Practical Ideas for Customer Suggestions to Improve Sales

In the earlier post we mentioned that if you are not applying customer suggestion tactics in the small business you are losing about 25% of current sales. We also showed best practices to work with when implementing customer suggestion plan. The key to making customers to like your suggestions is to do it in a way such that they do not feel as if they are being forced into buying something they do not want to.
In this post we will show practical ideas that are based on the best practices to implement in your small business. We have seen many of these ideas implemented at number of businesses with great results. I am sure you will be able to enjoy similar sales growth after you implement some of these ideas.

  • Train employees to ask “Would you also like… – This is a time honored technique that is used by businesses all the time. You can use it when taking customer orders on phone or in person. The best way to implement it is to let customers finish the main order and then ask them if they would like to have additional items that are complementary to the items they have ordered.
  • Place items strategically – This technique is similar to the previous one, but takes a more subtle approach. Instead of asking customers verbally, you can display selected items prominently where customers cannot avoid noticing them. You can see examples of this technique at grocery stores where they keep magazines, candies and other such items at the checkout lanes.
  • Display staff recommendations – This technique can be used in businesses such as books, music and videos where the selection is large and customers are open to explore new items. You need to have knowledgeable staff that is as passionate as customers and can provide good recommendations.
  • Create Today’s special / Deal of the day – These two are similar techniques that can let you sell selected items of your liking in large quantities. You will find them in the restaurants and retail outlets. The business selects an item or two from their selections and offers them at a special discounted rate. You can use this to introduce new items or push items that are not selling well. Just make sure that customers are getting good value for these in the form of discounted price or quantity.
  • Provide Combo Meal – This is a staple of fast food industry. They combine main item with side dish and a drink and price it lower than if customers bought them separately. It is amazing to see how many customers order combo meals during lunch time.
  • Display “You might like… – This technique is more suitable for online businesses. If you have ordered from Amazon you know what we are talking about. When you are looking at an item to purchase they will show other similar items that other customers have bought or looked at. Many customers re delighted to find the items they had not thought about and end up buying them.

You may have used or seen other customer suggestion techniques in various settings. We and other readers would love to hear about ideas and experience. Let us know in comments.

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