Smart Work

The Smart Salesperson’s Guide to Upselling

Posted 26 January 2017 | BY Sansan

Once you’ve made a sale, the next job is to upsell – essentially, this means getting the customer to spend more money with your business. However, there’s a fine line between a sale that benefits the customer and one that makes the salesperson appear overbearing. Here are six tips you can use to upsell without pushing people away.

  1. Make a fantastic first sale

Often, in their eagerness to make a sale, salespeople rush through the sales process. A customer who truly needs a product or service might buy it even if they’re not impressed with your sales pitch. However, a negative experience will discourage that customer from considering any further recommendations you might make.

On the other hand, if a customer buys a product they need and which they also consider great value due to your sales pitch, they will be more inclined to buy an additional product (whether they need it or not), purely due to their faith in you.

  1. Make sure the upsell is relevant

After you’ve succeeded in making a good first impression, concentrate on the value of the upsell to the customer. Since an upsell may be for something the customer hadn’t intended to buy, it’s even more necessary to make it relevant – give the customer a reason to make that extra purchase.

For instance, take software and extended security – they’re just like burgers and fries. In both cases, the first item is directly related to the second. It’s not difficult for you (or the customer) to make a link from the original purchase to the upsell when the second product is complementary or adds value.

  1. Let the customer discover the need for the upsell

One of the keys to successfully upselling without appearing pushy is to put the customer in the driver’s seat. The design for discovery process, as Joel York calls it, allows the customer to discover the value of the product you’re trying to upsell, just as they find they have a need for it.

For instance, if a laptop with a typical shelf life of five years comes with a one-year warranty, the customer might not agree to buy an extended warranty immediately. However, if the option is available at the 11-month mark, they might decide to buy the extended warranty at that point. By then, they would see that the laptop will last far longer than one year, and realise it’s more economical to buy a warranty than to pay for any future repairs.

  1. Know when to pull the pitch back a notch

Salespeople can make the mistake of simply trying to badger a customer into a purchase. This is when many sales are lost, even primary ones. In order to avoid this costly mistake, a good salesperson should know when to pause their sales pitch.

After making the initial case for why a customer should buy the add-on, give them time to decide on their own whether or not this is a good idea. This might seem counterintuitive, but it’s not. If you’ve done a good enough job of making the pitch, more often than not, you will make the sale. And if you don’t, then perhaps the customer really doesn’t have a need for the item at that point.

  1. Sell something that solves a problem

Say a customer buys a burger to satisfy their hunger. When they eat it, they feel thirsty – and that’s where a discerning salesperson sees the opportunity to sell a soft drink. This ability to anticipate a customer’s needs before they are evident makes the entire process of upselling extremely natural and smooth. The customer is happy that each of their problems have been taken care of, and you’ve succeeded in making a few more dollars, often for very little extra effort.

  1. Eliminate risk

Buyers enter any marketplace with a certain sense of apprehension. They’re worried about the risks – of buying the wrong thing, of being overcharged, of being sold a faulty product, and so on. The greater the price of the product, the more likely it is that a customer will be reluctant to part with their hard-earned cash.

When someone is nervous from the outset, upselling is tougher. Therefore, it’s essential that you’re able to remove all doubts from the customer’s mind. When you can add an extended warranty, discount or money-back guarantee to an upsell, you’ll give the customer more confidence about making the purchase.

With the right approach, the purchase cycle is continuous. These simple and practical tips will help you to upsell to your customers while making the sales process a positive experience for them.