Most businesses that I work with include an upsell or add on sell process in their steps of service so team members know that it is a requirement to do this.
Here is where it all falls apart. And there are 2 major problems that I see all the time.
Problem number 1) Rarely is it discussed with team members, the reasons why they need to sell additional items – most team members think it’s only about making more money for the business. But what is in it for the customer? A good deal that saves them money, enjoying a new product they haven’t tried before, ensuring they get the accessories they need or might like for an outfit or bedroom, helping them to get better faster or protecting their purchase with things like shoe care or a mattress protector. There are a number of reasons why customers benefit from being made aware of additional products, all we have to do is ask the team members member why they think the customer can benefit and wait for them to respond. If they know the reasons, they are more likely to have a go.
Problem number 2) Little or no training is provided to team members on how to suggest additional items, they are often just told to do it. And what happens? They do it poorly, it doesn’t work, they get less than positive feedback from customers so they give up. If team members are trying to upsell from the counter the most common words I hear are “Would you like ….” I’m in stores a lot and I observe the customers reaction when they hear these words and most cut the team members member off and say “NO”. End of story, nowhere to go apart from “Maybe next time”.
I have been working with clients for a long time helping them to improve in this area and chatting with team members about the reasons why they should offer additional items, from the customer’s point of view, is a start. It helps to reduce one barrier.
Now onto the biggest hurdle – the techniques to use. Because customers are so bombarded with “Would you like …” questions they shut team members down pretty quickly. Just avoid asking customers this closed question. So, what can you say?
If your team are trying to sell more at the counter, the best way is to shift the focus from trying to sell to simply making customers aware of a product or service. Something like this – “Have you seen our special today?” With this technique the team member is not asking the customer to buy anything, so the pressure is completely removed
If your team are trying to sell on the floor, the only way is to ask questions to find out the customer’s key problems and simply suggest solutions for this. Providing a total solution that may include one or more additional items based on the customer’s needs will see more customers buying and wanting to come back.
I’m passionate about this process and want team members to feel comfortable to do this for the right reasons – it’s good for the customer, the business and the team member!
Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.