I wish I had known to ban the words “anything else?”
By Elizabeth Gillam
Upselling is always in the “steps of service” of any franchise group. You train your staff in these “steps of service” but do you really? When it comes to the suggestive sell or the upsell section do you actually have a conversation with your team about what this really is?
For the first two years in my franchise my team would always ask “anything else?” I thought, what good team members I have, always upselling. What a mistake! Tell me, “What is your standard answer to anything else”? There, I bet you just said it – “no”.
The mind is a funny thing and when we hear the words “anything else” we automatically think no I do not want to spend anymore. Whereas, if we suggest something that compliments what you are buying then your mind thinks ‘Hmmmm that would be nice’ and the answer more often than not is “yes”.
It was about the two year mark when I was looking for ways to increase my average sale or average transaction value . I watched my staff to see if they really were upselling because my average sale didn’t reflect that they were. Something was wrong, something wasn’t working. What I found was that they were asking “anything else” and the answer was always “no”. Or worse still they were asking “nothing else?” at least the answer to this was “yes” but still that didn’t increase my average sale. What a “wake up” call this was for me! So I took steps to change the culture in my store. Here are the five things we changed:
- We banned the words “anything else?”
- We identified three items that could be sold to every customer every time. By shortlisting just three, it made it easy for the team to remember what to suggest when they were prompted at the point of sale.
- We made labels and stuck these three items along the top of the point of sale. It made them even easier to remember.
- We created a visual merchandising display of these three items.
- We trained the staff by role playing with each other. We would actually split the team into customers and staff and at our team meeting, would be practicing the upsell conversation. The team learned how to incorporate the upsell into the conversation so that it did not appear as though you were upselling. “You know what is nice with ….?” Or “Do you like….? It is great with ….?”
What did we find? Well our average sale increased immediately so therefore our turnover increased. The team were engaged, it was a challenge to see who could get the biggest upsell or the most upsells in a day. But the biggest surprise was that our customers started coming to us with their previous upsell already in their initial order so we could upsell them again. This suggestive selling builds on itself. It’s a definite winner for you, the franchisee.
So go ahead, I challenge you, ban the words “anything else?”
Elizabeth Gillam founder and CEO of Franchisee Success creates High Performance Franchisees. Having owned and operated three franchised food businesses; Boost, Healthy Habits and Bucking Bull; she knows what it takes to operate a profitable food franchise. In her recent book, Upsize your PROFIT – 6 steps to running a profitable food franchise she outlines how franchisees can ACE their franchised business unit.