Today’s Biz Ladies post comes to us from Laura C. George, a business consultant for artists who teaches the ins and outs of building an income around art. She is the creator of The B Word for Artists, a program that helps artisans lay the foundation of their online presence and marketing so they start off on the right foot. Today Laura is bringing us a new take on packaging together products and services – like a fast food restaurant! Thanks, Laura, for sharing your business know-how with us! – Stephanie
Read the full post after the jump…
Your customers like what you sell or they wouldn’t be your customers. They flip through your store and discover all sorts of things they’d love to pick up. And then they start prioritizing what is the most important. Even if they have the money, most people feel frivolous buying a lot at once. So they refine their selection down to what they want most – that one piece that perfectly fits their needs, wants, and budget.
But they’re left still wishing, deep down, that they owned everything they loved in your store.
You can overcome their decision to pick just the one best thing by taking a tip from your favorite fast food places. These restaurants, though often unhealthy, are brilliant marketing machines. And the best part is that they don’t make their customers feel guilty for buying more (or buying less for that matter) or force sales on people who truly don’t want more of their food.
Let’s take a look at their menus. A big fast food menu showcases about 10 “combo meals” and then has, off to the side, a menu explaining the one-off dishes you can order. The combo meal is advertised most because it makes the restaurant the most money, even though it gives the customer a discount.
How can that be? It’s all psychology. The customer comes in wanting a burger, but those fries look pretty delicious, and they’re going to need a drink to wash down their meal. By packaging up these three products into one meal and giving the customer a little discount, the customer feels like they’re getting a great deal and jumps on the opportunity to have all three things instead of just the burger and the water bottle sitting in their car.
The combo meal is a great deal for the customer who is getting more of the things they want and feeling happy about it because they didn’t pay full price. And the combo meal is a great deal for the restaurant because the customer would have normally only purchased the hamburger and has now spent more money at the restaurant by buying three things in one.
This has been tested and the restaurant always makes more money when they offer combo meals.
This can easily be adapted for your own business if you know what of your offerings go together. Sell jewelry? Pair a blue necklace with matching blue earrings. Design graphics for corporate customers? Bundle together a website redesign with a logo redesign and a new customer brochure. Coach entrepreneurs? Sell a package that includes your most popular ebooks with your one-on-one coaching service.
Here’s the step by step:
1. To do this well it helps to know what your customers like best, so keep track of which products and services sell frequently. You want to create packages around those items because they are the ones that catch people’s attention. Then add other items to the popular ones to create a package that’s irresistible.
2. Another thing that ensures your packages are a resounding “YES – I have to have this!” is to point out your discount. The fast food restaurants blatantly list the price of the combo meal right next to the price of the “sandwich only” to show you that you’re getting a deal. The same is true with your own customers – they want to know that it’s beneficial to buy all the products at once. So don’t be afraid to tell them that each of the products purchased separately would total X, but together they only total Y. It will only make them feel better about their potential purchase.
3. There’s also a fun side effect of the packaging process – your customers don’t have to choose one service. They get to pick several, which takes them out of the hemming and hawing stage (a place they don’t like to be just as much as you don’t like them to).
4. The last crucial step to selling your packages is to put them front and center, just like your favorite fast food place. Don’t let your 5-page pdf steal the show. Present your customers with the best deal first. They’ll thank you for it because they want a good deal. And your wallet will love it too!
Hop on over to your online shop or services page and take a look at what you’ve been offering. It might surprise you how easy it is to create your own “combo meals” and steal the secrets of the fast food giants.