Making the most of what you already have

A number of businesses act on the belief that to sell more you have to get new customers.  UNTRUE.

An easily and often overlooked resource is your current customer either the customer that has already bought from you OR the customer right in front of you (figuratively speaking) that is about to buy.

As always I’ll give you the answer up front prefaced by my usual ‘heads up’ for the people who want to DO something with the answer rather than gain the benefit of knowing it intellectually.

The answer:  Sell more to your current customer.

How? Well, there are a few ways to do this.

As you read this brief list, be mindful that even if you are already doing these, how consistent are you doing them and what else could you be doing?

1.  Suggest add-on items. 

These are complementary items that are less expensive and don’t require too much thought for a purchase decision. There are examples of this all over the retail industry ranging from “Would you like fries with that?” to “Would you like to take your product protection insurance?”


2.  Suggest an additional purchase of the same item.

I experienced a classic example of this on my way out of a store here in the US.  As I exited the store I was greeted by a small group of Girl Scouts selling cookies. Knowing that the Girl Scouts is a good cause and that the cookies are delicious I decided to by a box of cookies for the $4. (I’ll discuss the top-notch sales coaching that they get in a later blog.) Before I could hand over my $4, the Girl Scout said (as she pointed to a photograph of some soldiers in fatigues with an American flag in the background) “May I interest you in purchasing an additional box of cookies that will be sent to our troops overseas?  It means a lot to them and reminds them of home.” Politics aside, THAT is a powerful pitch! Especially from a girl who couldn’t have been more than 12 years old!

3.  Tell your customer to use more of your product. 

This may sound odd to some, but many of us obey these commands on a regular basis. By doing this, you can get a customer to double their consumption of the product  or use the service more often.  A product based example of this is “rinse and repeat” – a command that is on the back of many, if not all, shampoo products. A service based example is “come back in for a check up (or review) every six months”  This not only makes sense for many service users but is a great opportunity that is often overlooked by service providers.

I say all of that to say this….

You have already done the hard work of getting customers in the first place. It’s less expensive to service, support and sell to your current customers than it is to get new ones.  There are a number of easy ways to sell, with integrity and authenticity, to your current customers that will make them happier and boost your bottom line.

Puzzle me this, puzzle me that….

From the approaches listed in this article, what opportunities have you overlooked that you could use to increase the sales (either at the point of sale or lifetime sales per customer)?

If you choose to invest some time in exploring this further, the payoff can be significant and fast. To get the most out of this do the review either with your business coach/mentor, your team or (if you don’t have a team) with members of your business network.  If you don’t have a business network, get one! If you live in the UK, my recommendation is to visit to find a club near you.