Posts Tagged ‘Coffee Sales’

What’s this Fair Trade Stuff All About?

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

FT_Logo_webOctober is Fair-Trade month and is a perfect time to take a look at offering Fair-Trade Certified coffees to your customers. In the spirit of the month, we’re introducing a 3-part blog on Fair-Trade Certified coffees and how they matter to you and your business.

What’s this Fair-Trade stuff all about?

Talking about Fair-Trade Certified coffees can become very confusing, very quickly. What exactly is Fair-Trade Certified? What about Free Trade or Fairly Traded or even Direct Trade? What’s the difference, if they’re not all the same thing?

  • Free Trade is an entirely different animal that you’d be hard-pressed to find any non-politically biased information on. In its most basic form, Free Trade is a trade policy that allows traders to act and trade without interference from the government. This means there are no certifying agencies and middleman regulated tariffs or taxes. There are no checks and balances, no one to watch where monies are going or how it is spent. There’s no standard on who decides or defines what “free trade” is.
  • Direct Trade & Fairly Traded are very similar. The principles of Fair-Trade Certified are somewhat represented. Coffee roasters purchase direct from farmers without utilizing middlemen or any outside certification. The roasters create the standards and determine what is fair. However, most of the standards are not across the board and can differ from coffee region to coffee region. There is an overall, albeit flexible, approach to labor and environmental issues. The main concern tends to be for the economic sustainability of all parties involved. The biggest difference is the lack of a 3rd party organization, like TransFair USA. This means that the only people making sure the practices are Direct or Fair are the roasters themselves. The question that remains is whether or not consumers feel able to trust an individual business’ judgment, over an independent 3rd party organization, dedicated to assure criterias are met with an unbiased agenda.
  • Fair-Trade Certified coffee is an organized social movement and economic-based approach that aspires to help producers in developing countries promote sustainability by paying close attention to the details in trade and cutting out the middle man.

    This means that:

    • The farmers are being paid fairly for their work
    • The living and working conditions are safer
    • The producers have direct access to international markets, thereby cutting out the middle man and extra costs
    • And there is an independent organization that is making sure these guidelines are met.
  • Fair-Trade Certified also has a very specific vision for the health and well-being of the farmers. Certification, which is received from independent 3rd party organizations, makes sure that working conditions are safe, that child labor is not happening and that money is being put back into these impoverished coffee producing communities to stimulate growth out of poverty.

Coffee Farmers Picking Cherries from Trees

In today’s society of social responsibility our cars are becoming gas sippers as opposed to gas guzzlers, our papers and plastics are becoming more recyclable and our homes are becoming greener. It’s fashionable to care about more than just what affects us and us alone. Fair-Trade Certified has been on the rise for the past decade or so and fits perfectly in with the idea to be more socially conscious and aware of the impact we have with our choices and money.

In addition to the social responsibility, there’s also the health aspect. With the world searching for ways to lead a healthy and long life, the organic market keeps growing and growing. Currently, according to TransFair USA, 60% of Fair-Trade Certified certified coffees in the U.S. are also certified organic.

100% of Kaffe Magnum Opus’s Fair-Trade Certified coffees are certified Organic.

Stay tuned for Vol. II — Am I made for Fair-Trade Certified?

Serving It Up – In-Store Sampling Makes An Impact!

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Hot off the press! Sampling gourmet coffees and foods sell more products, both in the short and long run.  A new independent study proves for the first time that in-store sampling not only has dramatic sales impact on the day of the sampling event, but also increases sales of established products and line extensions, as well as products, for many weeks following.

Conducted by Knowledgenetworks,  the study showed the following:

  • In-store sampling drives additional repeat purchase
  • In-store sampling drives sales for existing products and line extensions
  • In-store sampling delivers new buyers – to the sampled items and to the brand franchise
  • In –store sampling impacts sales long after the day of the event, making it incredibly cost effective

To read the complete study: Groundbreaking Study Redefines In-Store Sampling Impact and Usage

Ideas that can be used specifically for specialty coffee retailers:

  • Focus on creating a coffee of the week, month holiday or season.  An example would be celebrating the upcoming autumn season by featuring Pumpkin Spice for September, Cranberry Nut Cream in October and Vermont Maple Nut Crunch in November.Pumpkin Spice
  • Make sure to have related products at or near your sampling area.  If you are featuring Pumpkin Spice flavored coffee, promote a pumpkin spice flavored latte, pumpkin infused cheesecake, pumpkin cream cheese rolls, pumpkin nut muffins… you get the idea!
  • Make the effort to use a slower time of the day or week to invite customers in to a seasonal or holiday sampling.  This is a great time to show off any new and exciting gift items you will be carrying for the upcoming time period.  Make sure to display at least three different size gift baskets that customers can order from you as well as any cookies or dessert trays that will be available.
  • Get your whole staff involved with creating the buzz and helping out during the sampling.  Big smiles, pleasant greetings and lots of product knowledge will go a long way to stimulating sales now and in the future.
  • Set up a designated area for different products and make sure you are ready to take early holiday orders.  Customers are thrilled to begin crossing people of their shopping lists.  Offer a generous discount for orders placed the day of the sampling event.
  • Remember there is always a National Fun Food Holiday, changing of the season, Hallmark special occasion or nationally observed holiday to celebrate so you will never run out of ideas.
For ordering great tasting coffees visit

For money-making ideas visit, and get up-to-date information from Kaffe Magnum Opus sign-up at

Contact me directly at or 800/652-5282 and let me know of any topics you would like to see covered in the blog.

Up$ell Your Way to Retail Success

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Upselling.  It should be sweet music to an owner’s ear.  It is just a nine-letter word, but it actually gets the respect of a four-letter one.  Despite the negative publicity the term upselling was not one of George Carlin’s seven dirty ones you couldn’t say on television.

