“Do You Want Fries With That?” – An Opportunity for Profitable Growth

McDonald’s employees are trained to ask all customers whether they want fries with their meal. This little question, repeated millions of times a day in thousands of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide, creates millions of dollars of profits for McDonald’s as millions of customers go ahead and purchase the high margin McDonald’s fries.

In today’s slow-growth economy, all businesses should follow McDonald’s lead:

What other related products or services can you offer to your customers at the time of purchase?

Inevitably, these products and services will create value for your customer while creating profits for your business. Most of your customers really do want the “fries” that you are selling.

At the business group that I ran for ten years, a full 10% of all sales were for “resale” items. These were items (that we did not manufacture ourselves) complementary to the core product that helped the customer in their installation and use of our product. Interestingly, the margin on these products was often as good as the margin on our manufactured products. These sales were truly win win. The customer benefitted by not having to deal with multiple vendors and coordinate shipping and delivery for small, often forgotten, items. And we increased our revenue by 10%, which in one year alone lead to a profit increase of nearly $5 Million.

Unfortunately, many businesses neglect this opportunity for profitable growth that is literally staring them right in the face.

At home, we have a landscaper that cuts our grass and trims our flowers and bushes. Despite the fact that we have always seem to have a number of plants that are slowly dying, he has never offered to replace them for us. Since my wife and I each have a “black thumb”, we would welcome the opportunity to get the dying plants replaced with verdant ones. And we would gladly pay extra to not have to worry about it. Alas, the business opportunity for the landscaper goes unfulfilled; he just never asks. And to top it off, when I ask about replacing plants, he deflects the conversation and directs me to the nearest and cheapest place to buy the plants. So, every few months I buy some more plants only to see them die a month or two later.

The obvious message of this anecdote is to consider what other complementary products and services you can offer to your customers to:

  1. Bring additional value to your customer
  2. Create additional sales and profits for you
  3. Enhance and further lock-in your relationship with that customer

In short, what are the “fries” that you can offer to your customers?

Free Consultation

Contact David Shedd today to set up a FREE consultation  and let him brainstorm with you ways to find profitable growth.


About David Shedd

David has been a President - CEO - COO of an up to $350M group of manufacturing, distribution, specialty retail and services companies, having led 22 different businesses from turnarounds to start-ups to fast growth companies.
This entry was posted in Growth and Strategy, Sales and Marketing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to “Do You Want Fries With That?” – An Opportunity for Profitable Growth

  1. Mick Hawes says:

    Great topic David.
    Selling precast in Australia has opened my eyes as to how much money Oldcastle left on the table. It seems that we supersize the fries, add a milkshake and also sell desert. Believe it or not we on sell concrete pipe and we even on sell our competitor products at a 20% margin, sounds amazing but it is true. The loyal customers just want to deal with one supplier. This topic is so relevant today.

    I always look forward to reading your blog every week. Thank you for what you do. I am still working on the process mapping and many other things as well. I will contact you soon to set up a call.

    Take Care,
    Mick Hawes.

  2. Pingback: Lessons from a Customer | David M. Shedd – Move Your Company Forward

  3. Pingback: Don’t Upsell…Right Sell | David M. Shedd – Move Your Company Forward

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s