Many a vendor combats price resistance by offering reluctant customers a little loan. The tactic can enhance sales, all right, but it generates collection problems as well. An alternative is to come up with a second product that, when sold with the first, makes the combined package too good to pass up.
That was the strategy developed by Al Burger, founder of "Bugs" Burger Bug Killers Inc., the Miami-based exterminator company noted for its effectiveness in banishing creepy creatures from restaurants and other institutions. Problem was, its standard fee was so out of line with the competition that many restaurants chose to forgo Burger's pest-elimination measures in favor of cheaper, if shorter-term, options.
So Burger came up with a second service. For an additional fee, his pest eliminators will also clean refrigerator coils, reset seals, and otherwise help restaurants control their energy costs. Annual cash savings to the restaurant in many cases covers the cost of pest elimination -- not to mention the fact that regular maintenance may prolong a refrigerator's life by a cool 600%. The catch is that, in order to get the energy service, customers have to sign up for pest elimination, too.
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