Turning Opportunities into Sales

Leslie Lyon

Call it what you like: cross selling, suggestion selling, add-on selling…but no matter what label you apply, it is one of the most effective ways to boost your bottom line with only a very small amount of effort. Gentle persuasion during customer conversation is beneficial to the customer, to the salesperson, and to the business.

There are only two ways to boost profits: one is to increase revenue and the other is to reduce costs. When you cross-sell, you are accomplishing both. Obviously revenue increases with the sale, but at the same time, taking the “path of least resistance”, or selling to your existing clients, lowers your costs of doing business because you are only investing time, not time and advertising dollars.

Now is the perfect opportunity to introduce them to new products and services–you already have their attention; they are a captive audience. Your staff must be trained experts in turning opportunities into sales. And you must be able to monitor their results and reward their success.

Whether you have your client in person or on the telephone,it is one of the few times you don’t have to compete for their attention. 

And when your client decides to purchase a product or service, show your staff next, the advantages of always having a suggestion ready for a corresponding, beneficial product or service. Whether inter-departmental sales suggestions, or from other departments, understanding the power of suggestion selling will change the way your staff view a sale. If your clients are currently happy with their existing products or services, chances are they will be even happier with more of them! These items are providing your client with value and it is of benefit to them that you continually find ways to offer them even more value.

This approach to selling may even be perceived as convenience, in that perhaps the only other way they may have heard about these items is through off-site advertising, which would mean you are saving them an extra trip into the spa to purchase the item!

A therapist who is successful at selling has an unlimited career path! Meeting the challenge can greatly accelerate their position in the business, as well as their ability to command higher compensation and rewards. And knowing who can sell allows for all-round easier management decisions.

Developing this selling mentality turns a reactive personality into a proactive personality and can actually benefit one’s life in many ways. New abilities breed confidence and confidence can actually help us find our passion and true potential.

We’ve talked about selling opportunities in our industry forever, but only a select few of us have put it on our priority list and launched aggressive, ongoing internal campaigns to master the challenge. Perhaps you should be considering it as one of your priorities?

If you are one of the many who are considering extending your service booking times to 1 hour and 15 minutes to allow your therapists to clean, up sell, and bid a fond farewell to their clients, you must be sure that this extra time booked is somehow contributing to the bottom line.

Retail items don’t necessarily have higher margins than services–this is a common misconception, unless you are selling private label. But the reason retail is so important to us is because we can sell a lot of it in a very short period of time. This smaller investment in time is where we make our money with retail.

What’s better: A 1 hour treatment generating $100 in revenue or a 1 hour and 10 minute commitment that generates $200 in revenue?

If you extend your service booking times by 15 minutes for each one hour treatment on your menu for each staff member, every day of the week—well, you do the math. That’s a lot of lost revenue, if it’s not being supplemented.

BUT! If with this extension in booking times your staff is making up for it in up selling retail and/or generating gateway service sales, it can be a wise choice.

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