A Simple Way To Grow Sales

A Simple Way To Grow SalesIn case you have ever wondered if I think of anything beyond industrial marketing this post is to partially relieve you of your concern. On October 27, 2012 I was in Niagara-on-the Lake for my 30th anniversary. It was to be a short but romantic weekend which would involve staying at a high-end hotel, lots of shopping (ugh), and some serious dining.

Due to the fact I was (surprisingly) unable to control the weather it was pouring rain and cold the entire weekend. But being the fine fellow I am I opened the umbrella and whipped out my credit card as my bride of 30 years and I went from store to store to store to store to store. Oh the sales were terrific. All the while I was enjoying the shopping I was intermittently paying attention, trying to not fall into big puddles, and having happy thoughts about the first rate meals I was going to devour.

Now lunch was kind of predictable. Hot soup with a sandwich on some type of homemade bread,  and about 3 hot coffees—nothing to write home about, but not all bad. After lunch more shopping (yippee!) then back to our hotel suite to sit by the fireplace in our room.

Now dinner was another story entirely. This was a seriously beautiful dining room overlooking Lake Ontario. In addition to high prices it also came with first rate service, an amazing menu, and great surroundings.

The server greeted us with a friendly hello and asked us a simple question. Did you want bottled water or tap water?

We, of course, said bottled water so a 750 ml bottle arrived on the table at the most reasonable cost of about $8. As I watched the server pour me a glass two thoughts occurred to me. First, how much additional profit pours into the hotel’s bank account by asking this simple question?

Second, I mean really, how much? So I did a basic mental calculation. If the restaurant seats 100 and averages a 60% fill rate it has 60 customers per night or 420 per week. If half of these customers, 210 choose to split a single bottle of water that is 210 bottles per week. That is nearly 11,000 bottles per year. So if the water costs them $2 per bottle they are grossing $6 per bottle or $66,000 in additional gross profit per year.

So this simple question probably generates enough gross profit to pay for a substantial percentage, if not all, of the hotel’s annual: energy costs, outdoor maintenance, snow removal, and any number of other expenses.

Now while going out for an anniversary dinner may not have anything to do with marketing (really it should not but I could not help myself) it’s a great feeling to know that smart marketing is alive and well and being practiced. So what simple profit building question is your sales force asking your customers that can easily grow your sales?

Andrew Shedden
 

Andrew is the president of Broadfield Communications. When he's not working he likes reading history and biographies. He enjoys classic cars, music, and everything about rural settings. He loves to travel the world.

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