We’ve all dreaded that moment when you put down the phone to a customer and your boss comes over, with a hopeful look in her eye, only to utter the words, “Did you upsell?” It’s something that is easy to forget and often a bit tricky, as you don’t want to disrupt the great relationship you have with that customer.
For those that haven’t heard the term, ‘upselling’ essentially means convincing a customer or prospect to spend more money with you than they had originally budgeted. One usually upsells by adding an extra service or product to your prospect’s purchase. So, for those lacking in confidence in this particular area, here’s what works for me...
1. Honesty is the best policy
You shouldn’t have to tell any porkies to get buy-in from a prospect or further investment from a current customer. Being honest and reliable through the whole process means the relationship is built on trust. This works both ways – you can’t expect a client to be honest with you if you’re not with them. Sometimes a solution won’t work for your prospect, even if it costs more money and you’ll get a nice commission cheque.
When it comes to any kind of sales, but particularly with upselling, integrity is more important than a sale and it will pay off in the long run when they recommend you to their peers.
2. You have two ears and one mouth. Use them in that ratio
I’m sure you’re bored of the phrase ‘active listening’ by now but its importance can’t be overstated! To fully understand your customer’s needs, it’s essential to listen to their business needs as well as the needs of that individual. Yes, your customer might want to buy your services to speed up processes and make things run more efficiently, but the actual person that you’re dealing with might have a fascinating new project that they’re working on and your service could really make them famous in their business. For example, there might be features of your offering that they don’t know about which accelerates their project from business as usual to business boom times! It might even help get them that promotion they’ve been after.
If you understand your customers’ needs, then it won’t feel like you’re using any special upselling techniques. You’ll be working collaboratively to get them where they need to be.
3. Know your stuff
A lot of people may come to you thinking they already know what they need and a lot of the time, they do! But as long as you have in-depth knowledge of what you’re selling (which I should hope you do) then you can take a consultative approach and make suggestions on what might work better for them. You should be able to advise your prospects on what you think they need, and upsell using anecdotes of what’s worked for people in a similar position. Ideally, you’ll be able to provide case studies too.
In today’s marketplace, the power is with the buyer. They can do a ton of research online about your product or service before they even pick up the phone to speak to you. So, make sure that your knowledge is more valuable than what your potential customers could find online.
4. Provide social proof
Most consumers have access to the internet today, therefore they’re going to want to know that what you’re selling actually works. Make sure you have plenty of reviews on Google to build those trust indicators and allow your prospects access to client testimonials. If you’re trying to convince somebody to spend more of their budget, give them the proof that they need in order to get sign off from their boss. If they don’t believe they’re going to get the right return on investment, they’re not going to buy. And who can blame them?
5. Processed for the mostest
I’ve saved the least glamorous upselling technique until last, but what it lacks in glamour it makes up for in reliability. Having a plan doesn’t necessarily mean having playbooks for every possible scenario or making new employees adhere to a strict script – the most successful sales pros are creative, dynamic problem solvers but even the cream of the crop bring home more bacon when they’re provided with a simple framework... An immediate quick win is to put a process in place for getting in touch with existing customers, maybe once per quarter, to make sure they’re happy with their current service. This way, if they’re happy, awesome – you’re doing a cracking job. However, if there is something that could be improved, you have a great opportunity to upsell AND you’re ticking all your customer service boxes.
What tactics do you use to upsell to your prospects and customers? Add me on LinkedIn and let me know - I’d love to swap tips!