In its simplest definition, upselling applies to helping a customer decide to purchase beyond what the original sale was intended to be.  This method of selling is one of the highest and most profitable uses of your company’s time.

Whenever I purchase a new pair of dress shoes, the shoe salesman always suggests protective spray, high-end shoe polish, or perhaps a brush to maintain a high gloss on the leather.  My favorite is the cedar shoe-tree to help keep the shape of the shoe over the years.

Shoe Salesman

Shoe Salesman

Being in sales I can truly appreciate an upsell when it is done with ease and confidence.  Over the years I have purchased a number of those products.  These items are much smaller dollar amounts than the shoes but they do add up over time.  Despite the lower cost, the add-ons tend to have much higher margins than the original purchase.  This is why upselling is great for a business to gain and therefore an owner must train the staff to upsell.

The approach to upselling should be easy, almost effortless.  Upselling is just presenting the information in a “by-the-way” assumptive manner to the customer unless:

  • You don’t make an attempt
  • Your technique makes you seem pushy, arrogant or negative
  • Most importantly, you don’t understand what to upsell because you don’t know WHY your customers buy your product to begin with.

In order to upsell, you must understand why people buy.  The focus must be on the customers needs.  The following examples may shed a little different prespective on the aspect of what consumers actually buy:

  1. You don’t buy a candle. You purchase ambience or romance.
  2. When you buy a book you are purchasing knowledge.
  3. Buying a Blackberry provides you productivity.
  4. Want mobility? Buy a laptop computer.
  5. When you buy coffee, what are you buying? _________________________

No matter what your product is, it has a certain meaning for the customer.  KMO customers sell brewed coffee, and in some instances sell bulk coffee beans. So the question is “Why did your customer buy your coffee or why do they stop by your coffeehouse?” I call this “getting to know the unknown wants, needs and desires of someone you have just met for the first time”.  Once you have contemplated and developed some answers you are ready to move on.

There is no need to develop an over-the-top sales approach. This form of selling up is just a natural progression of providing great service and products to your customers.  The style and finesse in how it is accomplished sets the stage for future successes with that customer and others to follow.

Fulfill those wants, needs and desires now by offering value added items or by packaging some of your products together.  Examples of this could be…

  • Have fresh-out-of-the-oven muffins or scones right at your counter to start the morning.  When a customer comes in to buy their morning coffee assume they are really buying a way to start their day and that everyone appreciates a great baked good with their coffee. Talk about how delicious and bursting with fresh blueberries they are and that the crumble topping is your favorite part.  Make a sample available for them to taste.
  • If a customer comes in during the afternoon and buys a cappuccino suggest the the freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies which are only $1.50 for three pieces of afternoon delight.  (What they were buying with an afternoon escape from their mundane job)

    Prepare for Success!

  • Create a commuter special that includes a large coffee, buttered hardroll, New York Times and small orange juice for $4.50.  (What you are offering is added convenience, world understanding, a calm commute even if they get stuck in traffic – all at a value)
  • When a customer purchases a pound of coffee, offer them a FREE medium cup of brewed coffee as a bonus. (What is your customer really buying in this case?_____________________________)

Take it step further…

During the holidays, Pete stops by to buy a pound of coffee to take to a friends party…

What is Pete really buying?  Convenience (You were along the way), good taste ( He is buying specialty coffee, not a can of Folgers), perfect gift (Who doesn’t like coffee?), thoughtfulness (Remembered his friends loves Fair-Trade coffee)

Upsell – As Pete is standing there drinking his FREE cup of coffee, you say “I appreciate you thinking about us and stopping by to get coffee for your friends.  So many of our customers are pressed for time, not sure what to get for people on their list, or are trying to save some money this holiday season.  Seems like you may be feeling some of the same pressures.”  (Who doesn’t experience this during the holidays?)

You continue the upsell approach; “We have been quite successful at making the holidays much more stree-free for folks by creating personalized gift baskets and gift mugs that are sure to get a WOW!  I am sure you have a few people that always are tough to buy for.  If you have already bought them a little something, we can even put that in the gift basket and we can  ship anywhere in the country for you”.

Second delivery of an upsell: “We also now have party trays for breakfast and lunch which are perfect gift for a valued client or vendor and we will even deliver it for you”.

Third possible upsell: Last but not least, “We have begun taking orders for our famous Kringle Krunch Pie.  Pete, if you haven’t had a taste of this pie, it’s like missing a chance to taste a slice of heaven.  We sold out early last year and some folks were disappointed they weren’t able to get it.  This is a perfect gift for those last minute holiday invites we all get and you know you have to bring something.  Pete, who does not like pie?  Just imagine the compliments you’ll get when everybody digs into this delectable treat”.

Pete came in for a pound of coffee and you were able to understand the wants, needs and desires to offer time saving, money-saving and compliment-getting options.

Upselling can be extremely profitable for your business – however many owners feel they are the coffeehouse’s only knowledgeable or skilled salesperson and therefore limit their staff to a rudimentarily backup role. The time taken to train your employees in the art of the up sell will be rewarding for both them and ultimately the business.  A compensation program can be developed to reward staff that excels at bringing in more dollars into you business.   By training them well, you also provide yourself with added freedom.

Remember, upselling your products to a customer that is already purchasing your products will help maximize your revenues and profits. Keep your selling process personal and helpful. By making a small effort to understand why your customers buy and suggesting options that will benefit their lives your customers will appreciate the great service and the feeling of being special.

Take it a step further.

Take it a step further.

For ordering great tasting coffees visit

For money-making ideas visit, and get up-to-date information from Kaffe Magnum Opus sign-up at

Contact me directly at or 800/652-5282 and let me know of any topics you would like to see covered in the blog.