Marketing mastery: Do you want fries with that order?

Home Column Marketing mastery: Do you want fries with that order?

October 28/November 4, 2019: Volume 35, Issue 9

By Jim Augustus Armstrong


You’ve spent time, energy and money attracting a prospect and getting the opportunity to measure and give them a quote. Doesn’t it make sense to maximize your profits with each “at bat?”

I’ve been working with flooring dealers since 2007, and I’ve found that very few do any- thing more than simply measure the areas the customer wants replaced, then give them a quote. This is a gigantic missed opportunity. Statistically, the likelihood of selling to a new prospect is 5%-20%, while the likelihood of selling to an existing customer is 60%-70% (marketing metrics). So, if you’re in front of a customer who is already going spend money with you, why not politely give her the opportunity to spend even more money? McDonald’s does this millions of times every day with their phrase, “Do you want fries with that order?”

To most effectively upsell you must first gain your customer’s trust. This begins with your marketing and is continued with your sales system. A great way to begin the process of building trust and creating differentiation in your marketing is to use testimonials. This includes online reviews as well as written and video testimonials—both online and offline.

Continue the trust-building process with your sales system. Sit down with your customer, ask questions and write down the answers. Educate her on your guarantees and warranties. Use testimonials during your sales process. Dress professionally. When visiting the customer’s home, call a few minutes before arriving, wear shoe covers and (with their permission) give their dog a treat.

When appropriate, get permission to measure and inspect all the areas of her home, even the areas she is not replacing. Let them know you want to give them recommendations on get- ting the longest life out of their flooring, even the areas you’re not replacing.

As you go from room to room, you’re looking for two kinds of upsell opportunities: No. 1 things which you sell, and No. 2 things your referral partners sell. For example, let’s say you’re installing hardwood throughout the high-traffic areas of Mrs. Consumer’s home and carpeting in her bedrooms. During your initial consultation you found out the new floors are part of a larger remodeling project which will include a bath remodel, window treatments and painting.

Along with the quote for hardwood and carpeting, you could include quotes for: upgraded carpet pad; area rugs for the living and dining areas; window treatments; a new vacuum; wood floor cleaning kit, etc.

When offering additional products, say something like, “Mrs. Consumer, here is your quote for the hardwood and carpeting we discussed. You’ll see I’ve also included quotes for X, Y, and Z. Which of these would you like to add to your order?”

You can also refer her to the bath remodeling and painting contractors with whom you have a referral relationship.

Let’s say your average ticket is $3,000. If you look for ways to add 30% in upsell suggestions, and half of your customers buy the upsell, you’ll increase your total revenue by 15% without spending another dime in advertising.


Jim is the founder and president of Flooring Success Systems, a company that provides floor dealers with marketing services and coaching to help them attract quality customers, close more sales, get higher margins, and work the hours they choose. For information visit


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