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Boost Sales by 10 Percent

Grow your bottom line by pumping up individual sales.

Boosting sales by 10 percent may seem like a big challenge, but retail consultant Jon Schallert, president of The Schallert Group in Sorrento, Florida, says the secret is to tackle it one transaction at a time by raising the individual average transaction, or IAT.

For example, "A typical card [shop's IAT] is around $7 to $8. To get the 10 percent increase, you have to sell an additional 70 to 80 cents," Schallert explains. "Now it becomes manageable." To get that extra 10 percent, Schallert offers these tips.

Look for pairings that make sense. "If customers are buying giant, 44 ounce drinks, create a sign that suggests pairing [it with] a small bag of Doritos," says Schallert. Merchandise paired products complementary home accessories, pet food and treats, a matching blouse and necklace, and so on--in higher-traffic areas, and teach employees to reference special paired offers.

Make checkout real estate work. "Lots of small items can get lost in the clutter at checkout," Schallert says. Instead, choose one or two special offers and make an effort to sell those.

Boost sales with convenience. From preassembled gift bags with tissue paper to on-the-spot alterations and personal shopping services, helping customers save time--for a small fee--can pay off by increasing your IAT.

Gwen Moran is co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Business Plans.

This story appears in the December 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »