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Last updateWed, 20 May 2015 1am

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The Add-On Checklist

Another technique that has made thousands and thousands of additional sales and profit dollars for numerous retail jewelers is the Add-On Checklist or the Customer Checklist. I actually discovered this technique in a computer store when I was purchasing computers for my office. On top of one of the computer displays the store had a brochure that asked “For Your Computer, Did You Remember?”

More of the Low Hanging Fruit – Adding-On

The past couple of months we have been discussing the process of selling additional items. As we approach the all important holiday season the importance of learning to suggest, show and sell additional items is paramount to your individual success and the overall success of your company. Again, selling additional items are one of the keys to maximizing both sales and profits in a retail jewelry store.

The Assumptive Add-on

One of the most effective add-on strategies is the Assumptive Add-On Close. The assumptive add-on close is designed to be effective yet subtle in the way it is delivered. The technique is used under the total assumption that the sale of a primary item has been made. This close should be delivered to your customer immediately after they answer your final agreement question in the FBA (features, benefits and agreement questions) demonstration technique.

Keep in mind that this technique could be perceived as being very pushy and aggressive if you haven't laid the groundwork in advance of presenting the assumptive add-on close. In other words, if during the needs assessment process you asked some good, quality add-on questions (refer to the past article on the needs assessment) and found out that the customer has a need for additional merchandise, then you introduce the additional merchandise through using the assumptive add-on close, the technique will be extremely effective. If you haven't ask any questions to find out the appropriate add-on item and then you present an add-on using the assumptive add-on close, you run a tremendous risk of being viewed as pushy and aggressive.

For example: you have a customer who is looking for an engagement ring and you curiously ask early in the sales presentation, "What did you have in mind as a wedding day gift for your bride?" The customer responds, "I hadn't even thought about a wedding day gift yet." Then the salesperson mentions, "later don't let me forget to show you some terrific pearls that we have that would make a fabulous wedding day gift." At this point we have laid the groundwork to introduce the additional item of pearls using the assumptive add-on close. After previously laying the groundwork for the add-on the customer's perception of the assumptive add-on close is that of a customer service rather than the sales person being pushy and/or aggressive.

Again, the Assumptive Add-on Close is delivered immediately after you have given the customer your last FBA or Feature, Benefit, Agreement Question.
There are five parts to the Assumptive Add-on Close they are:

  1. How about - The "how about" is a non-threatening opening to your assumptive add-on close that sounds much like a discovery on your behalf. It isn't as pushy as saying, for instance, "You'll need" or "Let me show you" or "Will that be all?"
  2. The Enhancer - The enhancer allows you to give value to the add-on item without having to do a complete feature, benefit, agreement (FBA).
  3. The Add-On - The Add-on is simply the Add-on itself.
  4. The Advantage - The advantage lets the prospect know why they should have the add-on item versus not having the add-on item.
  5. Possession - The possession step gives possession of the primary or main item to the customer.

A complete Assumptive Add-on Close would sound something like the following:

  • "How about a perfectly matched necklace to compliment your new earrings?"
  • "To celebrate your promotion, how about a matching watch for your wife to let her know how much you appreciate her support?"
  • "How about a specially designed case to protect your new jewelry?"
  • "How about we look at those gorgeous pearls I told you about. They would make a great wedding day gift for your wife?"
  • "You said you have several relatives graduating in a couple of weeks. How about we look at some fabulous gift items we just got in to complete your shopping needs?"
  • "In addition to the gift for your wife, how about we take a look at some terrific gift items that we have for the others on your Mother's Day gift list?"
  • "Now that you have chosen the special holiday gift, how about we look at the beautiful earrings you mentioned she would love to have next as a Valentines Day gift?"
  • "While we are changing your watch battery, how about we look at some terrific gift items that we just got in for the holidays that we think are going to be very popular this year? It might give you a chance to complete your shopping early this year."

You will notice, in each of the examples above, that all five components of the Assumptive Add-on Close are included clearly and concisely. Again, I would suggest that you take a few minutes to develop your own Assumptive Add-on Closes and the add-on questions for every selling scenario that you can think of. Look at every scenario that takes place in your store and determine what questions you could ask the customer to find what the appropriate add-on might be. Then ask yourself, "How can I introduce the add-on using the assumptive add-on close?"

