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Add on!

By Roxie Carlton –

Add-on Sales Are Critical to Great Customer Service!

The phrase “Add-on sales” comes up a lot in the world of sales, but what do they really mean to our unique industry? Unlike many businesses, in the world of wholesale and retail plant nurseries, suggesting an add-on is both a key element of a satisfying client experience, and a necessary component of customer success.

“Adding on” to a sale is the act of suggesting additional items or services that complement or enhance the products a client has already decided to purchase. For us, that could mean mulch, soil, pest prevention, or even a delivery service. Because it is viewed as pushy or gimmicky in some scenarios, some salespeople may feel uncomfortable with giving clients this extra push, and some clients might initially feel reminded of a used car salesman.

Something my mentor shared with me really helped me conquer my hesitation- “You are doing the client a disservice by letting them leave without everything they could possibly need to help this plant thrive.” If nothing else, you are saving your clients multiple trips. Once I understood it’s part of customer service to offer add-ons, it became second nature, and it has helped me build many great relationships with repeat clients. Here are a few of my favorite ways to initiate add-on sales:

“Do you mind if I show you some things most people wind up using on this tree? Even if you don’t get them today, you will know what to look for if you need them later.”

“No, we don’t offer a warranty on our plants, but we do carry everything you need to give them the best possible chance of success. Do you want to see my favorite ‘insurance’?”

“You know, if the last ones you planted all died, can we take some time to figure out why and get you anything you need to prevent that from happening with these new ones?”

While there are some clients who will decline these offers, the majority are not only willing, but enthused to see these additional products. And most do purchase one or more of the suggested items during that transaction.

When finding your own ways to suggest add-ons, just keep in mind that the difference between being pushy and giving great service is the sincerity and integrity of your suggestions. You and your customers will both reap the rewards.

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