Posing Questions for Add-On Sales

by WOHe

Posing Questions for Add-On Sales

Our business is just like yours in the respect that we work with
a customer, solve his or her needs with our products and services,
and live happily ever after. But, I’ll bet there’s more that you
can do. With that same kitchen or bath customer, and in almost the
same amount of time that you’re spending now, you can increase your
production with add-on sales.

The great thing about add-on sales is that you don’t have to
find a new customer. You don’t have to start from scratch to build
up trust, because you’ve already done that. All you need to do is
ask the right questions and listen to the answers. The opportunity
will open up for you to not only create a happier customer, but to
put more money in your pocket, as well.

Power questions
The other day, I made a stop at a fast-food establishment for a
quick cup of coffee. The young person behind the counter asked
politely, “Is there anything else you’d like? Fries? Cookies?” I’m
sure this simple question had some impact on her sales. Although I
didn’t buy any additional items, I believe that, if she posed that
same question to every customer she had that day, her company saw
increased revenue by the end of her shift.

Similarly, I have always believed that the person waiting on
people in a restaurant at breakfast would sell a lot more orange
juice if she would just ask “Would you like juice to go with your
breakfast? We have orange, grapefruit and apple, in small and
large. Which would you like?”

But, before I cover ways to “juice up” sales, let me first
create trust with what I believe are obtainable numbers. Let’s say
a kitchen remodel is $25,000, and it is designed and outfitted to
satisfy the customer’s perceived needs. You’ve done a good job.
But, wait. Did you ask if they wanted juice? Your particular juice
could be under-cabinet lighting, an upgraded countertop, a glaze
over a cabinet finish, or any additional wants the customer may
have that you will only discover by asking and listening.

The good news is, you will not only frequently add to the size
of the sale by asking the “juice” question, but the profit margin
is often greater on upgrades and add-on items. For example, the
original sale of $25,000 had a profit margin of $8,250 a 33-percent
margin. While the add-ons only totaled an additional 8 percent, or
$2,000, the profit margin on the addition to the sale was 50
percent, or $1,000. That increases the gross margin dollars to
$9,500 an increase of almost 12 percent. If done properly, the
customer will be able to enjoy the kitchen even more, and you will
have increased your pay day for the right reasons. Win-win, isn’t

Creating Add-ons
So, let’s examine the area of add-ons and how you might create your
own add-on opportunity, one that will put you and your customer in
a win-win situation. Following are some statements that you can use
when talking about add-ons; or, feel free to create your own. The
trick is to make sure you present additional information and then
ask the question: “Do you want it?”

Try not to get so wrapped up in the design and detail that you
forget to create more needs and wants for your customer to
consider. Ask yourself, “What can I provide to my customer to
improve the project?”

Here are statements used in probing for add-on

  • “Have you thought about _____? Many people are including it in
    their remodeling projects. Here is what it will do for you (review
    the benefits to be gained by ownership). Should we include it in
    your plans?”
  • “Something a lot of people enjoy in their kitchen (or bath) is
    the addition of _____. It’s a small investment when compared with
    the enjoyment you and your family will get from it. I will include
    it in our estimate with your approval. Is that all right?”
  • “While there aren’t many people who are including _____, when
    friends see your new kitchen (or bath), they will sigh with envy
    because they will wish they had one. I will give you a quote on
    that and we can discuss the details later. Will that be
  • “There are practical ways to improve your project, and there
    are some not so practical. However, here are items that I know have
    made other customers happy with their additional investment.” Now,
    you list items of interest that fit this client’s project, and
    watch for any signs of interest. Once you detect interest, ask what
    the client likes about it, or how he or she would use it.

Then, ask about including it in the project.

  • “If convenience is important, and I believe it is to all of us,
    let’s review some items that others have found will save time.”
    Then, review the items. “Which of these items should we consider
    for your kitchen?”
  • Safety is always a concern for you, your family and your
    guests. Let me show you how you will benefit from these safety
    items: _____, _____ and _____. Safety is always important. Are
    there any of these we shouldn’t include in your project?”

If you develop the right questions and expose your customers to
accurate and interesting information about how an additional
investment on their part will bring them benefits, it’s of benefit
to all parties.

In order for you to earn the add-on sales, there are
fundamentals you must have in place with your selling techniques
the basic elements of selling. First, you must identify and develop
a need, want or desire on the customer’s part. Then, you need to
find a match of your product and or services to fill the customers
identified need, want or desire. The final piece is to offer the
add-on or upgrade at a fair price. Even though I stated earlier
that add-ons or upgrades might be offered at a higher gross margin,
the pricing must be fair and recognized by your customer as being a
good value.

Give yourself a raise starting today by taking maximum advantage
of add-ons and upgrades. Like the breakfast waiter, when you ask, I
believe that you will find that your customers will want to add
juice to their projects.

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