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Victor Urbina’s Minding Your Business: Monkey See, Monkey DON’T Do…Well, Kinda!

What would you do with $185 MILLION? Quit your job? Pay-off all your debt? Treat your family to some VERY nice gifts? Our friends at Wells Fargo are going to use it to pay the fine the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau gave them for opening unauthorized accounts.

You probably think $185M is just a drop in the bucket for them. It might be. But it doesn’t stop being $185M they would rather not pay. It stings a little. It doesn’t matter who you are.

The fact they were doing this doesn’t surprise me. It’s not that I think they are a greedy corporation. They’re just like all the others. They have a social conscious, BUT are always worried about their stock price.

If keeping your job depends on how much you sell, then you’re going to find ways to cheat the system. It’s self-preservation. But, there is a GREAT business lesson that you should learn from this fiasco. So do as they say, don’t do as they do. Here’s what I’m talking about.

Wells Fargo is the KING of return-on- equity in the banking industry. This mean that they generate the most money for every dollar people invest in them. They’re admired and copied by other banks for this, they’re the “gold standard.” They have done a lot of this by training employees to cross-sell and up-sell EVERY chance they get.

Let me give you an example.

I’ve been banking at Wells Fargo for as long as I can remember. I have both personal and business accounts with them. Because of this I’ve experienced their cross-selling and up-selling. Almost every time I visit a teller I get asked if I want to apply for a Wells Fargo credit card. They’ve done it so much that it’s starting to get annoying because my answer to them is always no.

But I AM impressed because they almost NEVER forget to ask. They know that one day I’ll “break.” So here’s the big lesson.

If your business has up-sells and cross-sells that you’re not offering ALL your customers you’re leaving A LOT of money on the table.

If you’re afraid to come across as pushy or greedy to your customers, get over it. If you’re employees don’t want to sound salesy, replace them. If the products and services you offer improve the lives of your customers, then it’s your moral responsibility to offer ALL of them to them.

The easiest way to do this is to have a sales script for EVERY customer you come in contact with. I’m not talking about a robot-like sequence you follow either. I’m talking about points that you want ALL your employees to make when they’re talking to customers or prospects.

You DO want write out a script that they use at the beginning. As they get better at using it you allow them some wiggle room to “make it theirs.” As long as they hit all the points. If not, then it’s back to the script, word-for- word.

If you don’t have anything to cross-sell or up-sell, then find things. It can be something as simple as books of stamps. Haven’t you wondered why they offer you stamps at the grocery store? And don’t limit yourself to products and services that YOU have to stock or fulfill. Here’s why.

You can partner with a non-competing company that shares your customers and offer THEIR products or services. The two of you then split the profits. It works both ways too, they offer you to their customers.

The best part about this strategy is that the customer acquisition costs is MUCH lower than generating a new customer on your own.

If you’re STILL not sure what you can up-sell let me give you one word. DELUXE! You should ALWAYS have a regular and deluxe version of what you sell. This was one of the first things one of my mentors taught me. It was so obvious I couldn’t believe I had never thought of it. But here’s why deluxe is important.

A percentage of your customers will buy your deluxe offer because of how they see themselves. They don’t consider themselves to be like “everyone” else. They’re “specia” The kind of people that buy “ONLY the best.” When you only offer them “regular” they’re unsatisfied and might go look for someone who will sell to their “special” self-image.

Final warning. Don’t make the mistake Wells Fargo made and threaten to fire your employees if they don’t up-sell or cross-sell enough. Train them and track their sales as a coaching tool. You could even offer them an incentive if they meet certain goals. But make sure the goals are attainable so that they don’t cheat to reach them.

A simple cross-sell and up-sell program WILL put extra money in the bank for you. Asking for the sale doesn’t mean everyone will take you up on your offer, but a closed mouth won’t get fed.

Holler at you again in two weeks and remember, “Life is a series of missed opportunities, so go for yours!”

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Author: Victor Urbina

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