Up-selling – top tips
Do you and your staff up-sell to your customers or do you just give them what they ask for?
Are you intimidated by trying to persuade them to purchase something they didn’t know they wanted?
Whilst it may be straightforward to offer a range of shirts and ties to somebody buying a new suit, how do you transfer those up-selling skills to the convenience store or mini supermarket?
Nobody likes having goods sold to them, but it doesn’t have to be like bartering in a Moroccan market or pestering customers from a perfume counter to upsell your products. Below we offer four simple tips to make the experience of up-selling an enjoyable one for both you and your customers.
Use Open Questions
Using the suit analogy, if you ask a customer “Would you like to buy a new shirt with your suit?” chances are that they will reply “No, thank you.” The only options they had were yes or no.
Instead, if you ask them “What shirt and tie combination were you thinking of to go with the suit?” there are a range of answers that could give you more information about the customer and what they need.
They may not have thought about it and may need some advice. They may have already purchased the shirt and tie, saving you from up-selling and giving you the opportunity to compliment them on their choices.
There’s no point in selling a customer something they don’t need. The short-term gain will be counteracted by them feeling ripped off and they won’t return. Talk to the customer and understand what they need rather than what you want to sell them.
Be observant. Have they tied a dog up outside or do they have children with them who might deserve some treats? Do they look like they are on the way back from the gym and could benefit from a cooling drink or slush? Examples of upselling your Snowshock include edible candy straws and re-useable twister cups.
Understanding what goods go together and which ones don’t can work wonders for your up-selling. If someone is buying a crate of beer on the night of a World Cup match, it is the perfect opportunity to sell crisps, nuts, pizza and other convenience food. It probably isn’t the ideal time to sell them the individual ingredients to a lasagne.
The key to up-selling is understanding when customers are ready for it and when they aren’t. If they have indicated they are on a tight budget, don’t try and up-sell. If you respect their budget, they will respect you and return another day.
Done correctly, up-selling is all about building customer relationships, understanding their needs and delivering solutions. There’s a fine line between gaining a sale and scaring a customer off for good.