How To Upsell And Do It Brilliantly

How To Upsell And Do It Brilliantly

Originally Published:, Issue 7

The term upselling has been around for many years, along with add on selling, cross selling and suggestive selling. I don’t actually like any of these terms, because they all include the word selling. A lot of frontline retail team members view selling as a dirty word, it means to them they have to push the customer to buy something extra. I have witnessed many an eye roll when these terms are used as a way to increase sales.

The secret to being successful with this process is to take the focus off the end goal, that is making an additional or higher priced sale. Customers are far too savvy these days to not know what we are trying to do. Instead the focus has to be on informing the customer about a special deal, new product or complementary product that will enhance their original purchase. Take the focus off trying to sell, instead focus on having an informative conversation that tells the customer you actually care and want them to get the best value for their money.

Having spent many years behind the counter, serving customers I love the process of trying to have a conversation about another product. This conversation, when done well and coming from the right place (of helping the customer) will deepen the relationship between you and the customer. You are not going to sell additional products to every customer, but even if you don’t, they leave better informed than when they first came in. And that could lead to additional sales down the track. It will also have the customer leaving with a positive feeling that you are helpful and not pushy – there’s a good chance they will then come back!

Here’s my 4 tips on how to be brilliant at increasing additional sales in your bakery (and not upselling!):

  1. As I mentioned earlier, stop focussing on selling, instead focus on helping and informing.
  2. Don’t just be an order taker. Instead of just taking the order and following up with the bland “Anything else today?” which very rarely leads to an additional sale, make some suggestions as follows:
    1. Suggest a drink to go with a food item and vice versa
    2. Talk about a new product you have in stock
    3. Offer additional items that will enhance the taste – cream, ice cream etc
    4. Choose a product of the week and ask every customer have they tried it
    5. If your store offers tastings, make sure you follow a simple process that I describe in the next point
  3. Actively promote tastings. This is one of the easiest ways to increase sales. Having a quality and hygienic way of displaying product is the first key point. However just having product on the counter does very little apart from giving your customers a free taste. Here’s the process I recommend to massively increase sales of the product on tasting:
    1. Once you have taken the initial order from the customer, suggest they try your tasting product while you get their order
    2. When you come back with the order, simply ask, “What did you think?”
    3. Their response should always be positive. Instead of asking them “Do you want one then?” which is pushy, talk about the ingredients, how fresh it is, what it goes well with (coffee, cream etc.) or even how much it is.
    4. If you follow these simple steps consistently you will drive more sales.
  4. Always use an informative technique, that doesn’t force the customer to say Yes or No to buying. If you do, the main answer will be a resounding NO! Instead try these techniques – “Have you seen our special today?” “Did you notice our coffee and cake deal?” “Have you tried one of our beautiful scones?” These questions find out if the customer wants to know more information, not if they want to buy.