Once I read how Proctor & Gamble wanted to double their sales of shampoo without increasing their advertising, spending any marketing money, or even increasing the number of businesses that sold their product. Even without gaining a single new customer.

Know what? They did it.

They doubled their sales by adding one six-letter word to their label. Do you know what the word is? They doubled their sales of shampoo by adding the word “repeat” at the end of the “how to use” instructions.


After I read the story, I figured if Proctor & Gamble could double their sales, I could too. I thought of words that I could add to my labels, so to speak. I sold tires, appliances, furniture, electronics, and jewelry. I thought, “What does every buyer want when they purchase products and services?” My answer: A guarantee.

Simply by telling my customers, repeatedly, about the guarantee that comes with the products, I increased my sales. Then I increased them again by improving the guarantees I gave my customers.


In my electronics and appliance businesses, for example, everyone guarantees to service, or have serviced, the products they sell Monday through Friday, perhaps some on Saturday. I increased my guarantee to seven days a week.

One day I was selling a 20-inch diagonal color television to a customer and he said, “This is a really good deal.” I replied, “It sure is. You should buy two of them.”

You know what? He did.

I learned a long time ago that you must always find out why people are buying from you. Therefore, after I collected the money for the two televisions, I asked him if he intended to purchase two sets when he came in. He said, “No.”

Imagine that. I made twice the profit just by asking him to buy two television sets.

Of course, customers will not just make additional purchases simply because you ask them to. You must show them the value in making additional purchases. And that is easy. All you have to do is show them the benefits they received from purchasing your products and services.


Another way to double your sales without increasing your marketing costs is to bundle your products. Give your customers a better deal when they buy more of your products and services at the same time.

It is well known that a washing machine wears out in less time than an electric or gas dryer. But, I always felt the best time to sell a customer a new dryer was when they were buying a washer. After all, they are in the buying mode. So, after determining - by asking them questions - that they really were not in the market for a new dryer, only a washer, I would make them a deal they could not refuse on a new pair (washer and dryer).

I would also show them how it would only cost them a few dollars more a month if they financed the purchase. And since we offered same-as-cash, no-interest charges, showing that the items could be paid off in a set time period, almost everyone took advantage of our financing.

A local office supply store just did the same thing to me. I was purchasing a new printer and the salesperson walked me over to the ink display to show me that if I purchased a dozen cartridges at the time I purchased the printer, I would save 20 percent on the ink cartridges.

Then he convinced me that I should purchase a carton of paper because it was two-for-one at the time of purchasing the printer.

In short, he bundled me right into a good deal for both me and for the store. And I am sure for his commission, too.

Bottom line is this: Double your sales without gaining new customers or increasing your marketing costs by selling more products and services to each customer.

Publication date:06/04/2007