In my comprehensive selling skills book, How to Master the Art of Selling, I teach three ways to get more business from existing clients (Chapter 18). I like to think of it as “expanding your sales volume.”
One system for expanding your sales volume covered in that chapter involves using your imagination. Keep thinking of ways to add-on accessories, warranties, extended programs and additional products. Share different uses for your product or service with your existing clients. They may only have thought about using it for a single purpose. When additional benefits are recognized, additional needs may also come to light.
Always keep this question in the front of your mind:
How can I add-on to what my clientele already have?
If you’re selling to companies and you get one of your products into the shipping department of a firm, are you satisfied? Or will you service that shipping department well, working with them to give you a referral to their accounting department, or production department?
Of course, it depends on your product or service, but I keep hearing about salespeople who go in with a piece of equipment that many different departments of a company could use. They sell one department and forget about the rest of that firm.
Make it a habit, after you close a sale, to ask about the rest of the company or other companies this one does business with. Leads are leads are leads. Look for them everywhere!
Here’s a fundamental rule for add-on sales
that I recommend you highlight:
Never go for the add-on sale until
you’ve completely closed the original sale.
If I walk into your appliance store looking for a vacuum cleaner, I don’t want to discuss the fantastic new blender you’re all excited about until I’ve satisfied my need to suck up dirt. (Note: I might be very interested in a rug or tile cleaner that goes deeper than a vacuum.)
Once my initial need is off my mind, you have a chance to arouse my other appliance urges. But don’t even mention any off topic need until I own the best vacuum cleaner for my needs.
The late great sales trainer J. Douglas Edwards and I were close friends and next door neighbors in Scottsdale, Arizona for a number of years. We frequently swapped stories that people told us at our seminars. Doug came back from a speaking tour in Canada one day and told me, “A young man in Toronto said, ‘I’ve become a multi-millionaire since the last time I heard your program, and it’s all because of one sentence in your speech.’”
Now that’s heady stuff to a speaker. It’s the hope of hearing exciting success stories—though rarely as spectacular as this—that keep professional speakers climbing on planes.
“From one sentence?” I asked, somewhat wistfully. “What was it?” His answer is the name of the next and my favorite system for turning small change into big money: “Sell them in bunches, like bananas.”