I was running a sales training course the other day and I was covering how to make cross selling to existing customers easier by increasing the range of products and services on offer. One attendee said:
‘I am an aroma therapist – does that mean to give different types of therapy such as reflexology?’

One approach would, indeed, be to train in alternative therapies. The thinking here is ‘I am a therapist so I should offer other therapies…..’. There is an obvious cost and effort involved in training and I was hoping for her to have something more immediate and low risk.

I asked her to take a step back and consider whether her customers were buying aromatherapy for its own sake – like a luxury – or because it helped them solve a specific underlying problem. She considered this for a moment and then revealed that:

– One big group of regular customers come due issues caused by stress
– Another big group came due to issues caused by being overweight.

I helped her to realise that by focusing on the underlying problems, there could be opportunities for extra sales in a way that did not require big investments of time and money.

For example, the customers who suffer from stress may be interested in books, CDs, and DVDs on stress relief. They may be interested in classes such as meditation, retreats, etc. She did not have to create these. She could sell other people’s product. By redefining what she did from aromoatherapy to relieving stress she began to open new doors in her mind about the possibilities.

By taking our focus off what we do and place it on why our best customers buy what we do, we can potentially add so much more value for our customers and, as a consequence, more sales for ourselves.