How many times have we heard that? How many jokes do we make about that particular question? Truth be told, they are doing something that we, as business people rarely do.
Common scenario: you happily buy something and once home, you find out that there is an accessory that goes with the particular product that would make the experience of having it more enjoyable, easier and ultimately, make the product more efficient to use. The question then becomes: ‘Why don’t I have that extra item?’ The answer is that the salesperson forgot about a little word that can add extra dollars to their business. That word is commonly referred to as the ‘upsell.’
Why it is important to use ‘upselling’, besides the obvious of the extra dollars? For starters, if you are missing an ‘extra’, the likelihood of going all the way back to the original store to purchase it is highly unlikely, especially if there is somewhere closer to purchase it. Therefore, not only have you lost the revenue that could have easily be achieved during the initial transaction, but now, a competitor has not only garnered that sale, but they have also managed to get your customer in their door which may further cause them to purchase other items while there.Another danger is that you may alienate the customer; especially if while attempting to use the product for their enjoyment they have to stop that experience and go buy that accessory. This inconvenience may have angered that customer to the point of them becoming an ex-customer.
Another danger is that you may alienate the customer; especially if while attempting to use the product for their enjoyment they have to stop that experience and go buy that accessory. This inconvenience may have angered that customer to the point of them becoming an ex-customer.
Opportunities for upselling are everywhere; all you have to do is look at all of your offerings. For example, I was working with a company that sold safety wear and supplies. I primarily worked with the floor clerks and noticed that when someone bought a rain suit they never asked the follow-up question that would naturally lead to an upsell: “Would you like to look at some rubber boots while you are here?” The customer may not have even thought about boots to go with the rain suit, but now that you have suggested it, they may. The end result was that the sale of rubber boots increased dramatically over the following months.
When I was selling supplies to the forest industry, we sold some very high-end axes. Whenever a customer ordered one, I would always follow-up with: “How are you set for axe files and a sheath to protect your blade?” You have no idea how many times I got: “I hadn’t thought of that.” There were a multiple array of outlets that would sell them a sheath and axe files. However, why would I want them to go to those when I could have the sale? In the end, a $50.00 axe sale became a $75.00 sale; a 50% increase in gross revenue. Upselling as you can see, is simply adding value to customers where opportunities exist to do so.
Those are two of a multitude of examples that I have; both from working with clients and showing them how to increase their gross revenue, as well as from my own experience. I am willing to wager that in your own case, there is a natural upsell for your product and services that you are not taking advantage of. If you don’t, someone else will sell your customer the fries. Are you going to let them?