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Top-Shelf Tip No. 28:

"It is not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results."

Warren Buffett

How To Deploy A Triple Sales Threat

Sales reps are often interested in new strategies and fresh approaches to help them close the sale. From up-selling and cross-selling, they want to get customers to buy so they can boost their bottom line. While you might feel confident in your current approach, there's always room to improve. Sales and marketing expert and best-selling author Victor Antonio says that by adding next-selling to the mix, sales reps can deploy a triple sales threat. Although it's sometimes an overlooked revenue generator, the next-selling strategy can help you boost revenue with your existing customer base and grow your bottom line.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we explore Antonio's take on the next-selling strategy and how it can help you boost sales.

Up-selling. When customers are ready to buy, up-selling is the sales act of getting them to buy a more enhanced version. Antonio likens it to when someone is standing at the counter at a fast food restaurant ready to order a burger and the employee asks if the customer wants to make it a double. Or if a customer is buying a laptop computer and the sales rep asks if they'd like a bigger screen size, more storage, more RAM or a quicker processor. With up-selling, the customer has committed to buying the basic version of a product or service, and the sales rep strives to up-sell the customer on a better version.

Cross-selling. This sales act aims to get the buyer to purchase other products or services to complement what they're currently ready to buy. For example, if they're buying a double burger, the employee behind the counter could suggest adding some fries or a shake. If the customer is buying a computer, the sales rep might suggest adding a computer bag, a screen privacy filter, software applications, LED projector or tablet to the order. Sales reps should note that an effective cross-sell opportunity typically represents five to 15 percent of the total purchase.

Next-selling. In this sales act, sales reps follow up with the buyer a few days after the purchase with an exclusive offer based on the buyer's original purchase. If the customer bought a combo meal, the fast food restaurant could send the individual an exclusive burger-of-the-month club offer available only to real burger lovers. In the computer example, the store could send the buyer an exclusive offer to attend a workshop at a discounted price.

Antonio says there are two ways to deploy a next-selling sales strategy: regency and cohorts. Using a regency strategy is the easiest to implement and execute since it only requires a list of previous buyers. Sales reps could target any customers who purchased their product or service in the last seven days for a next-sell opportunity.

In a cohort strategy, sales reps must not only analyze those who purchased a particular product in a given timeframe but also made another purchase, such as a cross-sell item. One buying group (cohort) may have purchased a computer in addition to a computer bag and screen privacy filter. When sales reps identify this cohort, Antonio says the question becomes, "Are buyers who purchased a computer along with two additional items likely to buy a discounted workshop?" Then, sales reps can generate a list of buyers who fit into this cohort, split the data into a target market group and a control group. The target market group would receive the discounted offer and the control group would receive the full-price offer.

When using this strategy, sales reps can experience a significant revenue lift.

Source: Victor Antonio is a motivational speaker and best-selling author of 13 sales and marketing books, including The Logic of Success. Antonio also launched The Sales Mastery Academy, a learning platform with more than 300 videos.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers