June 28th, 2006 at 11:10am Lorie Obernauer
I was just doing some on-line shopping and purchased a lovely skirt. When I selected the item, I got a message: “others who bought this skirt also bought”…and 3 more accessory items were presented that went with the skirt. And I bought 2 of those items!
At Apex Gift Foods, we have found that a similar approach works for increasing sales and satisfying our customers. We train our sales people to offer product suggestions to buyers based upon the choices the buyer has already made. For example, if a buyer purchases a case of Walker Shortbread Cookies, the sales person mentions that we carry six other flavors of Walker Cookies and may also tell the buyer which is the most popular flavor.
Or, the sales person might use another approach. When the buyer purchases that case of Walker Shortbread Cookies, the sales person might mention that other buyers have purchased a particular tea or coffee that seems to go well with the cookie.
In order to be successful with either of these approaches, our sales people need a list of products that “go together”. First, we make sure that our sales people know the range of products we carry from each of our manufacturers. That way, if a customer seems to like products from a certain company (eg. Walker Cookies), our sales people can quickly suggest other Walkers products.
Second, we create a “cheat sheet” for our sales people. The sheet has two columns: “If Customer Orders This” and “Suggest This”. This handy reference allows our sales people to be confident and helpful to those customers who aren’t sure exactly what they want.
This type of sales approach can easily be adapted to your gift basket business. Make sure that your staff is well trained about the products that are available and are knowledgable about products that work well when used together. This should include knowledge of both gourmet products and other items that would “go well” in the design such as ribbons or enhancements.
Not only will you have satisfied customers, but you will be likely to see increases in sales as those customers start to depend upon your knowledge and experience.
Entry Filed under: Business Tips