Before we go deeper into this hot topic, we need to make one thing clear about sales: they are not just individual events, they are the results of a process. And that’s how you need to treat them.
Every sale achieved is a result of all the effort and hard work you have invested in your Customer Service, Brand Standards, Food and Drink Specialism, Marketing, Team Management and Daily Business Operations.
Get yourself and business up to speed with all the above and the sales will be there for you.
But like every person in business, your target is not just having the sales in. What you really want is to increase your sales, get more money in! That’s why you are in the business anyway, to make profit.
We need to get a bit more technical at this point.
How to calculate your Total Sales
There are two main ways to calculate your Total Sales:
- Number of Customers X Average Transaction Value = Total Sales
- Individual Product Price X Number of Products Sold = Individual Product Sales. Adding all the Individual Product Sales = Total Sales
How to increase your Total Sales
These basic maths equations lead to the following result; if you want to increase your total sales, you need to:
- Increase the Number of Customers.
- Increase the Average Transaction Value.
- Increase the Number of Products Sold by increasing the frequency of Transactions per Customer.
- Increase your Individual Product Price.
1. Increase the Number of Customers
Getting more customers in your business, will increase your total sales. You already have an average number of customers visiting your place but you need this number to increase.
This will not happen automatically; you need take a number of actions to achieve this.
- Help the customers find you easily
When people are searching for a restaurant, coffee shop or any other type of business, most of them do it online. Search engines have become the most used tool from customers, trying to find a place to have food and drinks locally.
Around 70% of smartphone searches for local places to eat and drink, convert within an hour. This is so critical for your business and for getting more people in your doors.
All you need to do is to ensure that your business is easily accessible by the customers in search engines and local guides online.
Information you need to include in these online platforms needs to include your business name, address, phone number, photos of your store, menu and a short description of your brand.
It’s a great tactic to post regularly about offers and products on these platforms to keep your customers informed and engaged, but also to attract new customers.
- Start an Online Ordering System
It’s a fact that online ordering has resulted in customers ordering more frequently and in bigger volumes. By implementing an online ordering system, you will attract the local customers who decide to have a takeaway or delivery in their place.
Online ordering offers simplicity, easiness and accuracy to the customer who is looking for something to eat and drink with the least effort and complexity possible.
Give them this option and they will definitely become your loyal customers. And because they will be happy with your services, they will spread the word for you to their friends and family.
It will also help your labour costs as online ordering systems do not require additional staff to answering telephone orders and spend time taking orders from customers.
Customer complaints for wrong orders should also be reduced, as you will not depend in what your staff heard and wrote down, which always involves an amount of risk.
- Be mobile friendly
An interesting fact of our times is that mobile devices are almost attached in the people’s hands. They wake up and sleep with their mobiles. And usually they spend most of their time on Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Another very interesting fact of our times is that the group of people which is the most influential online is the millennials. And guess what; they are looking in their mobiles for everything they need.
Taking these two facts into account, leads to one direction if you want to increase the number of customers you already have: be mobile friendly.
Create accounts on all Social Media and keep them active by posting information about your products and services. Make it simple and easy for people to use your website through their mobile phones, not just to find your location and check the menu, but to order as well.
2. Increase the Average Transaction Value
The Average Transaction Value (ATV) is calculated by dividing the total value of all transactions by the number of transactions. This can be calculated on a daily, monthly or annual basis.
For example, let’s calculate your ATV for one day. If that specific day, the total value of transactions (total sales) was £5000 and the number of transactions was 250, then you divide £5000 by 250.
The ATV for that day is £20.
Basically, to increase your ATV, you need to get each customer to spend more than they initially intended to. This process is called Upselling.
Upselling is a great method to boost sales, but it can be quite tricky if not done correctly, leading you to the opposite results.
You and your staff need to be well trained and educated around your products and services and be able to recognise your customers needs, wants and expectations through the customer profiles you have and using emotional intelligence to a high extent.
If done correctly, apart from the boost in sales, it will lead in a significant increase in the customer satisfaction levels as they will be able to try additional products and services which will enhance their overall experience.
Upselling is usually more efficient and effective when you have already created trusted relationships with your customers. It is much easier and with greater results, to upsell to your loyal and regular customers, as they already trust you and your business.
Key Points in Upselling
- Go up in quality and /or quantity
Offer a great side dish to a main, a large size to a regular, a bottle of wine to a glass, a more expensive item of higher quality to the basic one, and many more.
But remember, you need to sell your suggestion to the customer, persuade them in a nice, friendly, professional but not pressurized way.
Robotic upselling where the same questions are asked in the same way to all the customers will have the opposite result. It will frustrate the customer, annoy them and they might even spend less than they originally planned to do so. Be a salesperson, not just and order taker.
- Sell Proactively
Be vigilant, have your eyes open. Check the customers, their table, their company and their condition, and identify opportunities to upsell.
This can be a half-empty glass of wine, a family with kids discussing about having desserts or not, a customer not being sure what is the best side dish with their steak, etc.
- Sell by suggesting
Suggest something to the customers that they were not aware that you had on offer, they had not though of buying, they did not know that it is the best match for them and their order or it would be a great alternative to something they like but cannot have for any reason (not available or dietary requirements).
Your suggestion should be descriptive with enthusiasm and confidence.
Best tactic is to suggest your favourite items, but also items that are on promotion and have to go for that specific day. Never suggest something just to increase the sale, without consideration and care for the customer.
Its better not to suggest anything rather than suggesting something which is completely wrong for them just to get the extra sales in.
3. Increase the Number of Products Sold by increasing the frequency of Transactions per Customer
If you manage to encourage your customers to buy more often from you, then you will increase the frequency of transactions per customer.
An example: convince the customer who buys from your store once every two weeks, to use your business once a week. If the amount they spend each time stays at least the same on average, then you have managed to increase your total sales.
This is repeat business in higher density and comes together with customer loyalty. Gain your customers’ trust and persuade them that you worth their custom more frequently than they already do.
Mastering your customer service levels is a must to achieve more frequent visits from the same customer. This is will happen through a process you need to follow. For more information about the Customers check here.
4. Increase your Individual Product Price
This is basic common sense: if you increase the price of your products, you will make more money, as the total sales will be higher.
This is based on the fact that as a minimum requirement, the Number of Customers, Average Transaction Value, and frequency of Transactions per Customer stay the same.
But you need to know how to do it right.
- Do not keep the same prices until last minute
The biggest mistake that most business owners make, is that they keep the same prices for their products and services, until they have no other choice but to increase them.
The reasons for this are usually based on the increase of running costs and other business expenses.
This usually leads to sudden price increases, which are usually high and easily identifiable. As a result, this might shock the customers and make them to never return.
- Increase your prices slowly and gradually
To avoid the situation described above and be able to keep up with any increases in the running costs and other business expenses, you need to increase your prices slowly and on a regular basis.
This way your customers will not be shocked by a sudden huge price increase and they might not even notice the change.
A wise tactic is not to increase the prices in all your items at once. You can do this in rounds, by choosing a different category each time rather than the whole menu.
Your target is one: you need to find the balance between increasing the prices to keep up with your expenses and operations running, and dissatisfying/losing your customers.
Based on all the above, increasing your sales can become reality if you follow all the steps, methodically and in a very structured way.
But you need to remember that the increase will not happen overnight and it is based on other key areas like Customer Service, Brand Standards, Food and Drink Specialism, Marketing, Team Management and Daily Business Operations.