Monday, February 27, 2006

One Powerful Way To Make Refunds Work For You

When we do business, we will get customers who are not satisfied with our products services for one reason or another.  Yesterday, I talked about 3 things you can do to provide world-class customer service.

But what happens when the client is still not satisfied?  

The answer is simple (and key to your future marketing efforts).  All you have to do is...

…give them a quick and hassle-free refund.  

Easy, huh?  

But this is where most people miss a valuable opportunity.  And what opportunity is that?  I’ll get to that in just a second.

First, let me say that when marketing our services, one of the most powerful tools we have is the testimonial.  For every satisfied client, you should be getting a testimonial from them to give you credibility with future clients.  

And most of us use them.  On my site, I have them in nice yellow boxes for everyone to see.  

But what does this have to do with refunders?  It’s easy…

…ask them for a testimonial.  

I know some of you are thinking I am nuts.  But if you are selling a product (say a book), getting a refunder to give you a testimonial can be more powerful than all the praises.  Think about it.  What if you read a testimonial like this:

“I bought Carlon’s course, but it wasn’t what I thought it would be.  I thought getting a refund would be a hassle, but Carlon promptly refunded my money.  You can’t trust many people on the internet, but I can tell you that his 1-year no hassle money back guarantee is for real.”  

What does that testimonial tell you about me?  It says I am honest, I back up my guarantee, and it answers that one big objection: what if I don’t like it.  It is also a powerful testament to my credibility because it comes from someone who is NOT my buyer.  

So, before you write off a refunder for good.  Think about getting a testimonial from them.  It just might be worth the cost of the refund.

To Your Success,

Carlon Haas  


The 3 "Up"s For Providing World-Class Customer Service

I just read an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal.  It talks about how although “customer service” is a big buzzword right now, but few firms actually do it.  

I agree.  

But that's good news for you.  


Because by giving outstanding customer service, you can take a ton of business from the big guys.  

I am not kidding.  And in fact I am shocked at how bad customer service has gotten.  My clients actually thank me constantly for being on time.  

Being on time!  

Can you believe that?  I think punctuality should go without saying, but it just goes to show you how little clients are appreciated by some companies and independent professionals.  

But you can fill that void.  The bar is set so low now (pathetic but true) that just doing the bare minimum can get your more clients than you know what to do with.  

I do what I call the 3 "up"s for excellent customer service:

  1. Show up on time to meetings.  In fact, show up 15 minutes early.  People appreciate when you respect their time.

  2. Stay up on the deadline.  Never miss a deadline.  In fact, overestimate the time it will take to finish a job.  Then deliver it early.  Besides, if something comes up you have a little extra time to get the job done on time.  

  3. Follow up after you’re done.  When you finish a job, send an e-mail and ask how it went.  The feedback you get will be more valuable than anything else you will ever

That's it.  Show up, stay up, and follow up.  Seems simple, but you'd be shocked at how many people don't do these things.  Follow the 3 “up”s, and you’ll be on your way to excellent customer service.

To Your Success,

Carlon Haas

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Did Biting My Nails Cost Me Big Money?

A couple of weeks ago, I stopped biting my nails.  Now, I’ve bitten my nails for as long as I can remember.  But I can honestly say that I have absolutely no desire to bite them.

What changed?

Well, a couple of weeks ago I was talking with my speaking coach.  She looked at me with the most serious face and said, “Carlon, now don’t be offended.  You know I tell you things only because I think it will help you.”

I knew this had to be something bad.  So, I closed my eyes…

…took a deep breath…

…and waited.  

But instead, she took grabbed my hands and turned them over to reveal my bitten down fingernails.  

“Now, imagine that I am a corporate executive who wants to pay you $5,000 for a 60-minute speech…and I look down at your hands and see those things.  I may think twice about it.”  

"Come on…do you really think my nails make that big a difference?"

“Yes, I know they make a difference.  They can make all the difference.  I’ve seen it happen.”

My speaking coach knows what she’s talking about.  So, I took her advice and stopped biting my nails.  And surprisingly, it has been pretty easy to stop.  

But this brings me to the big issue: appearance.  The way you present yourself is the first step in an independent professional's marketing.  It's because YOU are the product.  And how you look can determine if you get work or not.  

I will cover this issue in more detail in the Monday issue of the No Excuses Marketing Newsletter.  If you haven’t signed up yet, please take a couple of minutes to do so.  You won’t want to miss it.

