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Jump Start 2011 Sales & Staff Motivation

Want an easy way to jump-start your sales in 2011, while at the same time helping your associates and managers avoid or get out of the post-holiday blahs?  Run an upsell contest and reward your star performers.  Studies have shown that uspell contests measured using active mystery shopping programs can improve upsell percentages as much as 50% in a very short period of time. 

Whether you have stores, restaurants, branches, call centers, or other types of locations, you can use such programs to jump start sales this year, and also get your frontline people fired up and motivated.  Customer traffic is generally down in the January-March period, so not only is each customer more valuable now, but frontline associates and managers have more time to discuss each customer’s needs and offer additional products and services that they will find valuable; a greater share of the additional dollars they spend goes to profit because you have no additional sales & marketing or other overhead costs to obtain those.

Here are a few simple rules to improve your upselling success:

  • Make it of value to the customer, not generic and forced.  Very simple example: in a quick-serve restaurant setting, if a customer orders a salad, low-cal dressing and bottle of water, chances are they don’t want fries with that!  In a bank, someone interested in free checking may not want to know they can earn 0.3% on a $25,000 minimum CD, but they might want to know you have started offering “Christmas Club” savings plans again.  Conversion rates and customer loyalty will increase when customers believe they are being offered something of value, not just being asked to hand over more money.
  • Make it fun.  In most parts of the country, not only are we dealing with post-holiday syndrome (when is that drug coming out?!), but we’re also dealing with really depressing weather for the foreseeable future.  Create an upselling contest that promotes your locations to compete with each other, and you’ll build your company’s teamwork and culture while building sales.
  • Share the wealth.  Offer incentives to everyone at the winning location(s), not just one person.  Incentives don’t have to be budget-busters; the recognition itself is huge.  This will improve teamwork, bring out best practices from peer-to-peer, and improve your sales early in 2011!
  • Measure it. A mystery shopping company experienced in these programs can provide valuable coaching on how to develop and implement a program, measure its effectiveness, provide daily feedback on performance, analysis for where and how to improve, and consultation on how to make it stick for the long-term.