Hidden Profits In Any Business

Did you know that there are hidden profits in almost any business.  As a matter of fact, I can’t think of one business where this strategy wouldn’t be applicable.  Yet so many businesses miss this.  And that is an opportunity to offer your client, patient, or customer additional products or services.

McDonalds has figured this out years ago, by adding a variety of items to their menu.  In addition to burgers and fries, which is what they started with, they now have, different types of burgers and cheeseburgers, chicken burgers, chicken nuggets, salads, deserts, etc…

If you’ve spend time and money to get a customer, why not maximize your return on investment with back end sales, as well as immediate up-sells and cross-sells.

Here are a few examples.  In my financial services career, I was fortunate to learn from the beginning, to cross sell different services.  If my client purchases insurance, why not talk to them about investments, mortgages, other types of insurance.  I’m already there, so why not take advantage of that opportunity?

But do you know that most people in this industry, usually stick to one or two products and don’t bother talking to their client about everything else.

For a number of years, I couldn’t sell health insurance because of my contract with the company I was representing.  So during that time I bought health insurance from a local professional who had a very large client base.  I asked him on several occasions if he offered his clients life insurance, long-term care, or talked to them about investments, and his response was always, “I should do that”.  You think?

I mean, these people are buying their life insurance from someone else, and all you had to do is simply ask them, while you’re doing health insurance.

The same goes for mortgage people, and life insurance agents, who also never bother to ask their clients if they need health insurance.

This is why I call this, hidden profits.  Every business has an opportunity to sell additional products to their clients, and some do, but in a very primitive way.  Most businesses don’t have a system to do more, yet this strategy could significantly multiply their profits.

In my area, we have Staples and Office Max, and only in the last few years, they started to really offer a more competitive copying services than Kinko’s.  All of a sudden, I started seeing more and more people in their copy center, and I know that it had to have an impact on their profits.

Gas stations is another example.  The most profitable gas stations, are the one that sell more chips and doughnuts, because there’s way more profit in that, than in fuel alone.
Think about your business, no matter how big or small, and ask yourself, what else could I offer my customer?  Where are the hidden profits in my business?

Look at amazon.com, what started as online bookstore, today is a super store with lots of different stores linked to them, and they get a piece of the action, not to mention the fact that they sell other items besides books.

There are 2 very important marketing principles here.

One is the opportunity to offer additional products and services to your customer while they’re in your store, on your website, or you’re in their house.  This is a major psychological factor, that when a person is excited about something, and their spending money, they’re the most receptive to additional products and services at that moment.  So immediate up-sells and cross-sells are very critical, and could double, triple, or even quadruple your profits with the same customer.

The second principle, is in the follow up and back-end sales.  This is where almost everyone drops the ball.  How many restaurants miss the opportunity to follow up with their customers?  The same goes for every company that we do business with.

I was getting hair cut recently, and the owner had 2 advertising people there selling her on their package.  I didn’t hear all the details, just bits and pieces, like sending out mailers with coupons and targeting local neighborhoods and stuff like that.

And I began to think, that in over 2 years that I’ve been there, I’ve never once received anything from them.  What if they were to constantly send out coupons to their customers, maybe a booklet about haircut and for women, hair coloring tips, and stuff like that.  Maybe have a customer appreciation program, with loyalty rewards, like your 10th haircut is free.  Provide hair products at a discount to existing customers.  Communication is the key.  Especially in that business, you know that every 3 or 4 weeks or so the person will be needing another haircut, so communicate with them accordingly.

There are a lot of things, that one can do to generate more business out of their existing customers.

Just takes some creativity.  So no matter what business you’re in, keep looking for more ways to service your customers and be creative in your approach.