Magazine Article


What are Your Tips & Tricks for Add-on Sales

With the holidays out of the way, and high-pressure crowds slowly dying down, add-on sales are a crucial way to sustain business in the slower seasons. Profits made from accessories like camera bags, media, lenses, flashes, tripods-the list goes on-are integral in keeping your retail business lucrative. That's why we asked our readers to share any tips or tricks they've found useful for increasing add-on accessory sales. The most common suggestions include: making the products evident throughout your store, especially near or on the counter, and accessible. As always, having a knowledgeable staff to teach your customers about these added pieces of equipment, remains the highest priority for most. Here's what else you said...

a. We have a checklist by the keyboard on the counter as a reference guide. I've also placed stickers on each camera's box, with a checklist as a reminder for add-ons: memory card, card reader, case, extra batteries.

Our POS system has the ability to put what are called 'Tag-a-longs' with any item. As I enter each new item, I have the battery type as well as other information-filter size (for lenses), etc., as a memory jogger or simply as information, which is printed on the invoice. This helps the salesperson at a time when they already have a lot on their mind completing the sale. This system is simple and non-intrusive. Many times we print a copy of the sales slip to discuss aspects of the sale with the customer. Having this information printed on the slip also helps prep the customer for add-ons.

Roger Christian
University Camera
Iowa City, IA

a.The two most important elements in sales are first having an understanding of the products you're selling-knowing what the product can do, and what the product can provide should accessories be sold with it. Secondly, each morning, walk around your store, and physically see your inventory, taking note of exciting new additions. Once you've spent the necessary time to close the sale on the product, take heed of your inventory and provide suggestions to the customer. Don't ask 'would you like a protective filter?' Ask if they prefer a protective filter or U.V. 'Would you like a compact shoulder bag or larger gadget bag?' In other words, make the suggestions, putting the products in the customer's hand, and never ask a question that [needs] a yes or no answer. Unless you make the suggestion, you'll never know whether the customer was familiar with it or not.

Fred Silvers
Bel Air Camera
Los Angeles, CA

a. We always try to ask a customer which bag, or how large a media card he would like with his purchase. Never give the customer a chance to give a negative answer. For example, 'which case would you like Mr. Smith, the red or the blue one?' Most times they will make a choice rather than choose none.

Ron LoPinto
Arista Camera Specialists
Bronxville, NY

a. We inform customers about the three mishaps that befall cameras: sand, spill (water), or impact, and then show products that can minimize or eliminate damage. Pointing out the dangers helps to sell filters, weatherproof cameras, bags, straps, and weather covers.

Michael Benson
Camera Service Center
Anchorage, Alaska

a. The easiest trick is to ask. Many salespeople are afraid to ask the customer to buy more accessories because they don't want to come across as a pushy salesperson. We try to emphasize that many, if not all of the accessories that we recommend are needed by the customer. If a person goes to use their camera, and they don't have the necessary equipment, we let the customer down. If a customer mentions a price range that they want to stay in, be sure to find a camera that is below the high end of their range, so that you have some room to make the necessary and profitable add-on sales.

We give our sales staff 10% of the profit of the add-on sales. This seems to work very well for most of our staff, because it answers that all important question: 'what's in it for me?' It can take a little extra time to explain the benefits of an add-on item, and the extra cash in their paycheck tends to make them invest more time on the sale.

Ward Lundgren
The Camera Company
Madison, WI

a. When selling accessory products, you must sell the benefit of buying it to the customer. If you can't explain why they need the accessory, most customers won't buy. Being genuinely concerned for the customer is always the best practice. You must also have the products readily available in stock. It makes the selling job very difficult if you don't have a product to physically put in the customers hand to buy today.

Brent Kepner
Foto 1 Pro Photo LLC
Elkins, WV