How can you quickly boost your profits with little to no effort or costs? Well, consider McDonald’s success with their “supersize” options. By simply adding six words to each order (Would you like to supersize that?), McDonald’s convinced millions of customers to spend an extra $0.60 for an extra large drink and French fry. Adding this question to each order did not take any extra amount of time or money and in turn, increased the fast food restaurant’s profit. Competitors quickly followed, creating their own “supersize” options.
So, how can you “supersize” your customer’s orders? Well, up-selling is a quick & easy way to increase profit, while still offering your customers an additional product or service that they will find beneficial. While cross-selling is simply offering your customers a related product, up-selling is actually selling the customer more than they originally intended to purchase.
Some common examples of up-selling include:
- introduction to a more expensive product or service
- introduction to a more expensive brand that the customer wasn’t even aware of
- offering extended warranties
- suggesting a premium brand when the customer is not specific
- selling luxury options on a new vehicle purchase
- supersizing a meal at a fast food restaurant
- offering a dessert or alcoholic drink at a restaurant
Nearly every cashier or employee in a retail business is instructed to up-sell products. However, how can they do so without coming across as pushy or simply money greedy?
Know All of Your Products & Services
Well, the first step to up-selling is to know all of your products or services. If you have just a basic knowledge of every product or service, you will be aware of how they work and how they can be combined. A more thorough knowledge will be appreciated by customers who value your expertise. Customers need to know why they should purchase the product you are suggesting. If you do not understand it yourself, how can you sell it?
Take the Time to Listen to & Observe Customers
Next, take the time to listen and pay attention to your customers. If a customer has picked up the same product three times and keeps putting it back, take a few minutes to explain the product’s benefits. Also, listen to the customer’s needs. Don’t just stand there and nod. If you have a suggestion, take the time to show it.
If a customer shows an interest in one particular item, consider things that are similar. For example, if the customer likes heavy metal music and is purchasing one CD, consider letting them listen to a sample of a new heavy metal CD that is being released.
Accessorize the products that the customer is purchasing. If they are purchasing a new computer, suggest additional RAM space or an external hard drive. They may even need an extended warranty.
When up-selling, be as specific as possible. Rather than asking the customer if they would like a glass of soda with their sandwich, ask if they would like an ice cold glass of old fashioned root beer. Chances are they hadn’t considered that and it suddenly sounds appealing.
Incentives are often a crucial aspect of up-selling. If you are able to offer free shipping or a BOGO price, sweeten the up-selling deal by specifically offering that to the customer. Give them a great reason to purchase more.
Remember that the customer has already made the decision to purchase one item. The hard part is over. In many cases, they can be easily persuaded to purchase additional items. Although it may not seem significant, if you can get 100,000 customers to purchase an additional $5 item, you will increase sales by $500,000 with no additional effort.
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of closing a sale, whether you up-sold or not is to reassure the customer. You can simply assure them that they have made a good choice and will not be disappointed. This can help avoid returned merchandise from customers with buyer’s guilt. It can also help you form a bond with a customer and increase customer loyalty.
Up-selling is a great method of increasing sales without having to put in any additional effort or money. However, make sure that you always have the customer’s best interests in mind. If you come across as too pushy, the customer will lose their trust and go elsewhere. Most customers will appreciate up-selling as long as it is relevant to their needs and purchases.