What if there were a selling strategy that had huge growth potential and did not require a lot of time and effort to implement? Well, there is, and it's called “upselling,” and as a small business, it can boost your earnings considerably and also help customers get more value from your brand.
Not every business should upsell, however. You must have the right products to upsell and do it the right way to get value from it. Otherwise, you can damage the relationships you have with your customers and hurt your brand reputation.
What is upselling?
Upselling entails offering customers upgrades or related products during or after their purchases. For example, when you purchase a car, the dealership may offer you upgraded floor mats or a warranty package. Or maybe you captured some business leads who just purchased your new software. With your software, you offer an upgrade that includes custom features and also an opportunity to buy an accessory that automates a part of the product. These “add-ons” are items meant to enhance the original purchase, and they are referred to as "upsells."
Benefits of upsells
Upselling products can not only help you generate more revenue, but they are also easier to sell since customers are already in “buying mode.” Also, offering upsells is a quick process as it simply involves suggesting to customers additional products you already have in your inventory.
Should your small business upsell?
If you sell products that can be upgraded or you have similar products that can enhance each other, upselling is an easy way to generate more profits. As a small business, use upsells to increase revenue and offer customers the opportunity to add more value to their lives with your products.
The only caveat is that upselling products can come across as coercive and “salesy” if not done properly. This could frustrate your customers and hurt your brand.
If you want to upsell your products, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Don’t coerce - Upselling can go wrong when businesses coerce customers instead of offering politely. If you run a physical store, politely offer customers the opportunity to purchase, but do so only once during the transaction, and sparingly. Test it out to gauge your customers’ reactions. With online sales, display related products during checkout. But be careful not to derail the checkout process too much, or you may lose the original sale as well. Review your conversions after you add upsells to see how they affect your sales.
If the product is necessary, don’t upsell it. - If you are selling computers, don’t upsell the battery pack the customer needs to charge and use it. The customer should be able to use the product without the upsell and still get value from it. The upsell product should be “optional,” not “required.”
When not to upsell
If you don’t have a product that fits the criteria for an upsell, it may be best not to offer one. Avoid forcing a product as an upsell just for the sake of generating more income. Forcing it can lead to upset customers and negative brand attention.
As a successful small business, you should care for and nurture your customers, from the time they are business leads to purchase and beyond. Consider the upsell as an extension of how you treat your customers and ask yourself if the products you want to upsell will enhance their lives. If you can’t emphatically answer with a “yes,” don’t upsell them.
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