Again, after you have had success adding-on to the primary sale, keep going. I know your initial reaction might be to take the money and run. However, you can't maximize your potential if you stop now. Keep adding-on until your customer either says "no" or has bought your entire package.

We have all made purchases where the salesperson loaded us up. They set us up with everything we could possibly need. Isn't it OK, for you to do the same? Through using the assumptive add-on closing technique you will see a substantial increase in the quantity of your sales, and your customers will appreciate you for it.

As a result of the assumptive add-on close there are three possible responses that the prospect could give you. They are:

  1. They could decide to purchase only the primary item.
  2. They could decide to purchase the primary item and the Add-on.
  3. They could give you an objection.

You win in two of the three possible scenarios. Actually you win in all three scenarios, because even if they were to give you an objection, you are still in control of the presentation. You know when you may get an objection, thus you are prepared at that point to handle the objection. In an "out of control presentation" you could very easily be caught off guard with an objection. You could become confused yourself, lose where you were in the presentation, and thus lose the potential sale.

In addition, in an earlier article I mentioned that the three responsibilities of a salesperson are to:

  1. Attempt to close every customer
  2. Attempt to Add-on to every customer
  3. Sell with Integrity

Of the three responsibilities the first two are things that you can proactively do as a salesperson. Selling with integrity isn't something that can be taught, you are either a person of high integrity and ethics or you are not. No selling technique will display integrity. Through using the assumptive add-on close you have fulfilled your responsibility to yourself and to your company. You have attempted to close the sale and you have attempted to sell additional items. Just as in closing the sale, if you don't ask the question to buy additional items, they probably won't. If you do ask the customer to buy additional items in many cases he or she will buy more than you ever expected them to buy.

Remember the professional salesperson doesn't think to themselves; "I wonder if this customer is going to buy," the professional asks themselves; "I wonder how much this customer is going to buy." Next month I will detail a few more techniques to help you maximize your sales through selling add-on items.



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, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit their website at www.iastraining.com.

Adding-On = Profits

In previous articles we have discussed how Add-ons = Profits. In order to maximize the selling opportunity and the sales and profits of a jewelry store, the salespeople have to be experts in the process of selling add-ons.

Last month we discussed how adding on is a function of closing the sale and how the customer's mind is most open to buying additional goods prior to making the decision on the main item. We also discussed how adding-on is a customer service and that the add-on item(s) don't necessarily have to cost less than the main item. People have different budgets for different things.

The add-on doesn’t have to cost less

People have different budgets for different items. Should a customer indicate that they have a specific budget to spend on one item, doesn't mean that they don't have plenty of money to spend on additional items.

Several years ago, I arrived back from a long road trip in the early afternoon of my son's birthday. He wanted a CD player and I had assured my wife that I would have time to stop at the electronics store to pick out just the right one for him. My son's birthday is in late January, and naturally the plane was late due to snow. I was then in a big hurry to purchase a CD player, stop by the office, and head for home.

Well, at the electronics store I ran into a typical poor salesperson. I walked over to the CD players and asked what the difference was between the model that cost $199 and the model that cost $299. He informed that the difference between the two was about $100. No kidding! After the look on my face, courtesy laugh, and maybe a sarcastic retort, I'm sure he realized that I didn't have the time, and wasn't in the mood for, his jokes. Being as he then didn't like me and I didn't like him, he went to get a salesperson (turn-over) that was "the expert on CD players".

This is where I ran into a real professional. He settled me down, asked me some great questions about my needs and wants, and actually got into a conversation with me about what we were doing for the Super Bowl. We talked about my family, established that I had teenagers, and some other personal information. He found out what was important to my son in a CD player, found out what kind of television I owned, and found out that we were having a Super Bowl party with some old friends that weekend. He sold me a CD player, and proceeded to tell me how impressed my old friends would be watching the Super Bowl on a wide-screen television. Then he told me how my teenage children would tend to stay home more, have their friends over to the house, and watch my new toy. They would play their movies, play their video games, watch sporting events, and enjoy their MTV even more on a wide-screen TV. This television would actually cause them to stay out of any possible "trouble" out there in the real world. Amazing isn't it, that a wide-screen television can actually produce all these miracles! Even more amazing is that I actually bought the story!

