Selling Skills

10 Principles of Successful Upselling

It was a good thing I was in an airplane as I listened to the audio recordings of a client’s “mystery” shop calls yesterday. Had I been anyplace else, and I would have been screaming like a wild woman but didn’t want to frighten my fellow travelers.

How can you upsell when you don’t even ask if they would like something else to enhance their event? When a customer clearly, plainly, provocatively says, “Well, we’d like something nicer than the standard lunch in the meeting room, maybe, your restaurant or something…” and you ignore that completely, you have stolen from your client, your company, and yourself. Arghhhhhh!

Forgive my rant.

Here are 10 principles to ensure successful upwelling.

1. Never upsell. (Yes, you read that right.) Always upserve. Listen for how you can help the customer create greater success, offer ideas for enhanced happiness, plant seeds for a more productive, more enjoyable outcome.

2. Become your customer. If you were holding this event, buying this product, considering this service, what would make it more meaningful to you? Wouldn’t you want to be offered the opportunity to purchase it? Even if it wasn’t in your budget, would you maybe think of ways to still purchase the add-on?

3.Love your customer. The more you truly care about his/her success, the more they feel that you have their best interest at heart, the more they’ll trust you and take your advice.

4. Create desire. Don’t just provide information, provide inspiration for the additional ideas you’re suggesting. Listing a bunch of things that can help me succeed won’t turn me on as much as helping me to envision the outcome of those things.

5. Help me with pricing. Notice this doesn’t say “discount” pricing. Instead, package the products/services that will help me to achieve my goals in an appealing manner. Offer me one product at X, another at Y and the package at less than X + Y. This makes it easier to sell your courtesy pricing to my other stakeholders.

6.Listen. Don’t be so eager to get all your information to the buyer that you don’t take the time to listen to what they’re saying. The shop call I heard was appalling because the sales person only wanted to get through her list of qualifying questions instead of listening to the buyer. It is never a checklist. (Please read that again.) To upserve, it must be a conversation where you, the salesperson, listen and love your customer.

7.Get creative. Your buyer asks you for A and it’s not possible (for whatever reason). But you have B, C, D. How can you solution sell so that you never have to say “No”?

8.Affirm your buyer. When they select an option, help them to feel safe and smart. And then make sure they have everything they need to be safe and smart. If I tell you that I have X to spend per person for dinner and you know that will not create what I’m looking for, what can you authentically say that helps me feel comfortable?

9.Follow-up. The gold is in the follow-up. Send me a “story” showing how others have used the products/services you’re recommending. One photo might be helpful, but try sending a photo story.

10. See #1. It’s critical to your and your client’s success.

What else do you do to upserve? What suggestions do you have to help others provide the best service to you? Please share your ideas and comments here.