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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, July 30, 2001

60 Seconds on Business
More sales not only key to success

By Dr. Drake Beil
President, Solutions Inc.

You might judge your day's success by total sales. That's important, but another key measure is the yield per customer.

Companies that improve per customer yield have a competitive advantage; they can generate important income especially in tough times.

With restaurants, encouraging each customer to buy more food and beverages is the goal. If a restaurant has 200 covers per day, and can get an extra $5 to $10 from each, that's an extra $1,000-$2,000 a day, or $30,000-$60,000 a year. That might determine financial survival, now and in the future.

How do you improve the yield per customer?

First, you need to determine where your best opportunities lie.

Car rental companies used to bundle a package of accident and personal article protection, giving customers a better value for a little more. These days, many credit card companies bundle accident protection into their member's benefits packages. So, rental companies have shifted their strategy to asking customers if they'd like an upgrade on their reserved rental.

Second, you need to encourage employees to ask for the additional business. That takes some work. There's a right way and a not-so-right way to engage customers, especially those who have potential to buy more.

Dr. Drake Beil can be reached at drake@60secondsonbusiness.