Generalist business consultants may tell you to focus more on attracting new customers with special offers, reduced rates and promotional gimmicks. But we’ve talked with the pet industry professionals on staff here at Pet Boss Nation, and they all agree the lucrative sales opportunities you’re looking for can be found by focusing on the relationships you’ve built with those who already frequent your pet store.
Data shows that 80 percent of your sales come from 20 percent of your customers. So if creating a shiny new offer to boost brand awareness sounds draining this month, give one of our pet industry approved strategies to sell to loyal customers a try.
Instead of leading with a bland “Hi! How are you?” or a passive “Let me know if you need anything!”, train your team to create conversations with your customers. In today’s world of online communication, you’re likely to stand out from the crowd with open-ended questions that center around the person in your store. The pet industry is a gold mine for open-ended questions, too. Who doesn’t love talking about their pets?!
Questions and phrases like “What brings you in to see us today?” and “Tell me about your pet.” helps customers open up and gives your team a frame of reference for recommendations and upsell opportunities.
Speaking of upsells…
Don’t Forget Add-Ons
It’s easy to get a little lazy about recommending additional products because if the customer wanted it, they would ask, right? Well, not really. You’re in the pet industry, so it’s your job to know what new and exciting products are available to pet owners and what will help them take care of their pets to the best of their abilities.
Look for complementary items that are easy add-ons to what’s in your customer’s shopping basket. If they’re buying a collar, suggest an updated ID tag or a matching leash. If they put a bag of dog food on the counter, ask them if they’re out of treats. Complementary items are a natural way to continue your conversation while meeting the needs of your customer.
But, the ultimate add-on comes when you know why they’re really in your store.
Nose Out the Real Reason for Shopping
Let’s say a familiar customer comes in looking for a dog harness. His dog is really cute and listens fairly well, so it’s a natural question to ask why he’s looking for a harness after so many months of seeing them together with a leash and collar. Asking this simple question could reveal that he’s started walking his dog with someone in his neighborhood and the dog won’t stop pulling.
Now, you can be twice as helpful because you can fit his dog with a harness and recommend training methods to manage the behavior. Bam! We all know training is most effective when irresistible treats are around, so you’ve successfully found a non-slimy way to offer another product that adds value for your customer. Your work here is done!
Put It All Together
Once you’re in the habit of recommending add-ons and digging a little deeper, it becomes easy to see the larger picture of how you can help your customer in one visit to your store. Let’s revisit the harness example. You’ve helped solve one problem, but are there any inadvertent issues that a harness may cause? Will the dog’s fur mat from wearing the harness or will is he susceptible to sore spots? Use your experience in the pet industry to anticipate other needs before your customer walks out the door.
Make Your Register Area Work For You
Think of your cash register as your revenue’s last line of defense. Be strategic with the items you place here. Instead of viewing it as an impulse buyer’s haven, use the best weapon at your disposal: your customer’s pet! Place bakery treats or bully sticks at various price points around the till and remind them their dog will smell the treats on them as soon as get home. Include a bundle incentive like a “Buy 2, Get 1” offer to seal the deal.
There you have it! You have five new ways to serve your frequent customers and pocket more profits in the process. Get more tips from pet industry experts and find a community of like-minded professionals in Pet Boss Club, our signature mentoring experience that offers proven strategies, staff training resources, and done-for-you marketing templates so you can boss your business.