Upsell Your Way To SuccessWritten By Barry Himmel
Article Date: 08-01-2005
Copyright (C) 2005 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.
Stop leaving money on the table.
Upselling a potential rental or sale can amount to thousands of dollars in additional revenue for your business. However, realize that revenue requires both planning and providing your staff the skills they need to upsell. Imagine the impact on revenues if just 50 percent of your customers purchased an additional product related to their original purchases. We’re talking about a significant amount of money.
In addition to the increase in revenue, you would also be providing an important service to your customers: Often customers appreciate the convenience of getting the additional product at the same time as the purchase.
Before you provide employees the specific skills necessary for upselling, it’s critical they buy in to the importance of upselling. Help employees understand upselling results in greater revenues and more-satisfied customers. This in turn leads to a more-successful company and more opportunities for employees.
After employees have recognized the value of upselling, train them in upselling techniques. For most people, upselling doesn’t come naturally. Employees need the confidence, skills and practice to routinely suggest supplemental products.
Teach employees to upsell by encouraging them to:
Don’t leave revenue on the table, and don’t expect your staff to proactively upsell without training and support.
- Ask the customer questions. For example, if it’s a rental, the employee should find out exactly what the customer will be doing with the equipment. Find out more about the application.
- Focus on the customer’s needs. Any product or service suggestion should be in the customer’s best interests.
- Be completely familiar with your product line, and more importantly, know when to ask other employees if they don’t know something.
- Begin establishing a relationship with the customer. By gaining an understanding of what the buying and rental habits of the customer are in relationship to his or her business, you will be able to anticipate an upsell.
- Maintain good eye contact, welcoming body language and a friendly attitude. Make the customer feel as if he or she is the most important customer in the world. Remember the customer the next time he or she comes in the store or calls. That recognition will work wonders by making your customer feel comfortable.
- Suggest complementary products and services that will best suit the customer’s needs. With almost any purchase, there can be a related sale. The importance of the power of suggestion cannot be overlooked. It’s important that the customer recognizes the value in what you are suggesting. It needs to be a product or service that works in conjunction with what is already being purchased, like when a fast-food restaurant asks if you would like to add fries to your order.
- Ask for the sale. You can’t make the sale without asking for it. This is a fundamental component of the sales process that cannot be overlooked.
- Create a “job aid” at the counter. This could be written notes to remind the employee to ask about other products or services, or better yet, make sure the computer system won’t complete the sale unless the customer answers certain questions.
- Role-play with employees to allow them to practice the sale. Going through the steps with coworkers will give them a sense of comfort when an actual customer is ready to order, and they will be better prepared to answer tough or out-of-the-ordinary questions.
- Provide incentives to the employee for upselling. Everyone likes to be rewarded, and most people like contests.
- Train your employees. These skills do not come naturally for most people. Training focused on customer service and sales skills will produce a great return on your training investment.
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