Till then…have a great weekend.

To Your Success,

Carlon Haas

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Finally...The Newsletter Is Ready!

Finally...the No Excuses Marketing Newsletter is done and the first issue has been sent out. If you have not signed up yet, yuo do so right here on this blog!

I'd like to thank all of you (clients and friends alike) who prodded me into getting this newsletter out.

I hope the content of my newsletter will bring all of its readers more business and more profits to boot!

To Your Success,

Carlon Haas

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Good Things Are Coming!

I haven been a bit remiss in posting to my blog.  But I have some good stuff coming up for all of you.  And I think you'll like what I'm doing.

First of all, I am putting the finishing touches on the first issue of my No Excuses Marketing Newsletter for Independent Professionals.  

The goal of the newsletter will be to help coaches, trainers, consultants, speakers, and all other one-person small businesspeople become better marketers.  

In my work as a marketing consultant and copywriter, the clients I have enjoyed working with are independent professionals, and now I want to give something of value to them.  

My newsletter to empower you.  You will get the best marketing knowledge that I have to offer.

And the best part?  

I won’t be charging you anything for it.  I will distribute it as a free weekly e-newsletter.

But it won’t be like so many of those so-called free newsletters on the internet.  Each issue will have a focus message on marketing that you will be able to take with you and implement in your business.  

In other words, you’ll get 100% content and not a disguised sales pitch in every issue.  

Anyone who subscribes to this blog will get a copy of the first issue, and I will send it out weekly.  

It’ll be arriving in your inbox soon…

…so look out for it.  

To Your Success,

Carlon Haas

Friday, February 17, 2006

A Change To My Blog

Dear Loyal Readers,

I have gotten quite a few e-mails from people who have wanted to post but do not have blogger accounts. Since I have no interest in whether my readers have Blogger accounts or not, I have changed the settings and will allow anyone to post comments on this blog.

So, feel free to make comments...

...but not excuses.

To Your Success (and freedom of expression),

Carlon Haas

Friday's Violin Lesson Marketing Revelation

I always preach to my clients, you should look for lessons in business and marketing from every source possible. Develop funnel vision, instead of tunnel vision.

Well, it seems that every week I am always hit over the head with insight from an unlikely source…

my violin teacher.

For those who don’ know, I thought it would be a good idea to pick up the violin after I turned 30, with no musical training whatsoever. I got a violin, got a teacher, and 2 years later…

…I still suck. But at least I can kind of play in tune.

I had another teacher for the first year who gave me some VERY bad habits. But my violin teacher now...for lack of a better!

She’s a “no excuses” violin teacher.

Don’t believe me?

Check out her studio policies, and tell me what you think. In fact, it was her "no excuses" policy that got me to take lessons with her in the first place. And I highly recommend her to anyone in the Austin area who wants violin lessons for themselves or their kids.

Anyway, yesterday my violin teacher asked me about how my bowing was coming along. And I began this long tome about my bowing, intonation, the superiority of Beethoven's 9th Symphony over the 5th...

…luckily, she stopped me before the lesson expired. And she made an enlightening comment. She had asked me about bowing (and ONLY about bowing), but I went on about everything about playing the violin. She told me that when learning the violin I have to take each part separately and pointed out that I have a tendency instead to “take on everything at once” ( I do…ask my wife).

Well, marketing can be like that too. While it is a good idea to do everything at once, you need to make sure you are getting the parts right. Your direct mail pieces should be converting, you should track your internet conversion rates, tabulate the response rates to ALL your ads.

And as you go along, you should tweak your ads to make sure that you are getting the most response and the most sales from them (you must split testing all ads). And just as even the greatest violinists keep practicing and refining their techniques, marketers and businesses alike need to develop and refine their ads to get the best results possible.

Have a Great Weekend,

Carlon Haas

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Carlon Speaks...Intuit Responds!

Yesterday, I talked about being able to back up your facts in your ads. I used the case involving Intuit and H&R Block as an example.


...yesterday I got an email from someone from Intuit who wanted me to have a look at their press release involving the case. Being the fair person that I am, I am posting that link for all of you to look at:

The point the person from Intuit was making is that the case is not as straightforward as I made it out to be.

And you can feel free to read the press release and make up your own mind.

