Biggie-Size Every Sale

At the convenience store the clerk asks me if I want a bag of chips or pack of gum while buying a bottle of pop. At the fast food restaurant the lady asks me if I want a value meal or an apple fritter to go with the sandwich I ordered. At the gas station the guy asks if I want a donut to go along with my coffee. I had a compact car waiting for me at the airport and when I went to get it, the rental agent up-sold me to a yellow convertible Mustang “... come on, it’s Florida, ya gotta have a convertible.”

A revelation

I got irritated one day when a shoe salesman was pushing a bag of socks on me when I was in a hurry. That’s when it hit me: “What happens if only half the people buying shoes that day bit on his bag of socks? How many incremental sales will he generate by doing nothing more than making a suggestion?”

If I average 200 sales per week and a simple suggestion can increase my number of sales by 50 to 100, imagine the dollar volume increase that can be generated!

So once I changed my attitude and decided to take full responsibility for my idea (failure was not an option), this tool business became so much more fun to me. I put together a game plan: I started being an offensive coordinator instead of a defensive coordinator by playing a game of add-on with each sale.

Look, listen and act

The game starts between your own ears. The tech steps onto your truck and buys a set of A/C gauges that he saw in your sales flyer. Now it’s time for me to quit thanking that guy and patting him on the back as he leaves. It’s time for me to quit generating sales for my competition and start selling!

The lady at the fast food restaurant would offer up a side-can tap or an A/C sniffer, maybe a dye injector or an A/C thermometer.

The next customer steps up and buys an air ratchet. He came to buy just that, so you merely just help him pick which one he will take with him. Now, here is where the car rental person would add the whip hose: air tool oil, a set of sockets, some extensions. Don’t let the next truck complete your sale. Have a game plan!

When you place an order for an item, think of other items that a customer might want to go along with it. Set your truck up to play “add-on” with every sale.

Rubber gloves? Pocket knife? Safety glasses? Mechanic’s gloves? Beef jerky? Batteries? Stainless steel top? Socket organizer? Test light? Mirror? Magnet? Blow gun? Wire strippers? Crimpers? Oh yeah, by the way, have you ever seen a tech barefoot? Nope! They all wear some type of boot or shoe.

Many companies are adding millions of dollars to their sales every year by doing nothing more than playing “add-on.” It’s a game that makes our job so much more fun, and you never know just how much you might win. The only thing for sure is, you have nothing to lose!

Doug Pennington is a Mac Tools distributor in Centerville, OH. Send any comments or feedback you have for Doug to