It takes talent, patience and determination to up-sell your customers. Why is it so difficult? Because it requires you to persuade customers to buy more than they originally intended, which means spending more money. This isn’t easy in such a competitive market, however when you develop this skill it can help build customer loyalty while generating more revenue. If you’d like to know the secrets to up-selling any and all customers, continue reading:
Merchandise Your Shop to Up-sell
Depending on the type of merchandise you carry, place related items together. If you’re selling wine, make sure you have an assortment of wine glasses and bottle openers nearby. If you sell bicycles, place safety lights, helmets, water containers, and other gear within easy reach. Good merchandising involves placing complementary items where they can be easily promoted to encourage an up-sell, even if the customer came in for just one thing. The entire sales team should understand the importance of up-selling.
Listen to Your Customers and then Ask Probing Questions
While waiting on a customer, listen to what they tell you they want. Probe deeper to find out what else they might need related to this purchase and its purpose. For example, if you own a nursery, someone might come in asking for seedlings. You can establish a good rapport by asking them questions like, “What other plants do you have?” and “Where will you plant these?” In answering these questions your customer may tell you that they are starting an herb garden. You now know they will need other products that you can suggest, like mulch, plant food, wooden stakes and other garden supplies. These additional items could easily more than quadruple the total of your initial sale.
Offer Incentives for Spending More
Create a pricing model that rewards customers when they order additional services. For example, if you own a nail salon you can package your services so customers save money when they spend more. A woman coming in for a $35 manicure has an incentive to add a $30 pedicure when she discovers the price for both is just $50. Along the same lines, a hair salon can easily offer a free deep conditioning treatment for clients getting a haircut, colour, and blow dry during the same appointment.
Make a Habit of Asking
There is nothing wrong with being straightforward about this. Once your customer decides what they want to buy, just ask, “Is there anything else I can help you with today?” If they answer, “No, thank you,” this does not prevent you from politely suggesting something related to what they’re buying. The key to this is that it must make sense. For example, if you’re working at a sporting goods store and someone comes in just to buy a tennis racquet, it’s perfectly appropriate to ask, “What about balls, do you need some new ones?”
Offer Your Expertise
In all likelihood you know a lot about the products and/or services you’re selling. Being generous with your knowledge and expertise is one of the easiest ways to up-sell your customers. For example, if you own or work at an appliance store, a customer coming in for a relatively inexpensive refrigerator could easily become interested in a high-end model that costs more after learning about the additional features, like the automatic ice-maker that also dispenses crushed ice, its durability, the customer reviews and the 10-year warranty.
Keep in mind that your top priority is creating a great customer experience. Be polite, not pushy, offer help and only try up-selling products that make sense for them based on what they’re already buying. You’ll get into trouble if you go overboard trying to up-sell items that are too expensive and/or are not closely related to their initial purchase. Don’t risk this or you could lose your customer.
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