Let’s talk about a smart sales technique that, if done right, could increase your profits with minimal additional effort on your part.
It’s called “upselling”.
Let’s say your customer is ready to buy a necklace at your craft show. They have it in their hand and are ready to checkout. Do you let them pay and send them on their merry way?
Because you’ve already seen that necklace in their hand, you’ve taken the time to pull out a similar, but more expensive necklace that has a couple more features or upgraded materials. Perhaps you’ve even picked out some earrings that would complement the necklace they’ve already selected.
Your customer hadn’t noticed that necklace and decides to upgrade. She gets a nicer necklace, and you get a higher sale.
Upselling is as easy as that. It’s anticipating what else your customer might be interested in, and offering it to them.
Here’s another example: you’re a photographer, and you know that your client thinks she only wants the cd. What if you took this opportunity to show her an example of a small canvas that she could also order? She might not even know that you offer canvases and prints! Being able to touch it, and see what hers will look like will provide her with that much more incentive to buy. In this instance, since she’s already purchasing the cd, you might offer a slight discount on the canvas if she orders now.
Remember, upselling encourages the customer that is already making a purchase to buy even more. The beauty of this strategy is that you don’t have to work as hard to make the additional sale.
So how can you implement upselling in your small business? Here are 4 tips:
- Feature complementary items. Your customer will probably buy items together if it makes sense to do so. For example: when buying a girl’s dress on Etsy, it makes sense that they might purchase a coordinating headband or add monogramming.
- Pay attention to price. Your customer may be more likely to buy an add-on item if it’s less than the price of the first item. It’s easier to think of increasing their bill by 25%, than by 75%, for example. Of course there are always exceptions to this, but it’s a good rule of thumb.
- Generate a sense of urgency. When possible, try to create a sense of urgency with your offer. Make it as easy as possible for your customer to buy NOW, because they might not be able to get it later, at least not at the same price.
- Value, value, value! Don’t try to offload junk or excess merchandise to your customer, because that’ll only come back to haunt you. Your goal is to provide value and become a person they come back to often, so don’t lose trust in the long run by offering sub-par merchandise or services in the short run.
With just a little bit of extra effort on your part, you can use upselling to your advantage. It’ll generate more sales for you, and a customer that gets more of what they already want: your product or service!
Now – I’d love to hear how you’re implementing upselling in your small business!