Upselling and suggestive selling your frozen dessert products can have a dramatic effect on store profits but it's important to understand the pitfalls and advantages before you implement these techniques into your business. These techniques can be used on a daily basis in your sit-down or walk-up store to help sell more frozen ice, gelato, sorbet, ice cream or novelty items.
What's the difference between upselling and suggestive selling?
Suggestive selling is getting customers to try something they normally would not try on a regular basis. This is based off of something that is new or exciting. A customer might not normally get this product or service, but because it is new, different and exciting they're willing to give it a try. Or, it might be a special night for the customer (birthday, promotion) and they want to get something different to remember it by. Of course these things should be unique and exclusive to your store only.
Upsells are suggestions that drive sales or profits. A customer could get a medium milkshake but for a dollar more you can an x-tra large. If you've ever been through a drive-thru restaurant then you're familiar with this concept because they probably asked you if you'd like to "supersize" it.
The Employee Factor
Your employees play a critical part in this role. It's important to understand that if a customer doesn't like you, your business or one of your employees then you'll never be able to upsell or suggest anything to them. They'll only see it as a sales pitch and not a friendly suggestion.
Make sure your employees are trained on the product and display proper customer service skills. Employees should always be smiling, carry a positive attitude and make eye contact with the customer. First impressions are very important in this business, so when hiring new employees, hire on personality. You can teach almost anyone to run an ice cream shop. But it's much harder to teach someone to change their personality. Having a friendly inviting staff helps to clarify to customers they are there to make suggestions rather than push a sales pitch.
Make show your your staff knows the menu well enough so they can offer the right suggestions and know what products to push. Have them upsell when they can! For instance, when a customer asks for a medium cone, there is no harm in suggesting to upgrade to a large for a dollar extra or whatever the increase is.