Part 1: Increase Sales Size with 10 Upselling Tricks

Upselling—the technique of increasing the size of a sale by convincing the buyer to choose a more expensive option or additional items. On the surface, it seems like upselling is something every sales person would want to pursue. After all, you already have the customer, right? It’s simply a matter of taking them one step farther down the sales path.

Yet it’s often over-looked or at least under-practiced. Why? I suspect upselling is sometimes avoided for fear of losing the sale. A sales rep might think they are pushing too hard and will lose the whole sale as a result. Why risk the sure thing for a gamble on more?, is the mindset.

However, this shouldn’t be the case—or the fear. When upselling is truly done in the best interests of the buyers, it’s a win-win situation for seller and buyer both. And by correctly explaining the benefit of the product being upsold, your organization can come across as more knowledgeable and helpful.

If the item being sold is truly valuable then–by maximizing its utility to customers–you are ensuring customers receive maximum potential value and you’re showing them that you care about their experience…and end result. Most importantly, getting more business from clients you already have is one of the best ways to maximize ROI and can even make clients happier. Retaining existing clients is also less expensive than acquiring new clients.

Convinced? Did I upsell you on the idea of upselling? Great! Below are five tips to help you get started. I actually have 10. I’m saving five for the next blog post so let’s tackle these five first…

Tip 1: Attempt to upsell
Asking for the sale should be the first close technique. Once a client is ready to purchase, it is just as crucial to make the attempt to upsell. According to research from Predictive Intent, upselling performs 20 times better than cross selling.

When you attempt to upsell, keep in mind that customers do not necessarily know all your product offerings or even think of making additions to the current purchase. You’re providing a service by educating them about these other options.

And whatever you do, don’t leave upselling to chance, meaning you’ll do it if the opportunity arises. Plan to attempt an upsell at some point in the sale cycle. The role of upselling is best understood within the context of how your sales process or funnel is designed. Make it part of that process, and build it into the script on a call, or the checkout process online.

Tip 2: Be knowledgeable and target upsell attempts appropriately
Customers won’t see how an add-on provides much values if the upsell attempt is automatic and has little to no description or clear benefit. So educate yourself. Before attempting an upsell, become knowledgeable about the product or service, and be prepared to answer relevant customer questions satisfactorily.

Tip 3: Sell the “sizzle”
Sellers take many factors into consideration during the initial sale: buyer fit, feature-benefit discussions and closing efforts among them. This should extend to the upsell, also. Do you know how it fits a need, the features and benefits, and a compelling reason why this buyer should spend this additional money? If you don’t have the sizzle to sell, learn it first.

Create a plan to upsell by tying sensory perception and feelings into the features and benefits conversation. Sell the “sizzle.” The sizzle is particularly important at this point, because upsells must be low pressure to avoid losing the sale all together. To execute this kind of emotionally charged selling successfully, sales people must have the ability to be so descriptive that a customer can’t resist.

Tip 4: Take their time
An upsell is hard to achieve under pressure. So slow down and don’t interrupt the customer when they are searching for a particular item. Take your time (guided by their pace) and show empathy, not pressure. Demonstrate that you understand the pain point that brought the customer to your company and you are there to be an advocate for the best solution for them, even if that’s going to take longer than you’d like.

Think lifetime value, not transactional value. According to Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5 to 20%. Take the time to nurture the upsell with the existing customer.

Tip 5: Actively recommend
That said, don’t be shy about recommending items of value. Take a cue from Amazon’s “you might also like” and provide relevant additional suggestions, which can lead to an upsell or a cross sell. And according to one Forrester research analyst, product recommendations like upsells and cross sells are responsible for an average of 10 to 30% of ecommerce revenues. While upselling and cross selling are similar, remember they aren’t the same thing. When recommending items, make sure you using the right technique for the specific prospect or customer you’re dealing with.

This recommendation tactic is especially useful if you have a large inventory or offer complicated services. Recommendations can help customers discover new offerings that they might not discover on their own.

All that said, don’t overdo it. Keep your recommendations to a few products. Too many choices can lead to no sale at all.

In part 2, we’ll discuss the other five ways of achieving the upsell, including the close. Stay tuned…

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