We all want better, bigger sales, but acquiring new customers is difficult and costly, especially in highly competitive markets like ours. How can we increase our sales forces’ performance without depending exclusively on new buyers? The answer lies right in front of our eyes; the most accessible way to increase sales is to expand what we sell to the customers we already have.
A near possibility, yes, but not necessarily one easily achieved; It requires an in-depth knowledge of our offer, but above all, of our clients. Furthermore, upselling implies going beyond knowing the consumer; the key is to develop a mutual understanding and a trust-based relationship. That is the challenge.
In upselling, the goal is to encourage customers to buy a version higher than they had initially intended by presenting additional benefits. However, under no circumstance, this implies tricking the buyer into acquiring something they do not need, all the opposite. The ideal with upselling is to steer customers to consider options that best suit their needs or make their user experience even more satisfactory. Yes, our interest in increasing sales is essential, but the cornerstone of upselling is to protect the customers’ interests and satisfy their needs. Why? Because as we all know, happy customers are returning customers.
AN EXAMPLE OF UPSELLING APPLIED TO THE CLOUD BUSINESS:
– John, a recurring client, comes to you because his architecture firm deals with some growing pains; he needs to modernize the business’s management. He wants a cloud CRM solution that strictly meets his current needs. John knows that his company is growing, he has told you; it is to be assumed that his management needs will change, increase in the medium term.
Make John see that more than a solution that meets his current needs, he requires one that grows with his business, and most likely, he will subscribe to a service plan with a greater scope than the one he had initially planned.
THESE ARE FIVE GOLDEN RULES FOR A SUCCESSFUL UPSELLING STRATEGY
- Cultivate customer trust and loyalty. The credibility of the seller is essential. If the buyer does not believe what the seller tells them or has any reason to be suspicious, they will not be receptive to their suggestions or recommendations.
How to earn the trust and loyalty of your customers? With honesty. A buyer who sees you as an ally, a well-intentioned advisor, a trusted source of information will not only listen, they will also appreciate your recommendations.
- Understand your product; understand your market. The way for your customers to see you as a reliable source of information, an ally, goes through knowing perfectly the product or service you offer. It is common that by the time customers go to a sales representative, they already have a high level of conviction about the purchase they are about to make, but the question “am I doing the right thing?” continues to haunt them. That doubt clears with precise, trustworthy, verifiable information.
The role of sales representatives is to calm any anxiety a purchase may generate, and for that, they must master every detail of what they sell and the market. A good salesperson makes every buyer go home convinced that they have made a great investment.
- Know your customers; study them. As established, in an upselling strategy, we deal with clients with whom we have already developed some level of knowledge, either because they are returning customers or because we have them right in front of us or at the other end of the line.
In the case of recurring customers, leverage all the information you have, like their business profile, the market they compete, what purchases they have made previously, what they liked -or disliked- from the attention received in the past. A good salesperson goes above and beyond to get to know their customers.
With new buyers, ask questions, ask lots of questions; listen carefully to the answers, and read between the lines searching for clues. Determine what motivated them to approach your business, their expectations about what they are looking to buy, their perceived needs vs. the ones they actually have and don’t even know—the same applies to their preferences.
Going back to rule #2, the better you know your product and your market, the easier the task will be.
- Make recommendations that make sense. All your suggestions, and I repeat, all your suggestions must put the buyer’s interests or needs at the absolute forefront. The client has come to you to solve a specific need; your role is to offer the best solution available. You want to become the hero who helped them solve a problem, the ally who looks after their interests, never the liar who manipulated them into acquiring something that did not work or failed to satisfy their expectations.
Once again, the success of upselling is trust; trust is earned with honesty.
- Don’t over-promise, over-deliver. Offering additional services, such as extended warranties, training, preferential support, personalized attention, etc., is of great help; however, do not bring them to the table unless you are entirely sure you can deliver. Disappoint your clients, and most likely, you will never hear from them again. Instead, surprise them with added value they didn’t expect, and you’ll have him coming back, over and over.
THESE ARE SOME TOOLS THAT WILL HELP YOU STRENGTHEN YOUR UPSELLING STRATEGIES:
- Additional benefits
- Warranty extension
- Product bundles at a discount
- Personalized after-sales service
- Memberships to special groups
- Exclusive access to product presentations, alerts, updates
- Preferential credit or accumulation of points
- Preferential technical service