Do You Want Fries with That?

by | Jun 6, 2011 | Strategy | Entrepreneurship, Blog

One of the first articles I submitted to Ezine Articles was entitled Super Size Your Sales. Originally written for an HVAC industry publication, it has been modified slightly, but even after all this time it is still one of my most well read articles.

Inspired by a statistic I found in the book  “Meaningful Marketing” by Jeffrey Stamp and Doug Hall I explored the idea of  building purchase volume instead of frequency.

The original statistic:  When trying to build annual loyalty (obviously this refers to an industry with multiple purchases annually) focusing on purchase volume rather then frequency is 3.9 times more effective.

Why? Your competitors are always there, offering your customers, even your best customers something new.  So the research shows when the customer is in a buying mode, you win if youi help them buy more. That second chance may never come.

How can Small Businesses Grow Sales with these strategies?

Offer customers incentives and reasons to increase purchases to grow sales

When your customer is ready to buy, offer incentives to purchase more.  You earn more profit and can balance your costs when clients sign long term contracts or larger packages. Share some of the extra profit in the form of savings back to your customers.  

Also offer incentives, such as discounts on multiunit purchases to encourage them to buy more now.  Remember, your competitor may offer them something else tomorrow.

Do you want fries with that?

Have you noticed that when you walk into a McDonalds and order a hamburger the person behind the counter asks, “Do you want fries with that?”  McDonalds significantly increased their sales by simply training their employees to ask the question,

You can use this same tactic to if you want to grow sales.  Offer accessories and extra services with every sale. Clearly list these options on every proposal with the benefits spelled out for your consumer. The research shows if you don’t mention it up front, you may not get a second chance.

The Meal Deal – Another McDonalds Strategy

McDonalds realized  most customers wanted a drink, fries and sandwich. They developed a packaged pricing structure and today almost everyone orders a “# 1, 2 or 3.

Bundling can work for your business too.  Combine accessories and service contracts into the purchase price as standard. Offer only slight discounts to leave out an accessory and most consumers will buy the whole package.   

This bundled approach allows you to offer an extra service ( which costs you very little) “free” with complete system sale. It also makes the primary product seem like a better deal, giving you a chance to win more bids.

Don’t stop with the Meal – Offer a Complete Package

View your product from the customer’s perspective. Consider all the pieces they will need to useor  implement to enjoy your product or service.  Consider offering these related products, either directly or through a strategic partner.  When you do, your customer will have fewer reasons to go elsewhere.

What types of services should you offer? If you sell a product to new homes, consider offering a $25 coupon for a landscape company or nursery with every system you sell. Or maybe a gift certificate for carpet cleaning, or floor refinishing. Your customers will appreciate the little extras.

These extra services don’t have to be an expense item for you. Many companies pay referral bonuses. Talk to service provides about giving you the coupons for free instead of the referral bonus. And, if you are smart, you will give them coupons for your services as well.

These are just some examples of ways to grow sales for  your business by building customer loyalty. What would you add to this list.


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