On paper, upselling is extremely simple. It almost seems like a third grade math problem: “If Janie wants six apples and Johnny has seven apples, can Johnny can give Janie a great deal on higher-quality apples for a little bit more?” Piece of fuckin’ cake, right?
However, upselling is an art that must be fine-tuned until you’ve got it down. If you upsell correctly, it’s mutually beneficial. If you do it incorrectly, the four horsemen of sales apocalypse rain their terror upon you. Or you lose out on the sale. Either way.
Don’t Listen To The Rumors
Upselling is something that has a lot of rumors going around about it. The tabloids are always saying upselling ‘puts too much pressure on the client’ or ‘may cost you the sale entirely’. Well, as with everything else, why are you listening to that tabloid bullshit?! If handled with care, upselling is a low-pressure venture that serves both parties.
Avoid The Usual Mistakes
Have you ever been browsing around for a new computer, minding your own goddamn business, when you are suddenly attacked by a pack of wild salesmen foaming at their mouths like rabid fucking dogs? And not with a simple ‘is there anything I can help you with today?’ I’m talking about a full-fledged barrage of complex numbers, superior models, and shiny new features that only leave you confused, frustrated, and computer-less?
This is one of the most frequent missteps of upselling. You must make sure you know what the client needs before you start pitching all the new bells and whistles (especially if what you’re selling can have actual bells and whistles added on). Find out if what you have to offer will actually be beneficial to the customer by asking an intelligent, thought-provoking question for once in your life. That way it doesn’t seem like you’re simply trying to get your ‘bell-and-whistle’ commision.
Other Great Shit You’ll Dig: Sales Attitude: 10 Traits Of A Top Closer
When Is It Time?
Now that you know everything you definitely shouldn’t do, here’s one wisdom-packed mantra to follow: calm it down. Wait until you’re on the same page as the customer, knowing all their needs and wants. And, most importantly, make sure you’ve already got the sale locked down. Because you have proved to be reliable by the point of sale, the customer trusts you to help them improve their planned purchase. Just keep in mind my life-changing, extremely philosophical mantra; caaalm. iiiit. the fuuuuck. doooown.
The Bottom Line
Upselling is ready for a PR do-over. Like a young Robert Downey Jr, upselling used to be thought of as untrustworthy and controversial. Now it’s time to turn upselling into modern-day Robert Downey Jr: mature, trustworthy, and heroic (when he’s Iron Man that is).
Just keep in mind everything we’ve learned today: don’t believe the stigma of upselling, avoid the proven mistakes, and follow the proven rules. You’ll become a better salesperson, improve your commission, and keep that sales apocalypse at bay.
When in doubt, keep it simple and learn from the MF upsell king – McDonalds. “Would you like fries with that?”