Some business owners struggle to sell, let alone upsell. The upsell doesn’t have to be a ‘hard sell’. It also doesn’t need to be difficult. Did you know, that in a service-based business, once you do business with someone, all you have to do is ask? Offer an upsell and 50% (yes 50%) of your customers will say yes!
So here are some tips on how to upsell successfully and correctly
Always offer the upsell
In retail, you should always offer the upsell. Always. Online is lovely and easy because you just give people those 3 or so choices towards the bottom of the page but before they pay. Make it a practice to always offer the upsell.
If you’re in a service-based business, you can offer the upsell, or you can be subtle about it. Including your other services on your invoice is one example.
Get your timing right
In my view as an experienced business coach, timing is everything. When you are selling online, then the time is when someone is in their cart. Great offers are “we thought you might like this” showing three excellent, relevant and popular products will work well. Offer 3 great choices. I know some online stores do the upsell via an email after the sale. I’m done, I’ve paid my money and paid my postage. It’s too late unless you have some exception offer to ‘tease’ me back. So in online (and traditional) retail, you really want to action at the time of handing over payment. McDonald’s do it at the register “would you like fries with that?”.
However, if you are a service business, then don’t rush the process. There does not need to be any sense of urgency or panic. In fact, really avoid that panic like way about your dealings and selling. Desperation has a ‘smell’ about it that tells me to steer clear. Let’s say you’re a painter and were asked to come in and paint the back bedroom. You notice the entry really could do with a fresh coat of paint. Don’t jump in too quickly. Build the relationship, and at the very least wait till you’re leaving from your measure and quote and offer to include the front entry as a second line item in your quote. It wouldn’t even hurt to wait until you’ve done the back room (and shown what a great job you can do) to offer that quote on the front area. Don’t be pushy about it – make it sound helpful. People appreciate helpful, informational and great advice; as long as the upsell is relevant, genuine and beneficial to the buyer.
Choose the right upsell
For retail this can be harder, but certainly should be relevant. What is common to be purchased with what the person is buying? You will know from order history what is common and relevant to the main purchase. Also, consider the value. Remember the rule of threes. Often if you offer three price options, people will choose the middle one. This is also known as ‘price anchoring’. So your upsell might be a few dollars less, about the same and a few dollars more.
For the service-based business, you won’t need to have three options; just offer the best option. A great example is a car washer. Once every couple of washes it makes sense to offer a polish. You won’t do it all the time, but if you don’t do it every so often, sometimes people forget.
Show the value of the upsell
The ‘upsell’ might in fact be a higher level package. If that is the case, be super clear about the features you’ll receive in the upsell package level. An example is :
Don’t be pushy
Being consistent and having the offer there is one thing, but being downright pushy is another. One particular website I know where you buy domain names is a great example of pushy. You can’t pay for your purchase until you remove the other services, such as hosting, out of the cart to proceed. In fact, they make it hard to remove the items and I personally find it very annoying. Remember, in sales you are meant to be helpful, not annoying.
Offer free postage
It might be a case of buying a certain number of items to earn free postage. Or perhaps it’s a case of buying another item for free postage or “spend $14 more and get free postage”. I would very likely spend $14 more to not ‘waste’ $10 on postage. Now chances are, my spend will be more than $14 … but you have upsold me and I’m happy with my decision.
Social proof is excellent and shows that others have found the service or product to be valuable. Some sites will show you what others who purchased this item also purchased, or what they thought of the product and particularly where there are high ratings. Other sites show how many people are watching an item or show stock levels “there are only 3 left” certainly gives one a sense of urgency. Just be sure to not overdo it! What you might also want to avoid is “D Stone of Capalaba just purchased this item”. I am thinking, gosh if that showed up, where is my privacy? It can be a deterrent for a customer who has an uncommon name and wants a little anonymity.
Emailing still is effective, including after a purchase. You may wish to offer a sweet special deal afterwards, where someone has a limited time to add something to their order. However, as I said before, it’s preferable for the upsell to occur at the time. But if they didn’t opt for the upsell then, afterwards might be an option. Sometimes we are rushed at time of purchase, or start thinking about the other coloured item … and well, if you don’t ask, you won’t receive.
How do you do this?
Talk to your website designer on how to action some of these online options. One great little tool is OptinMonster which has quite a few cool features. Check out: https://optinmonster.com/700-power-words-that-will-boost-your-conversions/.
Don’t forget also when you talk to your IT/Web person to talk about the tracking of your leads. Bits of code can be added to your website so that if your enquiry was inspired by say Facebook or Instagram, you can see this from the snippets of code which tell you where the lead was generated. Technology these days has so many very cool features and functions that it’s purely a matter of asking. You can also email market people who have abandoned their shopping cart in order to remind them (nicely) to return.
There are many options for online sales but if you are a more traditional service-based business, don’t forget good old fashioned asking for the upsell. If you need any assistance with your marketing plans, sales process or general business coaching in Australia – just give me a call on 0411 622 666. I’m here to help.