By Tom Bandy, Bandy Works
The biggest obstacle to consistent upselling is cashier reluctance or discomfort. Store managers consistently state that upselling works when done well. Many, however, argue that getting consistent upselling from cashiers is not an easy task.
Just like most things, building a habit takes time and practice. Managers must be consistent with expectations and make sure the staff know how to do it. Once trained it’s the job of the manager to ensure it’s executed.
Many argue that having a tool to measure upselling is a key. Such a tool can measure the results of upselling by looking at:
- Average sale
- Sales of promotional items
- Sales with multiple items
- Sales with discounts
- Customer traffic – upselling a return trip
- Total sales
Getting over reluctance is an important part of training and practice. Most managers will agree that if you know a customer well, you will know how to upsell. For some it is just having their regular item available or calling them by name. For others they might just be too rushed or distracted to bother. Sometimes, a friendly smile is all you can do.
Despite all the valid reasons to hold back on an offer, there are so many valid reasons to provide an upsell. Making sure the customer knows you care and want their business is important. Making them feel respected and valued is critical.
Managers that drive upselling lead by example and patiently show their staff how to do it. There are some easy things that make upselling a little less stressful. For example, saving a customer money or offering a free item with the purchase can seem much less uncomfortable for a new cashier. Based on store manager feedback, here is a list of tips they suggest makes it easier for even the most reluctant c-store cashier to have success with upselling.
The Tips – How C-Store Managers Get More Upselling:
- Implement cigarette multipack and loyalty discounts
- Provide promotions
- Include healthy snack choices
- Have dispenser toppers to drive traffic inside
- Provide good food options
- Make sure bathrooms are clean and refurbished
- Family owners should visit stores and meet staff
Reducing the Stress of Up-Selling
Having pride in your company and its offerings makes upselling an easier ‘ask.’ Making it a team effort and using results to acknowledge (and sometimes reward) good efforts reinforces the desired behavior. Feeling part of the team and respected improves morale and makes a tough task just a little bit easier.
The best operators measure success. The big winners know accountability to expectations are key. The managers with low turnover and high sales master the delivery of training and oversight with patient persistence. They work with their supervision to provide the environment for successful c-store upselling.
Tom Bandy is CEO of Bandy Works, the creator of the product Quik Data – C-Store Performance Software. It is used to prioritize, track and verify operations. It is a training tool for best practices. Quik Data offers modules that address: scorecards, alert resolution, store maintenance, shift duties, store inspections, customer surveys, cigarette scan data, product sales management, and 3rd party data integration.