“Would you like fries and a drink with that?” this is the famous question that makes hundreds of million dollars for McDonalds.
Robert Cialdini talks about it in his book “The Psychology of Persuasion”. He calls it the contrast principle.
It comes into play when two different things presented sequentially, feel more different than they really are. For example, lifting a heavy object followed with a lighter one. You will feel the lighter object is even lighter after lifting the heavy one. Or after a loud party, sitting at home on your couch feels quieter than it is. The same happens with price.
After they bought the most expensive item, the price for the suggested add-on feels like nothing.
Another example is when I go for shopping for a dress. When I get to the cashier, she asks me if I want a belt or a scarf which matches the dress. Or a pair of shoes. They are cheaper items than the core product, but also relevant, so the buyer can use them with the product they bought. And it can double your profit.
Amazon does it extremely well when they say “People who bought X also bought Y.” Or “Because you bought X, you might need Y and Z.”
It means you move the buyer to a higher priced item.
Like when you buy an internet service, and you can pay more for a subscription of higher speed. Or when you buy a car and they sell you a newer or a nicer model.
About 10-15% of your current customers would likely pay more for a better product or service. And you are leaving money on the table if you don’t at least offer them something even more valuable.
Some companies make different pricing options. And they include different features in each level. Some people will go with the cheaper option, because that fits their needs perfectly.
Some of them are willing to pay more to get more features, even if they don’t necessarily need them.
As we discussed in the earlier chapters, you have to be in touch with your customers.
Even if the lifetime of your product is longer, like real estate. You never know when your customer needs your product again. Or needs an update.
If you send them regular information (not just about your products), you can educate them, tell more details about how your product can help in their life, show them testimonials, or offer a guarantee, and when the time comes to buy, you will be their first thought.
And that’s how you can make a customer buy again.
I was at a random store, like an hour drive from my home. I saw a cute dress in their window, and I went in to buy it. I ended up spending $300. When I got to the cashier and paid, they gave me a $20 coupon after every $100 I spent. So I had $60 coupon, but it became valid the next day, and expired in a month. I didn’t want to waste the “money”, so I told my husband to buy some shoes in the store, because we have coupons.
So we drove back to the store, and ended up spending $200. With this little technique, the owner almost doubled their revenue within a couple weeks.
And that’s how they make a customer buy again.
Some services are naturally subscription-based, like phone or internet.
But it doesn’t mean you can’t make a subscription from your products or services.
Look at Dollar Shave Club. They turned cheap razors into a monthly subscription-based business. Now people don’t have to buy razors, they have a new one every week, shipped to their door.
Another example is the pet food supplier, Chewy.com. You can set up a regular shipment of your pet’s food. As a result, you receive a fresh bag of dog food every six week or so (or however often you ask). You don’t have to stand in line at the pet store and carry the bag home. And they do everything on time.