Upselling is a great idea. We hear the “Do you want fries with that?” frequently.
The biggest reasons is because acquiring a new customer is the hardest way to grow your sales. In contrast, when someone is already your customer, there are less obstacles to engage in conversation. And upselling, is just that. Engage in conversation and offer something that the customer may need. It keeps changing, but I have heard this is anything from four to eight times easier to do.
When you upsell, take into account a couple of things: The what, and the when.
The first one is fairly straightforward and static. Don’t just sell them anything. If they already bought THIS, then WHAT else would they need? Burguer + Fries. It is at the hearth of Amazon’s algorithm-driven “People who bought this also bought: …”. Most people get this right.
The second is a little trickier, because it depends on the customer’s experience at any given moment, and we have to be sensitive to it.
Here is a little story to illustrate:
I already told you about lightning and Florida, but I haven’t told you that my cable modem burned out. Twice. It would turn on, but just fail to connect. A few days ago I took the modem -for the second time- to be replaced at one of the cable operator’s stores, all this on what was otherwise a very busy Wednesday, so I was hoping to go in-and-out and get back to work.
After a 15-minute drive, signed up at the entrance, and waited for my name to be called. The person greeted me, and as I handed them the faulty modem and they were updating information on the computer, they started asking me questions about my current wireless provider. I told them I wasn’t interested. They insisted. Asked more questions, and they even asked me if what they were offering me wasn’t cheaper, which is borderline “are you stupid?” At this point, they forced me to do what I was holding myself back from the beginning. Blow them off, and tell the guy that I came to replace a modem, not to chit-chat.
Rude? Sure. I personally think they were rude from the beginning when they insisted.
The best time to upsell is when a customer is delighted with your product or service. When they have experienced a disruption of service twice -which says quite a bit about the ability to run a reliable service-, and they are wasting time on something that shouldn’t have happened in the first place, it is probably better to save the upsell.