Just Like McDonalds: Upsell and Cross-sell for More Transactions 

Another area to grow your business is to look at how to increase the number of transactions each customer has with you. i.e. Getting them to purchase more frequently from you. 

The most common example is McDonalds when they ask if you would like fries and a drink to go with your burger – this is called Upselling

And then they ask if you want an apple pie to go with your meal – this is called Cross-selling.

These are 2 common ways to increase the number of transactions a customer has with you. Through Upselling, you increase the size or quality of the original item and you offer it when the customer is ready to purchase. On the other hand, Cross-selling requires offering a product or service that aligns well or complements the current item. 

The reason why McDonalds offer both the Upsell and the Cross-sell is because of the statistical results from research. Figures show that 34% of people will purchase additional products or services at the original time of purchase. You’ve probably already noticed that it’s difficult for yourself to say no sometimes – especially when you really like the product – so this is what we’re talking about. 

Most businesses never ask for the Upsell or Cross-sell and therefore leave a substantial amount of cash on the table. And they wonder why their business isn’t working so well! 

Here’s an example from our US partners – see the Groupon image below. The price for an oil change used to be around US$29 and today it’s US$11. The fee is broken up into $6 for oil change and around $4.50 for oil disposal. Now, that’s a big difference between $29 and $10 and profits have been reduced significantly. This is a bargain for the customer so why would they do that? 

The Groupon offer below shows FREE Oil changes, Free services, Half price services and discounts. This is lucrative for the customer and it’s also lucrative for Econo Lube because they’ve now realised where their profit is really made – through Upsell and Cross-sell.  

Upselling & Cross-selling

The Groupon is designed to get them in front of as many people as possible – people they normally wouldn’t have had access to. And this is through providing them with almost free basic services. 

Econo Lube is still making a little money from each and this covers their basic costs (so they don’t go backwards). And with half of the free services, they need to pretty much do them anyway – but it gives Econo Lube the opportunity to have a look at other high profit services and see if they need to be done. 

i.e. After they change your oil, it’s quick and easy to take off the tyres to inspect the brakes, or check the transmission, or check the battery. And if there’s any issues then they have the opportunity to Upsell or Cross-sell you those services. 

Econo Lube also offers to do a complete vehicle check before you take a long trip. Other places would charge around $100 for this, but Econo Lube provides 2 of these every 12 months for free. And of course, if they check over your whole vehicle you can guarantee they’ll find something wrong with it. And since you’re travelling a significant distance you’re more likely to get your vehicle fixed. 

What’s necessary for this strategy to work is that you get yourself in front of as many prospects as possible and as many times as possible – so you give yourself more chances to offer them more services. 

Any business can always get themselves in front of more customers – just provide them with more offers! 

Another example is a restaurant that was having difficulty with revenue. We know restaurantes have the highest profit margins with wine, entree and dessert. So they became the focus for the waiters and waitresses. 

Before a customer had ordered, the staff wheeled around an entree and wine cart and offered free samples of each. Then after the customer had finished their main meal the staff brought around the dessert cart and offered free samples of those too. 

Their generosity immediately impacted the customers and a much larger number of them ordered the entree, wine and/or dessert. Personally, I’m a sucker for this as I love my food and it’s a great excuse for more.    

After seeing the impacts, the restaurant decided not to stop there. 

They trained their staff to spend more time describing the higher priced entrees and to provide their personal recommendation. Most people will go with the staff recommendation and this caused another considerable increase in their entree revenue and profit.

So how does this strategy look for your business? What impact does 34% of people purchasing an Upsell or Cross-sell product / service look like for you? Or even a conservative 10% one? 

With a Removal company I worked with the owner said to me: “ Sam, I’ve never sold so many boxes, wraps and sticky tape rolls before – I just made an extra $1000 in the first month of doing this”. 

Results improved over the following months as the sales script and understanding of the new process became comfortable. After a while they stabilised as the number of conversions became maximised. 

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