No matter how successful your business, you probably aren’t making the money you could be. Businesses can always find more opportunities for extra services, extra products, and more sales. Too much effort is often placed on bringing in new customers for old products. This is an important part of marketing, but another tactic easily becomes ignored: creating and encouraging more for your existing buyers. Upselling and cross-selling can bring in profits that you have been forfeiting all along.
If you provide a basic service or product, brainstorm what little extras your customers might appreciate—and even pay for. Think of your current product as a basic car with roll-up windows and manual locks. Many customers will want more than this—if they know what is available. Give them the option of a sun roof, keyless entry, or an alarm system. Don’t be shy about suggesting these useful add-ons the next time a loyal buyer places an order. As long as you don’t come across as too pushy, the client will probably appreciate your helpful suggestions. Remember that adding services to products such as maintenance, or anything complimentary, can be very profitable. Even if you do not provide the service yourself, this may present an opportunity to partner with a service provider and broker their product.
You will recognize this tactic from visiting a fast food restaurant. You order fries, and the cashier asks you if you’d like to make it a large. Apply this method to your own company. Many businesses create levels of service they can offer—from basic to advanced. When clients order a basic package, ask if they’d like to upgrade and explain the benefits of doing so. Normally this is accomplished by providing a better price per unit or volume when a customer agrees to spend more. While restructuring pricing like this provides the consumer incentive remember that it is unnecessary if you have a rare or desirable product.
If someone is buying a winter coat, she probably needs some earmuffs, also. Keep this in mind when selling a product. Guide your customer through the browsing experience by suggesting further purchases that complement what’s already in the shopping cart. Online businesses can replicate this method by creating an automated list of “other items you might be interested in” underneath each product or service. You may also want to put together packages of your products to show customers how well your products work together.
Rules of Etiquette
You don’t need to fear irritating your buyers if you set some boundaries for your suggestive selling. Only make one suggestion per visit. If you try to upsell, don’t attempt cross-selling in the same transaction. Watch your tone to keep from sounding too advertorial. Instead, come across like a friend who is offering some expert advice and guidance. After all, sales people need to establish friendly relationships that last, as opposed to focusing on closing singe sales.
Being on the lookout to increase sales should be a daily habit for every marketer. So should being on the lookout for new and innovative ways to improve yourself as a professional.
Would You Like Cheese with That (Marketing Crossing)
Super Size Your Sales Through Up-selling and Cross Selling (Marketing Lounge)
Upselling is Both an Art and a Mind Game (Pizza Marketplace)