Intuit might be right—it might not be as straightforward as I claimed…

…but, here are the results:

In order to air the ad as intended, Intuit needs H&R Block to provide the facts to prove their case because they need Block to provide the numbers. But at the same time they don’t think that Block is being honest about its numbers (imagine that!). And they cannot run the ad (with the claim) until an injunction is lifted on April 30th—the end of tax season!

The teeth of their campaign have been knocked out the only time it counts—the run-up to tax time.

Intuit and H&R block are big companies, so I’m sure the court case will continue. And, it looks like Intuit will do just fine regardless.

But most businesses cannot afford to go into lengthy court battles against the large companies with deep pockets.

So, my original point stands…

…if you make claims in your ads, make sure that you can back them up 100%.

To Your Success,

Carlon Haas

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

An Ad Ain't True Unless You Can Back It Up

I read an interesting article about a lawsuit involving H&R Block and Intuit (makers of TurboTax).

Long story short, TurboTax ads claimed that more people prepared their taxes with TurboTax than at all H&R Block stores combined.

Only one problem…

…26 million returns were filed at H&R Block stores compared to 21 million TurboTax returns.

Whoops…I guess the fact checker needs a new job today.

The moral of this story should be to be honest in your advertising. But I’ll take it one step further: Make sure your ads tell the absolute honest truth and that you can BACK UP your statements.

Intuit is changing the ads, in my opinion, not because they think their figures are wrong but because they can't back it up.

In one of my favorite movies, A Few Good Men, Tom Cruise tells Demi Moore (and I paraphrase,

“It doesn’t matter what’s true or not. What matters is what I can prove.”

And the same goes in advertising. If you’re going to make a claim, make sure not only that it’s true but that you can also back it up.

To Your Success,

Carlon Haas

P.S. If you've never seen A Few Good Men, shame on you. It's a classic. Get it dirt cheap at Amazon.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Late Valentine's Day Post

I thought I’d give everyone an extra Valentine’s Day post…

…not about marketing though.

The hardest part about living and working with the woman you love is that it’s hard to surprise her.

Think about it! I can’t just sneak out of the office. And we’ve known each other so long that she always knows when I’m up to something.

But she is now putting our 2 year old to sleep, and I am free to post my love for her to the entire blog-reading world!

So, to my wife of 6 years…who’s been my best friend for the last 10 years…

…Happy Valentine’s Day.

And for the rest of you…

…I hope you had a great Valentine’s Day.

To Your Success (and Happiness),

Carlon Haas

Not Making Sales? Change Your Offer

Sometimes when you aren't getting sales, it may not be your ad copy. When I work with clients as a marketing consultant, one of the first things I look at (other than their list, if they have one) is their offer.

Time and time again, I notice that their offers are either priced incorrectly for their target market or the way they phrase their offer has a lot left to be desired.

Think of the sales you typically see in retail. Think of the many ways they could craft the offer. Let’s say an office supply store is selling pens at half off for the weekend. Here are a couple of ways to phrase that offer:

All pens 50% off.
All pens--buy one get one free.

Now most of us like the second offer better than the first. Most marketing consultants or gurus will tell you that the word “free” gets a higher response. So, more people will respond to an offer with the word free in it.

But I like one more thing about the second offer—it puts a minimum purchase at 2 rather than one.

With the first offer, it says I can buy one pen at 50% off. But with the second offer, I feel almost obligated to buy 2 pens (if I buy one, I get a second one free).

Most businesses should concern themselves with the response to their offers, as well they should. But response is just one part of the marketing equation.

When crafting irresistible offers, ask yourself 3 questions:

  1. Can I get more people to buy?

  2. Can I get them to buy more?

  3. Can I get them to pay more?

Then go out there and test your offer. If your offer can do all 3, then you will see exponential sales growth.

To Your Success,

Carlon Haas

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Outside The Box? There Is No Box--My Business Role Model

In business, I think all of us look for someone to pattern ourselves after…

…a business “role model,” so to speak.

Well, for this Monday morning blog entry I thought I’d tell you who my business role model is.

But before I go into who it is, let me tell you what I look for in a “role model.”

I look for 3 qualities.

#1 I look for people who break the mold. I look for people who you would have trouble labeling and putting into a neat little box.

#2 I look for people who are able to succeed in totally different fields. This one narrows down the search quite a lot. But most of the people that others look up to tend to be good at one thing and one thing only.

Not me.

