Up-sell, Cross sell, Institutionalize

Like many families in Humboldt, we heat our house with wood.  So, I periodically have to buy firewood, but I think about it all year.  How much wood do I have, what month is it, how long will it last, what weekend will I have it delivered, when will I stack it, will it be raining and on and on.

This weekend was the weekend,I ordered and received a cord of firewood.  The transaction usually goes like this: I notice a trailer of wood with a phone number and call it, arrange for delivery, it gets delivered, then I stack it.

That is how it went this time too, but the wood cutter had delivered to me before and knew where I wanted him to unload it.  In talking with him, he said he was very busy right now, but he revealed that he had sold his flat bed because times were tight earlier in the year and needed to pay his rent.

Even though he sells a consumable commodity that half the house holds in the county needs, he unnecessarily allows the seasonality of his business to create cash flow problems for himself.

Consider if he had an email list with all 50 of his customers.  It is likely that some of them will run out or run low of wood during the winter and an email once a month with an offer for a ½ cord delivered asap is likely to acted on (even by me, I hate worrying about running out of wood during a cold wet winter).  This on demand delivery could be priced slightly higher than regular prices due to the high level of service, or it could be for a quick sale discount if he really needed the money.

Picture too, that when he delivers the wood he makes an offer to stack it for the customer for an extra $25 or $50.  This cross sell would net him and extra 10-20% increase in income that would be highly profitable.

Lastly, what if when he delivered the firewood, he made an appointment with me in 3 months to stop by, check my supply and deliver what I needed to have satisfactory inventory?

Not only would he be helping me worry less about my firewood, but he would be providing such exceptional service, that I would tell my friends and family about the remarkable experience I had with him.

Where in your business are there logical, next step offers to make to your existing customers that will provide additional income for your business and help them solve real problems?  Take a minute to think of places you can up-sell and cross sell your current customers and send an email to 3 of them to test the idea.