Part 2: Increase Sales Size With These 10 Upselling Tips

In our last post, we tackled the topic of upselling—both why you should do it, and five tips for doing it better. Now, we’ll tackle the remaining five posts, all with the goal of giving you the information you need to make the upsell part of your everyday sales process.

Tip 6: Justify your recommendations
So, you have done your research and determined your customer can benefit from adding additional items to their purchase. Yet you can still trip up and lose the sale if you’re not careful. Just as with the original sale, customers will have objections to upsells too. Handle customer objections in a positive way and demonstrate that others agree with your suggestions. This is where testimonials, expert reviews, user ratings or popular social media content come into play. You want the customer to feel confident that you’re suggesting the add-ons for their benefit, not your bottom line.

In addition, you’ll be better able to make recommendations that matter when you’re done your homework. To do so, review a variety of products and establish what fits the customer’s needs and at what point in the sale to offer pre-selected options.

Tip 7: Offer bundles
Bundling is one easy way to upsell without seeming to. Bundling gives the perception of added value by showing that products are valuable alone and provide great value together. In fact, you can easily crunch the numbers to demonstrate that a bundle saves the client money.

If your company offers separate products, brainstorm what would sell well together. Integrated offerings allow customers to get everything they want with the minimum of hassle. On the flipside, it is a win for sellers, too, by increasing the value per sale and reducing marketing costs.

Tip 8: Put some skin in the game
Sales managers can motivate sales reps to pursue upselling by rethinking how you’re compensating. For example, Greg Alexander, the CEO of Sales Benchmark Index, says that the percentage of his company’s revenue that came from existing customers jumped from 20% to a whopping 80% in two years, according to an article on He achieved this remarkable gain by using performance-based contracts and compensating his team based on the results they delivered for customers.

“The ‘skin in the game’ technique resulted in our firm doubling revenue,” said Alexander. Now that’s upselling!

Tip 9: Ask for referrals
“How is a referral an upsell?” you’re probably asking yourself. It’s like an indirect upsell, meaning a way to generate more revenue from one customer—just not that particular customer. When you ask for referrals, you get a warm lead to start from, putting you closer to a sale from the start.

Tip 10: Close the upsell
As we said in tip 1 in the previous post, you must plan to upsell, not leave it to chance. It must be part of your sales process. And that includes the close. Just because you closed the original deal with a customer (or you’re about to at least) does not mean you’ll automatically close the upsell deal. That one takes work too.

When you’re working on closing the upsell, treat it like any other kind of close. Avoid sounding automated. The upsell should come naturally and flow into your regular selling process. Create a natural, conversational bridge to the offer. Reiterate the benefits…all that good stuff you do at closing.

Closing the upsell should not be difficult, not if you’ve related it to the current purchase and somehow pre-validated it. All along your goal has been to know the customer’s needs well enough to bring extra value to the sale. Now is when you show what you know.

Finally, remember why you’re upselling
Although your motives as a sales rep will always be to increase sales and order sizes, remember to consider the customer experience as well. Your goal is to offer add-ons that truly add value to the customer’s existing purchase. Offering customers random products won’t go over well and may leave customers more confused—and less likely to return.

Following the 10 tips in this post and the previous one will set you on the right track to increase your revenues by selling more to the same customers and simultaneously providing a better overall experience.

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