Your business has a basic package of services or products. These bring people into the door. You’re grateful for them, of course, but you also know that your ability to upsell your products and services counts as one of the simplest ways to add to your bottom line. Generally speaking, your current clients are good bets for an upsell. They already know that they benefit from your work. The question then becomes how much more of your products and services do they want or need? They’re smart after all. And no one likes to feel like they’ve been sold.
If you’re grappling with this dilemma, here’s a brief look at how to upsell to your clients and make them happy that you’re doing it.
Change Your Mindset
Upselling 101 starts with a change in your mindset. Many people think, “I don’t want to push something on people that they don’t want.” Understandable, especially with new clients. You may not know them well enough to really understand what they need from you. However, a common sense approach to the sales process will reveal how and where an upsell might not only be completely appropriate, but appreciated.
An article on the website Groove gives a good example. Say you’re checking into a hotel with your spouse. As you check in the desk clerk tells you that the hotel is running a special for breakfast. Normally, it’d cost you $49.00 for the breakfast for two, but you and your spouse can get it for $29.00. Just add it to the price of your room.
You’ll eat breakfast anyway. Wouldn’t you like to get it cheaper? Or at least know about it? Here’s the thing. It’s not so much that you need specialized negotiation training to get the upsell right. It’s more a matter of knowing why people would want it or need it in the first place.
Is It An Upsell or a Cross-sell?
Some marketing experts don’t make a distinction between the upsell and the cross-sell. However, if the thought of suggesting an upsell to your current client base still makes you nervous, knowing the definition of these two words can help you make more money, without you feeling like you’re pushing something on your client and he or she doesn’t need.
A true upsell is an item that has the same basic features as the original item your client wanted to purchase, but also has a few extra features that make it more expensive. It’s the difference between the price of a 27-inch TV and a 32-inch TV plus warranty. Your customer would still get the TV, but not the one with the bigger screen and the warranty that comes with the pricier TV.
A cross-sell, on the other hand, is that same 27-inch TV that doesn’t normally come with it like a video-game console. While it could be argued that the person doesn’t need either the upsell or the cross-sell in this case, it can also be argued that said person doesn’t actually even need the TV.
So here’s the point. Most of the time you don’t if it’s a one-off sale or even if the person actually needs what he or she is buying. And thankfully, it’s not really up to you to know that and decide that for them anyway. Therefore, asking anyway could help your bottom line and could help connect them with something they do need.
What To Do With Your Current Clientele
If people are already giving you their money of their own free volition, chances are good that they know there’s a financial aspect to your relationship. And if that person has been a long-time client – for years, let’s say – you can probably bet on him or her remaining your client. That person feels comfortable giving you money.
And statistically speaking, these people are a better bet for future sales. Your chance of selling something to a new customer is between 5% and 20%. Your chance of selling something to an existing customer is between 60% and 70%, according to Groove.
Here’s how you can work with this. Imagine that you have a line of products that you know this customer loves. When an upgrade to the product is about to come out, drop your client a note about it. You’ll probably get a sale for the upgrade. Don’t believe it? Think about how many people bought the iPhone 4 when they had a perfectly good iPhone 3 that still worked (and all the subsequent models after that). Substitute whatever products people feel passionate about and you get the picture.
The real key for getting your customer to buy the upsell comes from understanding what your customer needs in the first place. That comes from chatting with your customer and from multiple conversations. Then highlight for your client why this particular product or service would legitimately benefit them. That’s the advice that Chron gives about it.
But the process doesn’t have to feel difficult. An upsell or a cross-sell can come at checkout. The Software Advice website advises that the upsell or cross-sell be relevant. If someone comes looking for a computer for their child, don’t sell them business software in other words.
Your customers are smart. They know when you’re trying to sell them something extra. Knowing that is actually the key to being successful with an upsell. Instead of suggesting products or services that don’t matter one iota to them, suggest something that might actually benefit them based upon conversations that you’ve had in the past. “Benefit” counts as the keyword here. Anything you sell to your clients should benefit them in some way. Stick to that rule, and your upselling efforts should be successful in the long run.