This month we are starting a series of articles on the art of adding-on. Adding on, as a sales technique, is without question the most profitable technique of them all. Adding on is the low hanging fruit for most jewelry stores. As previously stated a professional jewelry salesperson must attempt to sell additional items to each and every customer that he/she serves. Too often a salesperson is so happy to simply make a sale, that they run to the register and finish the transaction without ever attempting to sell the customer more. In turn, making the decision for the customer that they are done. There are very few industries where adding on isn’t a major consideration. In most industries, adding on is the single most important technique to increase both sales and profits. This is true of the jewelry industry as well.
When closing the sale with the customer I suggest that you close the sale on the primary item with an additional item or items. You may be asking yourself: why is adding on a function of closing the sale?
The reason is simple, and that reason is:
The customer’s mind is most open to buying additional items prior to deciding to purchase the main item.
Once the decision has been made to complete the transaction the mind closes to any further suggestions. Your customer has a sense of relief that the purchase and the decision has been made. In addition, your customer is now, subconsciously, using their new purchase. In their mind, they are showing off their new watch, getting compliments on the new ring, thinking about the emotional aspect of presenting this gorgeous piece of jewelry to a loved one, or just simply admiring their new possession. They certainly aren’t thinking, “What else can I purchase from this salesperson?”
As mentioned in previous articles, one of the ways to expand and grow a business is to attempt to add-on to each purchase with every customer.
In sales you must realize that Add-ons = Profit. In other words, the costs involved in selling the main item may only net a profit in the single digit percentages, or nothing at all. For example: An item that you sell for $1000.00, with a cost of $500.00 results in a gross profit of $500.00. You then need to subtract all the costs involved in doing business, such as: advertising, rent, insurance, general administration, shipping, selling cost, warehousing, etc. The net effect of the total sale may be less than 1% in net profit.
However, if you sell an add-on item to the same customer, the only expenses that have to be subtracted from the selling price of the item is the simple cost of the goods and the selling cost. Adding on an extra item could end up with a net profit of 30 – 40% of the selling price. You can plainly see the only way to really maximize profits in the jewelry business is to effectively sell add-on items.
Adding-on is a customer service
How many times have you, as a consumer, purchased an item only to find out that you didn’t have everything that you needed to use and enjoy your new purchase?
These situations always seem to arise on Christmas morning. The kids have just opened the gifts that Santa Claus brought, and it is now the “project du-jour” to assemble the items. About half way through this grueling annual ritual, you find that the most valued gift of all requires batteries. You look through every drawer in the house, search the garage, and take the batteries out of the flashlight, the smoke alarm, transistor radios and every other thing in the house that might use a battery. Then you find that these used batteries are worn out, not powerful enough, or the wrong size to make this valued gift actually work.
Who are you upset with? Certainly you don’t blame yourself, although you go through this same ritual every year. You are upset with the store, the manufacturer, and most of all, the salesperson that sold you this wonderful gift. Why didn’t the salesperson tell you that you needed batteries? Do they think that we all have battery storage warehouses in our basements, or is it that they don’t understand what customer service is? Is there some sort of a “Save The Battery” coalition out there? While this is a rather exaggerated scenario, have you caused the same “situation” to occur to your customer because you didn’t add-on the items that they needed?
I get the opportunity to play golf about three times a year, when my father or brother are in town or when a client should happen to invite me to play a round with them. Somehow during my children’s teen years, my hand-me-down set of clubs disappeared while I was out of town. Since they knew that I probably wouldn’t notice for at least six months or a year, I guess that they figured I would forget that I owned a set.
Well, the day before my semi-annual golf day, I discovered that I didn’t have any golf clubs. I went to my local golf store and was amazed at the price of a new set of clubs and probably a bit resistant to spending $500 on them. After hemming and hawing with the salesperson, I finally made the decision to purchase the set.
The next morning when I discovered that I didn’t have any balls or tees, and that a putter didn’t come with my new set, with whom do you think I was upset? Of course I was upset with the salesperson. I am sure that he was thinking that since I was resistant to the price of the golf clubs, I wouldn’t want to spend (or couldn’t afford to spend) any more money for a putter, balls and tees. The salesperson made the decision for me as to how much I was capable of spending. Result? My needs went unfulfilled. It certainly would have been a customer service to ask me to buy a few add-on items don’t you think? Don’t make the decision for your customer, the professional jewelry salesperson realizes that they should never say no for their customers. Your job is to lay out the entire package and serve their needs.
The amount of sales dollars lost due to salespeople not providing a customer service by adding on is staggering. Take a long hard look at your sales skills and realize that not laying out the entire package is poor customer service. Your responsibility to your customers is to let them know all that you have available to them. The last thing that you want is for your customers to have to drive all over town, deal with other salespeople, and search for items that they very easily could have purchased from you. I believe that when a customer comes into a jewelry store to buy a gift, he or she is looking for the one special item, for that one special person. In many cases the customer doesn’t realize the assortment and various price ranges of items that are available. It is the professional jewelry salesperson’s job to inform the customer.
Author, trainer, consultant and speaker Brad Huisken is President of IAS Training. Mr. Huisken authored the book “I’m a salesman! Not a PhD.” and developed the PMSA Relationship Selling Program, the PSMC Professional Sales Management Course, The Mystery Shoppers Kit, The Weekly Jewelry Sales Training Meeting Series (exclusively for jewelry) along with Aptitude Tests and Proficiency Exams for new hires, current sales staff and sales managers and his new Train The Sales Trainer Course. In addition he publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight” For a free subscription or more information contact IAS Training at 800-248-7703, firstname.lastname@example.org, fax 303-936-9581 or visit their website at www.iastraining.com.