How to Second Sale for your Shop

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April 4, 2017 by
How to Second Sale for your Shop
Laser Cut Quilts, Madi Hastings

What is a "second" sale? It's the equivalent of an "add-on sale." When a customer walks into your shop, you basically have the “first sale” in the bag. You’ve got them in there! That’s the hard part. But are you taking advantage of the second sale? You don’t have to work for the customer this time! You’ve already sold them. That's what we call easy money.

Shop Hop and Row by Row are just around the corner. We’re waiting with bated breath for customers to swarm to our doors. But we don’t have to wait...Andrew, our marketing and sales guru, is here to offer a few tips on up-selling at your upcoming event, based on his lifetime experience of managing quilt shops and quilty people.

beachcomber - laser cut applique

1. Wait for it.....

Wait to start selling until the quilter is ready to purchase!

This tip may seem a little askew, but research has shown that bombarding a customer with suggestions before they’re ready to check out may drive them away. Give them time to browse your selection, and once they bring the wares to your POS, cash in on the second sale.

2. Suggest limited additional products

Too many suggestions can overwhelm your customers. While they’re browsing, note what draws their attention. Once they’re at checkout, suggest 2 or 3 additional products that will either pair well with what they’ve bought and/or suit their taste, from your perspective.

buttermilk basin - farm fresh trees

For example, if they’re purchasing a quilt kit (like the Gone Quilting kit pictured below, designed by Alyssa Woolstenhulme for Laser Cut Quilts), suggest colored thread for a buttonhole stitch and background fabric that'll help their project stand out! Or, if they’re gravitating toward your flannel section, suggest a wool pattern or custom laser-cut flannel kit (like the one above) that would indulge their quilty appetite.

a very retro christmas - madi hastings

3. Bundle correlating products for a price break

The quilting industry is notorious for the bundle. Think about when you assemble a quilt’re bundling a pattern with its fabrics, and possibly with embellishment items or notions. This is no different in its concept. Here's a few examples:

- Bundle classes with kits: 

Your shop likely already does this. Give a kit discount to those who enroll in the corresponding class.

Sales interaction example: 

Customer (approaches checkout)
Staff member: Hi! Did you find everything you were looking for?
Customer: Yes! I love this "Stag" kit.
Staff member: I love it too. We actually have a class called "Introduction to Laser Cut Applique" that starts next Saturday. If you enroll, you'll receive a 10% discount on that kit. Would you like to enroll?
Customer: How much extra would it cost?
Staff member: It's $10 for the class, but it mostly pays for itself with the kit discount, and then you can come party with us.
Customer: Yes, that sounds great! (or No, I'll pay full price). (Worst thing they're going to say is no, folks ;)

Odoo CMS - a big picture

- Bundle accessories and notions with patterns or kits:

If you’re struggling to sell accessories and/or notions, pair them with corresponding patterns and/or kits. When a customer approaches checkout with a wedding ring quilt kit, you (or your sales staff) might say, “Oh, we’ve bundled that kit with a template to help with those curves, so if you purchase both, you get 15% off the entire package. Excellent customer service? Check! What if that quilter went home and struggled to piece those curves? You might have prevented it. Excellent sales? Check!

 Notice that in both cases, the staff member didn’t have to be “pushy.” She just used her knowledge and gave excellent customer service to that quilter. In fact, your customers wouldn’t have known about the event or the bundle if the staff member hadn’t mentioned it. Excellent sales and excellent service go hand in hand.

4. Obey the "Rule of 25'

The “rule of 25” is a selling commandment...The gist of it is this: Don’t recommend a product that’s more than 25% of what your customer is already purchasing. It’s pretty much a no-brainer once you put it in perspective...Here’s an example:


If your customer is ready to checkout with 2 yards of fabric in hand (a retail value of $18-$22), you’ll want to keep your second sale at no more than 25% more (22*1.25), or about $28, or $6 more than the customer’s original purchase. So recommend a pattern, thread, small notion, etc.


On the contrary, if your customer is ready to checkout with a $100 quilt kit in hand, recommend a correlating BOM class or backing fabric.

huangshan province quilt kit - madi hastings

5. Get your Employees aboard the power sales train

There’s an old adage, “Your business is only as good as your worst employee.” While I have some beef with that statement, your employees are your sales staff! Like it or not, they’re a key part of how much dough is rollin’ in the door. So how do you get them on board, especially for your yearly moneymaker, Shop Hop?


  1. Recognize their value: 

    Your sales staff won’t perform well if they feel undervalued. The quilting industry is unique in that most of the employees working in quilt shops are quilters themselves! This is an incredible benefit to you because they know your customer, inside and out. Treat them like queens... or kings :)

  2. Motivate your sales staff: 

    Develop team goals and perhaps even promise rewards. For example, if your goal is to sell at least $20,000 during Shop Hop, let your whole staff know and tell them you’ll treat them to a spa day or gift cards to your shop if everyone helps meet the goal. Be careful not to arrange competition between your staff members, as it can create contention and bad vibes in your shop.

      3. Practice a sales approach; be consistent: 

My piano teacher always told me, “Practice makes perfect.” I hardly believed her, but it really does! Think about the countless hours you’ve spent quilting, perfecting and honing your skill. Sales requires practice too. While it may seem awkward, practice sales by role play. Pretend to be the customer. Have your staff pretend to sell to you. Instead of pressuring them to be able to sell everything in your shop (they don’t know your store like you do), have them focus on a few products they really love. Then, when a customer walks up to the checkout, your staff member will know exactly what they plan on recommending. For example, your staff member could decide that whenever a customer buys fabric yardage, they would try to sell rotary cutter blades. When the decision is already made and practiced, it’s much easier to execute and feels much more natural to the customer.

         4. Develop the right attitude: 

Don’t ever blame lack of sales on the customer. Take accountability! When the customer walks out the door and you or the staff begin muttering, “cheapskate” or “tightwad,” it invites a negative ambiance into your shop. As Grant Cardone, Master of Sales, says, “Don’t hate your money!” Those customers are buying ones! You just haven’t capitalized yet on that second sale. But you’re about to...

6. Just do it!

Back in my college days, I waited tables at Olive Garden. I rarely met my sales goals during my shift, and scraped by on tips. I didn’t want to be labeled as a “pushy” waiter so I’d say, “Anything else?” before sludging off to finish the night’s duties. One night, though, after binge-reading a self-help book and deciding I needed some change, I committed to trying to sell every single customer that sat at my table. And not just because I wanted money, but because I wanted to give the best service I possibly could. If a customer didn’t buy a drink, dessert, or extra salad, it wasn’t because they were a was because I had failed to sell them on the company’s excellent products and on my excellent service. My sales doubled that night and every night thereafter that I made that same commitment to myself.


If you’re scared to lose a customer or a sale, scared to offend, nervous someone will tell you “NO,” you’re not alone. But you’re a freaking QUILT SHOP OWNER. You own your own business. You’re a badass and you’ve made it this far. Don’t tell yourself you can’t….just get out there and make some moneyyyy!


I challenge you to become the sales BOSS of your company (You’re already the boss--you don’t have that far to go ;) Your shop has some of the best quilting products and services that this industry has to offer. You’ve convinced me. I’m sold. You've convinced quilters to come to your shop to buy (your first sale)! Now just go make that second sale (your easy money) and capitalize on your shop’s biggest event of the year. Go get ‘em! 

Let us know how implementing these marketing and sales techniques has grown your biz or ask us more by shooting us an email at or by giving us a call at (208) 960-6051. 

How to Second Sale for your Shop
Laser Cut Quilts, Madi Hastings April 4, 2017
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