By Colin Wilson
Director, Key Business Advisors
Some sales professionals might be reluctant to upsell and cross-sell for a number of reasons. One reason might be that their product knowledge is limited, so they don’t fully understand how they can package their products or services in a way that would make sense to their customers. Another reason might be fear that they would be seen as being pushy.
However, upselling and cross-selling are a must for any business that wants to boost sales and profits. Not only that, but what some salespeople might not realise is that cross-selling and upselling can benefit customers, because you are educating them on the products or services they are considering purchasing, and allowing them to make an informed decision once they see the value of what they’re getting.
Here are five ways to become better at upselling and cross-selling:
1. Increase your product knowledge.
If you have limited knowledge of the products and/or services that you offer, then how would you be in a position to suggest an effective solution that would meet your customer’s wants and needs? You need to know inside and out every product and/or service that you offer and have an in-depth understanding of how they integrate or can be packaged with each other. Excellent product knowledge is key to being confident at effectively demonstrating your products/services to your customers. A lot of customers do their own research on products/services that they’re considering before they even walk into a store, so don’t be caught out by a customer who knows more about your own product/service than you do. Conduct your own research – read manuals and reviews; ask your colleagues, friends and family what they think; and try out the products for yourself using demo models in your store.
2. Instead of fearing rejection, come from a space of curiosity.
Perhaps you have adequate product knowledge, but you’re still hesitant to upsell and cross-sell because you are afraid of being rejected. But what would happen if, instead of fearing rejection, you just become more curious about your customers, their motivations, wants and needs? Check what products/services your customer already has with you, ask excellent questions and be a great listener to find out what your customers really need and how you can help. When you listen 100% to what your customers are saying and what they are not saying, you would be able to suggest the best solutions, including value-adds, for them… and chances are, you would hear “No, thanks” a lot less often.
3. Present options – Good vs. Better
Customers might come into your store having an idea about what they want, but after asking them great questions and listening intently to find out what they really need, you must educate them to buy, you know that you can offer them something that would better meet their needs and give them more value for their money. If so, explain it to your customers in a way that makes it easy for them to understand. Compare the features and benefits of the product, package or plan that your customers think they want with the features, advantages and benefits of the product/package/plan that you know would give them a lot more value. Do a demo and use visual aids – simply writing down how two products compare to each other would help your customers see which one is better for them.
4. Remember to suggest “one more thing” that would help your customer get the most value from their purchase.
After the major purchase decision has been made, you as a sales professional are then in an ideal position to suggest what would go well with that purchase to increase the customer’s enjoyment of using it. Consider what your customer is going to wish they had also bought when they start to use your product or service, and suggest those to them. You would ensure that you have covered everything if you were selling to a family member, so why be different when it comes to customers, whether you already know or have just met them. Engage with them and say, “If you were my sister/brother/aunt/uncle, I would recommend this or add on this.”
5. Practice cross-selling and upselling.
Practice makes perfect, so do what you have to do to be confident at cross-selling and upselling. Role play with your colleagues. Educate yourself 100% so you can educate your customers because this is what they expect from you. If you hardly do any upselling or cross-selling in a day, commit to doing more and more until it becomes a habit. Remember that returning to your business to buy an accessory or upgrade an item that should have been offered to them in the first place is inconvenient for customers, and does not reflect good service.