The tempting beast that is upselling – a sales technique used to lure customers into purchasing a more expensive item or an upgrade – has been around for eons. In fact, there are whole businesses created around the concept.
Fast food restaurants are notorious for offering a larger sized item for a nominal fee. A national shoe store chain offers buy-one-get-one deals frequently in hopes its shoppers will purchase more shoes. Cable companies are well known for offering their customers amazing deals on premium movie network or sports packages; the idea is the customer will get hooked to the new channels and continue to pay for them when the offer is over.
Obviously, the upsell technique can be remarkably effective; it can be a value add for your customers when used correctly. The quandary is that many companies abuse upselling by using it too frequently or being overly aggressive.
If you want to incorporate upselling into your business model, it would do you some good to learn what could possibly make you or your sales team come across as a greedy vampires out for blood. Here are some things to avoid when offering an upsell.
Biting the Hand Before It Feeds You
Customers want time to come to a conclusion when making a purchase, particularly when that product is costly. Want to make your customer throw wooden stakes and rings of garlic at you? Offer a more expensive item before they even decide to buy the one they’re considering. This makes you look immensely greedy and as if you know more about what your customer needs than they do.
The Solution: Wait until your customer has decided to purchase a certain item before you try to offer an alternative. Also, make sure the product is aligned with the item they had already chosen and has added value.
Not First Considering How Rich the Customer’s Blood Might Be
Not all customers are millionaires. In fact, most won’t be. If this is the case, why would you offer an upgrade to a customer without knowing their budget? A customer looking to spend $100 dollars is very unlikely to spend $1000 dollars. Ready to be set ablaze by the light of day? Offering an upgrade or product that is above a customer’s budget will send your customer packing.
The Solution: Talk with the customer to get a better understanding of what they are looking to spend. Someone who is willing to spend $100 dollars might have some wiggle room for the perfect product.
Showing Your Fangs Too Soon
Overly aggressive sales is such a turn-off. Regardless of whether a customer knows what they want or not, no one wants to be bullied into a purchase of any kind. Bring your fangs out too soon and the customer will give you a nice dose of holy water right to your face, never to return again.
The Solution: Utilize your intuition and rationale to determine if your customer would even be interested in an upgrade. No means no; it doesn’t mean yes or even maybe they will be interested later. Empathize with their reasoning, Dracula. After all, you were human once, too.
Upselling can be an outstanding way for businesses to generate additional revenue, but can make you look like a blood sucking vampire if done improperly. Pay attention to your customers’ needs to help them determine what is right for them. Ensuring your upselling is less aggressive and more organic will give you happier customers, and you’ll rest a little easier at night…in your coffin.
Do you use the upsell technique as part of your business model? Tell us about it in the comments!