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Irrigation Association of New York

Upselling – How good are you at it ?

Every good salesperson knows the importance of up selling; helping the customers decide to buy an extra service or an up-grade that adds to the total purchase. Why do many skip this critical step, upselling?

Faced with skeptical and budget-conscious customers, it’s tough for some salespeople to get motivated to do the extra work that it takes to upsell. Who can blame them? It takes pre-thinking and planning to craft a plan that will capture the customer’s attention.

Often it’s easier to sell to the customer’s habits rather than explaining a better solution. Taking orders for the regular stuff is easy, risk-free and reinforces an incorrect assumption that all customers buy solely based on price.

Upselling isn’t easy. Done incorrectly, it can damage credibility and offend customers with high-pressure tactics. But failing to up-sell can be even more damaging. It leaves money on the table and provides opportunities for other contractors to steal your customers by dazzling them with new ideas. Here’s why you should pay special attention to up-selling.

Up-selling is a wise use of time. For example, if it takes a salesperson an extra 15 minutes to sell a $250 upgrade that costs the company $100, he’s just earned the equivalent of $600/hour for the time invested. Up-selling almost always delivers a huge return on investment.

Be a confident, but not pushy, salesperson. The presenter must believe in the value of the product and must feel that it is an honest benefit. Upselling fails when it is done half-heartedly (no enthusiasm) or when done purely on hype (no data or proof). Introduce the up-sell with positive customer-oriented statements like “you’ll see an immediate impact to ____ if you do this _____,” and then back up assertions with concrete examples and data.

Appeal to aspirations. What drives customers to change? Think about the buyer’s big-picture goals. Some want to stand out among their peers, others seek specific dramatic results, and others want solutions that are “green.” A good up-sell presentation moves beyond just reciting a list of features and ties the up-sell to the customer’s personal motivations. Up-sell products exist because they appeal to those who seek a better way to do the same job. Know which customers are looking for that better way.

Up-selling benefits both the customer and the seller. Make sure it’s on your marketing agenda.

Jeff Carowitz leads a landscape industry marketing agency. Find him on LinkedIn or at Jeff@StrategicForceMarketing.com.