How to cross-sell a consignment customer

January 24, 2018

Do you have to be creepy to cross-sell a consignment customer?

I want to first apologize to all of my readers who have sold or know someone selling cars. I’m sorry, but I don’t like you. I would rather get a root canal than purchase an automobile. The minute I walk on the lot, I feel judged. In fact, upon learning the penny trick of some car lot owners, I know I am. Are you familiar with the penny trick? Owners will purposely throw a few pennies on the ground on the way into the dealership. If you stop to pick up a penny, you’re not a good candidate for buying a pricey car. You are too concerned with your pennies. Is it possible to cross-sell a consignment customer without being creepy? It think it is and here’s how.

Many other names

Cross-selling, suggestive selling or add-on selling all amount to one thing…making sure the customer walks out with more than one item. Don’t confuse this sales technique with upselling. Cross-selling or suggestive selling is adding additional items to a purchase. Upselling is showing and selling the customer a more expensive version of the product they are interested in. Learning to cross-sell a consignment customer is definitely a technique your sales team needs.

Know your inventory

A saleswoman who can expertly cross-sell a consignment customerSuggesting add-ons to a sale, especially for a consignment shop, requires regularly reviewing inventory. After all, you can’t make recommendations of additional furniture pieces or clothing if you don’t know what’s in the store. Because consignment shops usually offer only one of an item, knowing current inventory is especially important. A quick walk through of new items added to the sales floor should be the first thing a sales rep does.

The one question you don’t want to ask

In order to cross-sell a consignment customer, you don’t want to ask, “Is there anything else I can help you with?” Instead, your sales team should be coached to automatically make suggestions. “We just got some beautiful new earrings in that would be perfect with this outfit.” “Several new lamps came in yesterday that would look great on this side table.” “Since you’re buying this as a baby gift, add an adorable hair bow to the top of the package.” Statements that lead the shopper to another purchase is your goal.

Building relationships through conversation

Shyness is never a popular sales trait. Teach your sales team to engage customers with genuine conversation. Asking about the reason for their visit should be automatic. If a customer asks about a particular item, don’t allow your sales reps to point to the area. Even if your store is less than 1,000 square feet, escort the shopper to the location and get them talking. Encourage your sales team to make personal suggestions based on the conversations they’re having with customers.

Create a “package” mindset

Your sales team should always be thinking in terms of a “package deal” when working with shoppers. To cross-sell a consignment customer, the items have to relate to one another. In other words, don’t offer an add on of sandals if the shopper is searching for a winter coat.

When not to cross-sell a consignment customer

There are times when it just isn’t appropriate to cross-sell. Do not try to interest a shopper in different merchandise if the shopper has already said they’re not interested. Your sales reps should learn to read not only verbal but visual cues as well. Never bombard a shopper the minute they enter the store. The front is called a “decompression” zone for a reason. Give the shopper and the sales person enough time to relax and enter into a comfortable conversation.

For more information read, 3 sure fire consignment cross-selling and upselling tips.

Deb McGonagle

I have been a writer for various forms of marketing for over 40 years. I've written my share of radio and TV scripts, magazine and newspaper ads as well as direct mail brochures and newsletters. Currently, as the Marketing Director for Traxia, home of SimpleConsign software, I've moved into blog posts, eBooks and website text. It's been an ever changing and ever challenging journey but I've loved it all along the way.