Let’s face it, if you’re a small business (or even a larger one) anywhere in the world at the moment, then you’re likely feeling the effects of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The impact that the virus is having across the globe is incredible, with unemployment figures hitting all time highs, small business being forced to close their doors for extended periods (some permanently) and the death toll climbing on a daily basis… there is no doubt we have an uncertain future ahead of many of us.

There are a great many questions to answer at the moment; should you continue with your existing marketing approach, should you be decreasing your marketing budget (or increasing it), how can you make the most of your existing budget, what can you do to generate more income without spending more money to advertise? All of which are great questions.

So what we’ve decided to do is try and help you to answer those last couple of questions…

How can you make the most of you existing budget and what can you do to generate more income without spending more money on advertising?

We’re going to concentrate on these topics over a series of articles in the coming weeks, all of which will focus on providing you with some immediate marketing tactics that you can put in place to make the most of your existing marketing efforts and maximise the existing traffic you have to your offer/website (or retail store).

So without further ado… here’s the first action you can take.

#1 – Promote Cross-sells & Up-sells

Once you’ve done the hard work to get a customer to your website, or a customer into your retail store, this is your opportunity to maximise how much they spend with you during their transaction.

If you can convince them to add further items to their purchase at the same time as they purchase the original item they were after, then you are generating a higher return on your marketing efforts, with little additional effort on your part.

This process of inviting your customer to consider other items or buy “the next model up” from what they were looking at in the first place is common practise. If you’ve ever been to a fast food restaurant, they are masters at enticing you to upgrade to a meal, or throw in a side with the meal you want.

McDonald’s provides an excellent case study here, how often have you been asked if you’d like to “get fries with that” or “make it a large meal for $2”, and they always seems to have a promotion for a cheap side like onion rings.

You’d be amazed at how often someone goes into McDonald’s planning to buy one thing and ends up walking out with that and a bunch of other stuff. I’ve done it, and every single time that happens McDonald’s gains extra sales for little to no effort (and definitely no marketing cost).

From an online perspective, you only have to look at Amazon for great examples of up-selling and cross-selling. Practically every product you will view on their website has some form of related product or up-sell included.

Take a look at the screenshot below and you’ll see what I mean.

The “Frequently bought together” section up-sells the purchaser to buying two products instead of the one they originally wanted, while the “Customers who bought this item…” section shows a range of cross-sell products that are related to the one they are here to look at.

Amazon is giving themselves multiple opportunities to make more from this visitor, knowing that this may be their only chance to capture the sale.

So, there is a great opportunity when you have an interested party on your website or in front of you, to create additional sales income by enticing them with relevant offers (and the must be relevant, it wouldn’t work in the example above if they started talking about clothes or hygiene products).

Depending on how many products you can offer it doesn’t need to be particularly complicated and if you’re just starting out, you don’t have to try and do this on every product.

The key is to make it relevant and useful for the customer so that they feel like you are trying to help them rather than simply shove more stuff down their throat (which will just turn them away).

Spend some time to review your product set and identify complementary products to show alongside those a customer is already expressed an interest in. If there is a benefit in buying a “higher spec’ed” product or service, then identify those and tell the customer while they are considering a product.

Experiment with when you provide the cross-sell or up-sell offer. Amazon does it throughout their site, you may decide to only show this information on a product page or alternatively just before a customer checks out (although the risk is that you then distract them from a sale you are likely to have made).

If you are doing the sale face-to-face, don’t be afraid to get more information from the customer to determine if an alternative or complementary product would be useful.

Remember, you’re the expert in your products and services, so if you can help a customer make a better decision, then they will be happy about that, but if you’re just trying to get them to spend more, it will show and leave a bad taste in their mouth.

So there you have it, your first marketing tactic for increasing sales without increasing your budget.

Check back soon for the next article in the series: “Lead Capture & Follow Up Offers

And of course, let us know what you think in the comments or if you found the article helpful don’t hesitate to share it with anyone that you think would benefit from it… we’d appreciate your support to get the word out!

Until then, all the best.

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