The end result of this superb sales presentation was that not only did I purchase the $299 CD player for my son, but I also purchased a new $2900 wide-screen television. The add-on item was ten times as expensive as the main item. This was an outstanding sales presentation that I felt good about and I'm sure he felt good about. I even think that the kids did stay home, and out of trouble, because of this wonder machine. The store also had a special promotion going on; they promised delivery within a few hours. I happened to pull up in the driveway, after stopping by the office, just as the delivery people were unloading the CD player and the wide screen television. You should have seen the look on my wife's face as I got out of the car.

WHAT TO ADD-ON?
We now need to spend some time on the question; how do you determine what the most appropriate add-on item(s) will be for your customer? The answer lies in the needs assessment step. Based on the conversation that you have during the needs assessment, you should be able to determine what the most appropriate items are, and the additional needs and wants of each and every customer.

They may have told you that they are looking for an anniversary gift only to find out the spouse's birthday is two weeks after the anniversary. It may be the customer is looking for a gift for the wife on Mothers Day, only through asking a few questions you find out that the customer has a mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, daughter-in-law, daughter, two sisters and a step-mother that they need to buy for as well. The door can be opened to numerous opportunities to increase the quantity of the sale through an outstanding job in the needs assessment step.

The real expert sales professional will go for add-on items with every customer. I have seen jewelry stores that average about three to five percent of the total sales in add-on dollars jump that number to twenty to twenty-three percent in add-on dollars. Resulting in huge sales and profit increases for both the store and the individual salespeople.

In many instances the only limit to the sale is set by the salesperson themselves. The professional salesperson doesn't limit the amount of the purchase based on what he or she thinks. As long as you have a willing, able, and active customer, you might just as well go for it all. A customer that comes in to have a watch battery changed is a potential customer to buy additional products! The customer that is making a lay-away payment is a terrific prospect for an additional sale. In other words every person that walks into the store is a perfect prospect to buy additional products.

You will find that the amount of preparation time you've taken, and the quality of your needs assessment holds the key to the entire balance of the presentation. Everything from what to demonstrate to what to add-on is discovered during the needs assessment. People will tell you everything that they need and want, both now and for the future. If you have a goal of finding the appropriate add-ons during the needs assessment, you will find that your additional item sales will increase and your customers will be served.

As with closing the sale, one of the reasons that it has been difficult in the past to add-on is simply because you haven't earned the right to add-on. Only after the most appropriate add-on items have been discovered during the needs assessment can you maximize your add-on potential.

DON'T STOP NOW
The question then becomes; When do you stop adding on and complete the transaction? The answer is: Don't stop until the customer tells you to stop. If you are a veteran of the sales game I'm sure you have heard some sort of horror story about what a terrible job most salespeople do.

A story I heard recently was of a university that sent ten people out shopping in a mall with American Express Gold cards that have no spending limit. Each of the ten people was sent to a different type of store. One went to a shoe store, one to an apparel store, one to a gift store, another to a jewelry store, and so on. They were told to make their initial selection and to not stop buying until the salesperson stopped selling. Of the ten, only one came back with three or more items. Three came back with two items, and the other six people all came back with only one item. In six out of the ten sales presentations there was absolutely no effort made to sell any additional items. This story sure tells me a lot about the professionalism, or lack of professionalism, that is out there.

Quite frankly, the end result of all of these stories is the same. The salesperson almost always stops selling after one or maybe two items have been sold, or there is no attempt made to add-on. Can you imagine the amount of lost sales that occur as a result of salespeople not even asking? Do you keep selling until the customer quits buying or are you just average?

Adding on is the only way to maximize every sales opportunity.

Keep showing (selling) until the customer says stop.
Next month we will address specific techniques on how to sell additional items. However, remember the old saying that if you don't ask you won't get. A professional salesperson doesn't ask themselves, "I wonder if the customer is going to buy?" they ask themselves "I wonder how much the customer is going to buy?"

 


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 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or fax 303-936-9581. You can also visit their website at www.iastraining.com.

The Low Hanging Fruit – ADDING-ON

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.
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