buy a $350.00 camera and easily add on another couple of hundred dollars. As you might imagine, the margin on the camera is very slim, but the margin on all of the add-ons is incredible.
It is always hardest to make the first sale. Once you make the sale, ad-ons, upgrades, and follow-up sales are all possible. The electronics stores I checked out in New York City all worked on the idea of make the initial sale, then go for the real margin items. What can you do in your business to up the amount of your sale? Are there preset packages you can offer? Can you provide different warranties for different investments? Do you have a way to up-sell and increase the value of your clients?
After leaving the electronics store, I walked down Broadway to the Swatch watch store. I didn’t make it three feet into the store before a sales associate asked me if they could be of service. I told him that I was just looking around and continued forward. Within a few moments, a kind woman walked by and asked if I would like to see any of the watches up close. I continued looking around and a third person asked if I needed assistance. This time I accepted. I asked a few questions, looked at a couple of watches, and then bought one for my wife.
Everyone in the store had been so kind. They were persistent, but in a very nice and gentle way. I was offered great service and treated with respect. They made the sale.
It is not uncommon to ask a closing question four, five, six, or more times before getting the response you desire. Remember, always be polite and show respect for your client. Most importantly, be there first to serve them.
If you take care of your clients with this level of persistence your business will soar, and you will be on the road to Building a Better Biz!