In the world of dating, a successful “pickup line” can make or break any chance of getting to strike up a conversation with someone you would like to meet. Below are a few examples of what some people thought were great "pickup lines."

“I'm not a photographer, but I can picture me and you together.”

“Can I have directions?” “To where?” “To your heart.”

“I thought happiness started with an H. Why does mine start with U?”

“Is there an airport nearby or is that just my heart taking off?”

“You're so beautiful that you made me forget my pickup line.”

You are probably wondering why I am addressing dating “pickup lines” in a business article. With profit margins being attacked from all angles, it is important for businesses today to do everything they can to take advantage of every consumer buying encounter. Probably one of the most famous business pickup lines, which added instant profits to their bottom line, was by the fast-food chain McDonald’s: “Would you like fries with that?” I have read where some experts have stated that McDonald’s added an additional $20 million in profits just by asking that one simple question.

Is your company leaving potential profits on the table, just waiting to be scooped up, if only your employees were trained in asking an additional, simple, not pushy question … that could possibly entice your customer to spend more money? I believe there are thousands of companies today doing just that. It is your job to exploit every sales channel to its fullest potential; but you need to do so by thinking like your customers. How would they like to be served better? What else could they possibly need, that they may have forgotten? Sometimes just planting the seed (suggestion) can lead to additional sales.

What else do your customers need? How can you best serve them? As long as your “pickup line” doesn’t alienate customers, you should take advantage of the current selling transaction; the “pickup line” technique can add a considerable amount to your bottom line. I fly a lot, and in every Hudson Newsstand in the airports, they ask me if I want water, candy or gum when I am buying anything in there; they do it EVERY time. Southwest Airlines upsells better seating on planes so customers can get early boarding and be assured of overhead space for their bags. Waiters can ask if you want an appetizer, salad or bread with your meal and then after your meal ask if you want another dessert, coffee or glass of wine.

The retail marketing giant Amazon says the cross-selling suggestions on its website account for 35% of its sales; they fully take advantage of every opportunity they can to sell more merchandise … DO YOU? If you want to add additional profits to your bottom line, start perfecting your “pickup lines.”