Don’t even know what a ‘Second Sale’ is? Often, the salesperson or the company becomes so satisfied with the initial sale that they fail to present additional products or services that can assist the customer. And I want you to remember something very important. The second sale represents the greatest, yet most overlooked opportunity in almost every selling situation. Today, I’m going to give you some tips on how to ensure you get those second sales.
I discovered the second sale phenomenon by accident one week when I was on fire, selling everybody that I called on. It was one of those freak moments when everything was easy and effortless. Every prospect I was working with was buying from me, and it seemed as though I’d walked through some magical deal-closing portal.
I’d spent hours selling this executive team who were trying to make sense of the product being affordable for their company. They finally submitted to my logic and persuasion and agreed to make the purchase. Upon acceptance of that product, I decided to see if I could move the executives up another level, as I truly believed that it would be a better investment for the company. I knew that they had already gone over budget, but I had to try anyway. I suggested to them that since they were already paying more than they were comfortable with, why not go all the way and more up another level? They looked at each other and then turned to me in astonishment. “Actually,” one of the guys said, “we were going to ask you to do just that. We’re already paying more than we can afford—we’ll just have to produce a little more to make it work.” In that moment, I’d stumbled across one of the great secrets of selling: Second money is easier to get than first money.
Startled by this discovery, I reflected on times when I’d been out shopping for a product and took forever to decide on that one particular item. But once I finally made a decision and bought it, I found myself buying another eight items on the way out of the store. This phenomenon is common among consumers. Once the flow begins, the buyer becomes more open to making more purchases. It is my belief that the customer making a second purchase is validating their initial purchase decision. It is also a reflection of the rapport you have built with them, it shows their comfort level with you and that they trust you as an expert.
Tip #2: Watch Your Timing
For example, a customer walks into a travel agency with the idea of taking a cruise. They spend four hours with the travel agent looking at all of the cruise line brochures while trying to figure out which package will best suit their needs. They ask themselves, “Should I take a cruise to Europe, Mexico, Alaska or the Caribbean? Should I take a five-day or a two-week cruise? What is the best cruise line and who has the best ships?” Once the customer decides on a destination and purchases the perfect cruise vacation, the climate is right for the travel agent to step in and offer additional products. There are accommodation upgrades from an inside deck cabin to an ocean-view suite, island tour excursion packages, travel insurance, airfare upgrades, and so on. Because the customer has taken the plunge and bought the first item, they’re going to want to be right about their first decision, making them available to purchase additional products and services.
Offering customers additional options by saturating them with products and services increases their loyalty and expands revenue at higher margins. Think about how Starbucks uses food—yogurt, baked goods, sandwiches and even tea—to follow its coffee offerings. Or how Apple has almost endless lists of products and services from headphones to adapters to Apple TV to external drives. These services, accessories, and additional items help them create cult-like followings.
When I first began applying the second sale approach, I only saw results when I committed to attempting it with every buyer. By making it a policy to attempt to get additional purchases on every sale, small business owners will increase the number of successful second sales, and their total profits.
Unfortunately most second sales are initiated by the customer and are not a result of the calculated efforts made by the company or salesperson. Salespeople often incorrectly presume the customer is spent out. They aren’t trained on how to successfully pull off the second sale. Make the second sale a core piece of your business’s sales efforts.
Tip #4: Watch Your Timing
Timing is critical in being successful and most people fail because they attempt it before the first decision has been made. To accomplish the second sale, you must first fully acknowledge the customer’s decision to purchase the first item. When you say, “Congratulations on the great decision you have made today, I am certain you will love this product,” you are now at the point where you have not finalized the sale but have begun the process of closing the transaction. This is the time to introduce the optional second sale. For example, “John, I would like to suggest that you add product x, y or z to your purchase today as it will complement and support what you have decided on today. And it’s just a matter of time before you will need these items anyway. Can I add that for you?”
I was raising money for my church and working on a prospect that had been very resistant to many any contribution. When I finally got him to agree to make a donation, I congratulated him. As I watched him write the check, I looked at him and said, “You know you’re going to do more than that before you die. Your heart is in the right place. You’re a generous man. Why don’t you just do the rest now?” He looked at me and said, “You’re right.” He then tore up the first check and wrote me a new one for twenty times the amount that he’d initially decided on!
If you don’t believe that your products and services are great, then quit selling them completely. If you believe in the products and services you offer, then educate, compensate, track and train yourself and your salespeople on how to offer these techniques easily and seamlessly. It’s a win for your customer and a win for your bottom line.
Be great. Nothing else pays.