How Problem Solving Can Enhance Your Suggestive Selling Strategy

It’s one of the easiest and quickest ways to boost revenue––and as consumers, we’re exposed to it all the time.

Whether it’s a two-for-one deal on candy bars or a reminder to grab a pack of filters when picking up coffee beans, suggestive selling has helped retailers fill shopping bags for years.

Simple product suggestions at the checkout counter are one thing, but you might be asking yourself if there’s a strategy out there to get even more success from an upsell program.

The answer is yes, and the strategy is easier than you think. We know the goal of suggestive selling is to come away with a bigger purchase, but few realize the customer experience potential when suggestive selling is turned into a unique problem-solving tool.

Put simply, a strategized suggestive selling program is a way for salespeople to discover the needs of the customer, share their knowledge about the particular product, and then give a helpful recommendation for related products they think the customer would help them solve a problem even better than before.

Learn Which Products Connect For The Best Upsell

Look over purchasing data and customer feedback to see which products your customers are buying most frequently as well as which ones they’re buying together.

Start reorienting your store layout to put related items close to each other in easily accessible, highly visible locations where employees can easily direct customers to their suggestions.

Take it one step further by considering what problems your customers are trying to solve when they purchase certain kinds of products. Use this prepare your staff to tackle those particular issues when they suggest add-on products.

If upholstery cleaner is one of the hottest products in your automotive department, coffee spills might be a common issue shoppers are coming in to solve. Give them an even better solution by putting spill-proof coffee mugs nearby so when employees help them locate the right cleaner for a spill, they can immediately direct them to a new mug to prevent the problem from happening again.

Not only have you accomplished an upsell––you’ve also exceeded their expectations by giving them a long term solution rather than a simple fix.

Transform Your Employees Into Product Experts

For suggestive selling to be truly effective, shoppers need to understand why the products they’re being recommended are of real value to them. This means your staff need to be knowledgeable and prepared to educate and inform whenever possible.

If a shopper is buying products to fix a problem, floor staff should be a step ahead and suggest items that not only fix that problem, but also stop it from happening again.

This means they need to know exactly which products should be paired with others and be prepared to ask the right questions to connect the right products together. If they’re looking for a juicer, refine your suggestion by asking key questions.

Are they buying their first juicer, or upgrading to a better model?

If they’re upgrading, what do they currently use and what are its flaws?

What kind of features are they looking for in a new model?

Armed with expert advice, savvy salespeople can then present a whole range of suggestions based on meeting the needs they expressed.

This is the perfect opportunity to upsell new products by thoroughly explaining advanced features that not only meet their expectations, but go beyond to give the customer even more value than they expected.

Evaluate And Measure Customer Feedback To Gauge Your Success

Designing your suggestive selling strategy around customer problem solving can boost your revenue and customer satisfaction immensely, but in order to discover where the most opportunity lies, customer experience evaluation is a must.

Programs like mystery shopping and customer intercepts take the guesswork out of your strategy design and put you on the fast track to results, so measure early and often to ensure you’re staying closely connected to customers.

Measure the revenue benefits of suggestive selling with our online Suggestive Selling Calculator, or download it right to your iPhone with the ICC ROI Calculator app. If you’re interested in finding out how a boost in your conversion rate can help your bottom line, try out our conversion calculator today.