The up sell has a bad reputation. In consumer eyes, it’s the equivalent of asking “do you want fries with that?” – an unhealthy way to pull more money from the pockets of an already pinched purchaser. So how does the modern business go about helping its fans to buy additional services without scaring them away?
Make your add-ons beneficial
If you make sure your add-ons bring a genuinely enhanced value to the service or product you are offering, there’s a much better chance that your purchaser will risk the extra money on the items or service packages you ask them to take. Good examples of beneficial add-ons include protective cases or memory expansion kits for technological devices such as phones, digital cameras and hand held gaming consoles.
Follow through on your promises
Selling add-ons that don’t do anything is a sure-fire way to take a big hit in the popularity stakes. Companies who push their customers to take insurance on electrical products, for example, must follow through on the promises made by the insurer if they are to retain custom on future sales. Upselling something that doesn’t do what was promised might make an extra ten pounds a month now, but can lose multiple expenditures down the line.
Link up sell products and services to savings
Up selling through additional offers – for example, by offering an extra saving on service prices if the consumer goes for an enhanced package – puts you in a win-win situation. You get more revenue, and you also get the goodwill of a consumer who feels that he or she has made a smart choice and been rewarded by an excellent service plan.
Talk before you sell
If you know more about what your consumer wants (as well as what he or she can afford to spend) then you have a much better chance of connecting him or her to an up sell. Businesses that interact with their fans and consumers through regular social media contact, for example, are able to up sell on the fly by creating ad hoc offers that take advantage of popular locations or times. Remember that up selling can be done in stages, as well as all in one go. Offer your consumer a social media platform for engaging both with your brand and other users of your product, and he or she will naturally begin to seek out other products and services you sell that may be of use.
Know when to stop
Consumers hate to feel bullied. If you pile on the up sell without giving your customer a chance to breathe, there’s a good chance that three things will happen: first, he or she will buy everything you suggest, second, he or she will come back and return all the stuff he or she felt pressured into buying, and third, he or she will never shop with you again. Remember, when you up sell you’re trying to create a fan for life by helping him or her enjoy your product or service to the full.
Learn from others
Always be on the lookout for good complementary products. Watch how your competitors persuade their consumers to buy secondary items or upscale their services. The “Shop Now” section of the Wedding Album Boutique site is an excellent example. Customers are given the option to design their own album – or to upscale to a professional design if they later feel they don’t have time to do it themselves.
The Author is an online journalist and blogger, who has been maintaining a network of business and marketing blogs for over 10 years. His pages and posts routinely attract unique visitors in excess of half a million per day, and his articles have been published on more than 175 high profile sites in multiple countries.