I firmly believe that to succeed in anything you should be able to look outside the norm—to go beyond the boundaries we create for ourselves.

Especially in marketing…

…you need to be able to see breakthroughs everywhere. In fact, one of the most successful pieces of copy I have ever written was inspired by a book on fishing. (the explanation for that is for another time).

#3 I look for people who DON’T MAKE EXCUSES. .

In marketing and in life, the excuse-makers are endless. But people I admire throw out their books of excuses. You screw up? Find out what you did wrong and start over.

That’s it! I lived in South Korea for 6 years, and the attitude there is who gives a rat’s behind whose fault it was. They just want the problem fixed. I happen to agree.

So, without further ado, who is my business role model?

It’s not Trump, Napoleon Hill, or any of the usual suspects.

It’s none other than…

…Wallace Stevens.

Okay…you might be wondering who Wallace Stevens is.

For those of you who don’t know Wallace, you’ll find that he is one of the 20th century’s greatest poets.

No poetry anthology will omit Wallace Stevens—not one.

But why is a poet as my “business” role model?


Because Wallace Stevens wasn’t just a poet. He was also a lawyer and highly successful businessman who was named vice president of Hartford Accident and Indemnity.

In fact, many of Stevens’ business associates had no idea he was a famous poet.

Stevens didn’t even start writing poetry until after he finished law school. He didn’t publish his first book of poetry until he was 44, and to top it off Stevens wrote some of his best poetry after he turned 60.

All the while he moved up the corporate ladder. He made no apologies to poetry critics (who probably thought he should be starving) for wanting to make money. And his business associates always held him in the highest regard for his business sense.

A world-class businessman and a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet. Not a bad combination

That’s my business role model. In this changing world, we need to stop trying to put people and our markets into neat little boxes.

I’d rather be a Wallace Stevens who did what he wanted and was pretty damn good at being both a businessman and a poet. And neither his art nor his business suffered from his devotion to either one.

That idea might be foreign to most businessmen or English majors, but Wallace Stevens shows that you can achieve anything you want to achieve if you are willing to accept that the "box" we put ourselves into does not exist...

…and once you realize that the “box” does not exist...

…anything is possible.

To Your Success,

Carlon Haas
P.S. If you’ve never read any poem by Wallace Stevens, read The Snow Man. And remember the guy writing it was no mystic, but a well-grounded successful businessman. It’ll blow your mind.

I highly recommend:

The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens (Vintage)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A Copywriter Is Not A Copyrighter

Last week, a business acquaintance of my wife called needing some advice from me. You see, my wife told her I was a copywriter, and so the acquaintance thought I could help her.

The woman needed advice badly…

…advice on…


The truth is I get this all the time. The joy of having a job that is a homophone of a more commonly-used word!

So, I’ll break it down. A copywriter is someone who writes copy. Copy in this case is words used in advertising. A good copywriter can skyrocket the response rate of a poorly-written ad. Most copywriters understand the psychology of prospects when they read an ad and know how to write to those psychological hot buttons.

That is what I do in addition to being a marketing consultant. I have always been a writer, but actually being able to sell a product with that writing skill is something to behold. I can’t say that every ad I have ever written has been a smash.

But most of my clients get results...and results is the bottom line in advertising and marketing (or at least it should be).

A copyrighter, on the other hand, just grants copyrights. They won't make you money, but they can help protect your intellectual property.

I cannot help anyone copyright anything. But I was able to help my wife's business acquaintance. Since I am an author and worked for an international publishing company for 6 years, I learned quite a bit about copyright law.

So, I was able to point her in the right direction. But for future reference…

...if anyone needs to get results from their advertising…contact me.

If you need advice on copyrights…a copyright attorney might be a better option.

To Your Success,

Carlon Haas

The Only Limit To Your Success...Is You

Last night, I went to an amazing networking/non-networking event called the 8 Minute Ripple. I won’t go into too much detail, but if any of you are in the Austin area, I would highly recommend this event.

The gist of the event is that you ask and answer pre-written personal questions to someone else for 8 minutes to try to make connections with people before talking about business. For guys like me that absolutely abhor networking as we know it, the structured environment made it easier to talk without having to take out my “elevator speech” every other minute.

But the cool thing is that although I met a lot of good people, I got more out of it than that. This event had me observing people and actively listening to them. And from that, I was able to learn a great many things I may not have taken the time to learn.

