Sales Through Service: An effortless way to increase sales

Tania Allen, Founder, Vision Alliance

We all love to eat and drink and if you’re like me you may also love to observe certain trends in the marketplace; noticing an increasing number of people who dine out and grab takeaway.

Gone are the days where takeaway was for the Friday night; people are eating out or doing the grab and go every minute of every single day.

So looking from a fly on the wall perspective, it would be common for one to make an assumption that the food and beverage is booming and is likely to be on the incline rather than the decline. Is this an accurate reflection for this coming year? Some say yes and others say no. In fact, I was reading in a recent article where it was predicted that ‘… there will be a slowdown of growth in the overall food and beverage market in this current year and therefore some challenges for the franchising sector will also be experienced’.

Now I’m going to make a bold statement here, if we all built our businesses on predictions and the forecasts, the economy would be built on fear and most business owners would be closing the doors before they gave themselves a chance to shine. So how do you shine? How do you maximise your potential? How do you take control and steer your ship to where you want it to go regardless of the economy and regardless of all other outside influences?

Here’s some proven ways that will help you maximise your potential in your business providing of course, you do the right things, in the right order and at the right time on a consistent basis.

Business gurus both present and past say there are many ways to grow a business and some ways are more complicated than others. Oftentimes because of the conflicting messages out there it’s easy for any business owner to lose sight of what’s really going to help us produce short term results and long term benefit and gain. Let’s explore the top three that will help you build momentum faster.

As obvious as they sound, I invite you to take some time to consider the following and see what changes you can make and what actions you can take as early as tomorrow to build a more solid foundation for increased profits and set your business on a more predictable path.

Increase the number of customers

Now this one sounds a little obvious and it’s what most business owners want more of every single day. What I would ask you to do however, is to consider what this really means.…

To increase the number of customers, you firstly need to increase the number of prospects coming into your business. We all know not everyone who walks into your business will buy, so your number one aim is to ensure your business is welcoming and invites more people in and aims to provide a solution to your customers’ challenges, frustrations, concerns, wants or needs.

With the understanding that not all prospects will turn into a paying customer, it’s important to ensure you have a strategy and a process in place to ensure that the majority of prospects are converted into customers and the rest are nurtured so they eventually buy or perhaps recommend you to others.

There’s your business tip number one: increase the number of customers in your business. In order to do that you firstly have to increase the number of prospects interested in doing business with you, and then you must do whatever it takes to show value and benefit to that prospect so they naturally want to buy what it is you offer and sell and this is what we refer to as increasing your conversions.

There are other ways you can increase the number of customers and that’s through customer retention. Your aim in business should be to increase the number of customers coming through your doors every single day. It is however very expensive to build a business based on a new customer strategy only, so take some time to consider how you would go about retaining your current customers, in other words coming back to you over and over and also how you could reactivate past customers who haven’t purchased from you for a while.

Increase the transaction value

McDonalds have been famous for this, using the traditional “Would you like fries with that?” approach to getting your customers to buy more. Many a business owner believes they must increase market share and set out to achieve what is often a deflating activity. What if I told you that you can influence the success in your business faster just by focusing on increasing wallet share and not just market share?

So what is market share and how do we increase it? Imagine a woman has $20 in her wallet to spend on food and beverage items for the day. She may walk into her local café and purchase a takeaway coffee for $4.20. Its lunch time and she’s undecided as to what she would like, so chooses to take the coffee for now.

Meanwhile she’s walked out of your business and past another. By the time she decides what she wants for lunch, she’s well and truly gone. Will she turn back? Highly unlikely. She is more than likely going to walk into another store and buy what she feels like at the time. This is a very simple example of losing wallet share. She had $20 to spend, $4.20 was spent in your shop and possibly another $10 was spent in another store.

Key points for you to consider are, how do you get the customer to spend more in your business without feeling like you are following a script and doing the “Would you like fries with that?” strategy or worse still feeling like you’re squeezing the last dollar out of someone’s pocket just to fill yours with classic upsell and cross sell strategies.

Here’s a simple solution that will make everyone happy…

SERVE DON’T SELL. If you change your mindset and how you look at ‘upsells’  and ‘cross sells’ and increasing the transaction value, how you can “serve” your customer more then increasing the average transaction will become top of mind and will allow  your business and service to flow. In fact I believe you are doing your customers a disservice by not offering another item with  their original purchase. The worst case scenario is your customer will say no. It’s that simple.

Increase the frequency of re-purchase

An effortless way of increasing sales in your business is increasing the frequency of re-purchase. The key is to be mindful of how you invite your customers back more often. If you’re a retail store think about how you would get your customers to come in more often. Perhaps it’s getting them on a morning coffee run pick up, offer an SMS ordering system, or perhaps you could send an SMS blast out to your customer base offering lunch time specials or afternoon treats.

As a service based business look at how you can package up your offers and get your clients coming back for more and of course more often. Regular automated touch points via email and SMS and phone provides a way for a well-balanced customer nurturing strategy.

Increasing this area alone by 10 per cent can impact revenues significantly. Imagine what you could do if you increased this by more than that?

Time to take action…

Knowledge is all but useless unless it’s applied so it’s time to get moving and implement some of these tips into your business to ensure you build momentum faster.

Take some time to consider how you will:

• Increase the number prospects into your business. Some ideas could include increase referrals, carry out consistent marketing, social media, running special events, special offers, promotions etc.

• Increase the average transaction value. Consider companion selling, what else will complement the original purchase? Is there an upgrade to what you are selling?

• Increase the frequency of purchase. Take some time to think of ways you can invite your customers back sooner. Think about  your offers and ongoing promotions.

Some say achieving business success is easy. I have to agree. The key to achieving momentum and maximising your potential is doing the right things in the right order and at the right time and more importantly on a consistent basis.

If you would like to learn more about how you can maximise your potential in business. Tania Allen is offering all readers of Business Franchise a Complimentary Road Map Strategy Session.

Tania Allen is the founder of Vision Alliance and author of Franchise Profits. Vision Alliance is a business growth and franchise consulting firm that helps franchisors and franchisees get more out of business and more out of life. For more information about how Tania and her team can support you in maximising your potential in your franchise please contact:

P: 1300 76 49 20 or 0419 481 203