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  • Samuel Brunt, PR Manager

What is Upselling and why is it so important?

Upselling is defined as: a sales technique where a seller induces the customer to purchase more expensive items, upgrades or other add-ons in an attempt to make a more profitable sale.

It is a great way for companies to make extra money at the point of sale and many huge companies make large proportions of their revenue through upselling to their customers as well as also using it to improve customer experience. The most famous of these companies is McDonald’s whose upselling strategy is epitomised by the classic line ‘do you want fries with that’. The idea being that at the point of sale i.e. after the point at which the customer has made the decision to make the initial purchase customers are more likely to add to their purchase. Once a customer has been urged into a purchase they are in a buying mode and are therefore more susceptible to being convinced making additional purchases, such as extra fries with a McDonald’s or a phone case or car charger when purchasing a phone. 

This is why it is important that you shouldn’t begin to upsell to a customer until after they have decided to make the initial purchase. Otherwise you would simply be making two sales. The art of the upsell is to complement the initial purchase allowing you to increase your profits and also enhance the customer experience. 

Product knowledge is essential in order to upsell to your customers. Without a good knowledge of the products that the company sells, you or your team will find it difficult to find what will benefit the customer’s main purchase. Lack of product knowledge will adversely affect both the company’s products as well as the customer experience. The more knowledge you have the more you can add value to your customer’s purchase. The value of upselling is also increased by keeping the value of the products that you upsell fairly small. The general rule being that the product that you have upsold to your customer shouldn’t increase the initial purchase cost by more than 25%. 

Overall upselling when done well is a great way to improve your profits whilst also adding value to your customer experience. The way to maximise the benefits is to constantly look at the options from the point of view of a customer. That way you are always aware of the balance between customer and business.   

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