I was able to see how many people have developed "tunnel vision" when it comes to their businesses and even in their lives in some respect. I

Tunnel vision is only looking at the narrow confines of our own business and sometimes even limiting ourselves to the contextual framework of our limited life experiences.

I have always recommended “funnel vision” which is looking all around in unrelated businesses and taking the successes from those businesses and integrating them into yours.

I will go on about this subject at length in my newsletter this week. So, if you are interested in seeing how your business can benefit from looking outside your industry, you won’t want to miss it. You can sign up for it right here on my blog...if you haven’t done so already.

To your Success,

Carlon Haas

Monday, February 06, 2006

I Spoke Too Soon...What The Seahawks Can Teach Us About Excuse-Making

I usually don’t like to go into sports in a marketing blog, but feel like I may have jumped the gun a little. Whereas Jerramy Stevens showed us a no-excuses approach to horrible playing, Seattle coach Mike Holmgren was getting out his book of excuses:

“We knew it was going to be tough going up against the Pittsburgh Steelers,” Holmgren told the fans at Qwest Field. “I didn’t know we were going to have to play the guys in the striped shirts as well.”

Uh, Mike, maybe if your guys didn’t turn the ball over so many times you might have won the game.

Blaming the referees isn’t going to change the fact that your team stunk it up the last 10 minutes of the game.

Businesses aren't so different though. Usually when a company's ads fail or their marketing takes a nosedive, they pull out the old excuse "the market has changed," which makes me ask why didn't you change with the market.

Blaming the referees is the old standby for coaches in pretty much any sport. And we all have our own personal excuse for failure...

…you know the one…

…the one that makes you feel better so you can say it wasn’t your fault.

Although it’s tempting, don’t pull it out. You might feel better, but it won't make the situation any better. Start taking 100% responsibility for your decisions.

Be a Jerramy Stevens…not a Mike “where’s Brett Favre” Holmgren.

Mike, you're my excuse-maker of the week.

To your success,

Carlon Haas

A No Excuses Defeat! What We Can All Learn From The Seattle Seahawks

Ever year, I cringe when I watch the Stupor Bowl (the competition between companies to see who can spend the most money on advertising for the least amount of results).

But I did watch the Super Bowl. And even though I was pretty unimpressed with the Seattle Seahawks, I am impressed with Jerramy Stevens.

No, I’m not impressed with the fact that he dropped 3 balls and saved his worst performance for the biggest game of his life. I am impressed with his comments afterwards.

Rather than pissing and moaning about the referees or the blaming the quarterback, Stevens said:

"I don't have a reason or excuse. I just didn't make the plays, bottom line."

And THAT, my friends, is the kind of attitude we need in business and marketing. When you put out new ads, you need to get results…bottom line—results. When you don’t get it done, there are no reasons or excuses that are going to change the fact that it didn't work.

When I write copy that’s not getting results, what do I do? You find out why it’s not working, buck up, and re-write the thing.

Jerramy Stevens may have lost the Super Bowl, but we can all learn from his professionalism and class. May we all have some of that when we don’t make the plays.

So, Jerramy, you get my non-excuse-maker of the week award.

To Your Success,

Carlon Haas

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Want To Waste Millions? Run A Super Bowl Ad

I hope all of you enjoyed yesterday’s Super Bowl, especially the ads.  Because if there’s one lesson you should learn from Super Bowl ads, it's this...

…they don’t work.  

How do I know?  The answer is pretty easy.  Of all the commercials, how many of the products or companies do you remember?  You might remember the commercials...

…I mean, who wouldn’t?  They’re funny and entertaining.  

But being funny and entertaining is not the purpose of advertising.  The purpose of advertising is to sell.  No one will know if these ads were worth the millions that were spent on them because there is no way to measure which sales were made because of a Super Bowl ad.

Some people might argue that Super Bowl ads are for branding.  Branding has its place, but most branding experts will tell you that if no one remembers your company’s name from an ad, then you’re not branding effectively.  

If you are putting out ads, don't let yourself get sucked into the "Super Bowl" mindset.  Ads are not there to make people laugh.  They are there to make people buy.  The companies that advertise during the Super Bowl have a LOT of money to lose, so it's not a big deal to them.

But most of us cannot afford to throw away millions.  Therefore, when you advertise, use direct response advertising that can be ruthlessly tracked and measured for results.  That way you will know which ads make you money and which ads are a waste of $$.  

