Would you like fries with that? The world of upselling

Lee kenny, CEO of Snowflake Media
Lee kenny, CEO of Snowflake Media

When people come to see whether Snowflake can help them with their marketing, they all ask for the same thing: “How do I get more customers?”

While it seems a pretty logical and straight forward starting point, only around 20 per cent actually need to find a new source of footfall, website visitors or leads. Let me explain.

If you were to open a shop in the centre of Halifax and tomorrow 1,000 people came in but only one or two bought people bought anything, you wouldn’t need 2,000 visitors tomorrow to become a success.

No, you need to start by fixing your conversion rate (how many people buy versus the qualified people who came in).

Qualified is the key word here. If you have a huge sign outside saying ‘Free Beer’, yet inside you only have organic, nettle-based wine. Then no matter how great your wine is, the free beer crowd are unlikely to be happy. So if you only ever get bargain hunters through the door, are you advertising only to that particular demographic with your advertising or window signs? A scruffy, five days old chalk board with spelling mistakes is hardly likely to attract the audience you are aspiring to.

The next step you should review is your average order value along with lifetime value per customer.

This is why huge businesses employ companies to administer loyalty schemes. It lets them see which type of person spends the most money and what promotions are likely to attract new first time customers profitably.

McDonalds are probably the most famous advocate of upselling with their fries. It’s said they make more money from the fries and large size upgrades than the main items they sell. A few years ago, a colleague noticed that wherever he went in the world the Starbucks staff at the counter would ask him if he wanted a pastry or muffin. The thing that caught his eye was that in every country they all followed the same body movements. They swept their arm towards the pastry section deliberately so you would turn and look. This increased sales by almost 15 per cent without attracting a single additional customer.

What can your business do to increase its sales while still offering an amazing and relevant service to your customer? You may be in a position of only having a single product to sell.

These days accountants to recommend car leasing deals or access to insurance related products. Sandwich shops turn in to bistros in the evening, offer a delivery service and even sell tea and coffee. Publishers have long offered advertising design as a part of their service.

These don’t have to be things offered at a discounted rate or even delivered by your own company. You may just be a referrer to other businesses. Just make sure any third parties look after your most precious assets - customers!

Feel free to tweet me @socialsnowflake with your innovative ways of improving the bottom line or visit me on Facebook.com/socialsnowflake.