To Your Success,

Carlon Haas

Friday, February 03, 2006

Think Long-Term When Marketing

One of the best lessons I ever got in life-time value of a customer was when I worked customer service for a retail store while I was in college.

One day a kid came in to return a walkman. It was 15 days past the return date, and I told him that he couldn’t do it. But as he was about to leave, the manager came out.

“It’s all right. We will return this for you.”

The kid looked at me like I was a jerk and thanked the manager. I had the honor of ringing up his refund.

Later, I went to the manager because he was constantly letting customers return things past the return date and I wanted to know why he did it this time. I mean, he was just a kid, right?


…I got a big-time lesson in lifetime value of a customer.

He told me: “Look, he might have been a kid, but one day he’s going to grow up. He’ll be a teenager and buy stereo equipment. He’ll get out on his own and want to buy a TV, refrigerator, and all sorts of other stuff (that we happen to carry). The question is: who will he buy it from. That kid will remember the kind service he got from us and how we gave him back his money even though we didn't have to. We might lose $50 now, but we'll get a customer for life."

I didn't quite "get it" at the time, but I preach the same message now. Think long-term. And always think about the life-time value of your customers.

Keep the life-time value of your customers in mind when coming up with a marketing campaign. It will go a long way in helping you decide on how much you can spend to acquire a new customer.

Have a great weekend,

Carlon Haas

Excuse of the Week & Why You Should Think Twice Before Blaming Your Customers

I’m going to lay this on the line for all of you out there:

If you’re in business, any business, the WORST excuse you can ever give is…

…blaming the customer for your mistakes.  

And this brings me to my excuse-maker of the week.  

It comes to us from the grocery store that will remain nameless.  Here’s what happened:

I’m at the store to buy my favorite beer, New Belgium 1554 Black Ale.

I get to the register and it rings up $7.57.  So, I ask the cashier (we’ll call her D.), “Why is it $7.57?”

“It's because has $.58 tax."

“But the sign said it was $5.99.”  

Not wanting to bicker, I suggested we go have a look at the sign, which is a few feet from the register.  We can do this because the store is dead.

“See, the sign says $5.99.”  

Now the fun begins.

D. exclaims, “No, I think you are looking at the wrong sign.”

“You mean the one that says 6 pack 1554 Belgium Black Ale for $5.99?”

Rather than be defeated, D. continues pointing to another beer sign that says $6.99 and insisting that the lager beer is the one I’m really trying to buy.  

Pointing to the six pack in my hand, I say, “No, it is the 1554 beer that I am buying, not the lager.”

“Oh, I see,” D. says.  

I breathe a sigh of relief…

…a little too early it seems.  

“But these are for the 8 ounce bottles.  Your beer bottles are bigger than that.”

“It says 8.32 cents per ounce!  $5.99 for the 6 pack!”

Finally, D. relents and gets the price changed.  

Here’s the thing: I think everyone who reads this blog has had a similar experience.  Businesses of all sizes can make mistakes.  And when you do, don't make excuses.  And never ever blame your customers for your mistakes.  

One bad experience can turn a customer away from you for life.  And that dissatisfied customer will tell 10-12 of his good buddies.  Believe it.  It happens like that.  

But luckily for the unnamed grocery store, I thought the little exchange I had with D. is was funny, and since I have never had that kind of experience at this particular grocery before it won't affect my business with them.  

But D. does get my excuse-maker of the week award.  

Hoping for a “no excuses” weekend,

Carlon Haas

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A Cross-Selling Nightmare

The other week, I went to a grocery store (name withheld to protect the innocent) to buy 2 things:

1.  Paper towels
2.  A can of cooking spray

When I went to the counter to pay, the cashier asked me, “Would you like some ice with that/”

“Ice?” I replied.

The cashier looked a little dumbstruck and nothing further was said.

This, my dear blog readers, was perhaps the worst attempt at cross-selling I’ve ever seen.

Cross-selling is something I encourage everyone to do, but remember the key to cross-selling is offering a complimentary item.

For example, if I am buying beer, then it would be quite proper to ask me if I wanted ice.  But cooking spray, paper towels, and…

… ice?  

If someone out there can find the connection, I’d be willing to entertain your theories.  

Remember if you are going to cross-sell...

…make sure the items cross-sold are related and seem like a logical compliment of one another.  

Your bottom line will thank you.

To your success,
Carlon Haas