This may sound a bit strange, but I really do love this process – but only when it’s done well and with the customer in mind. Unfortunately there are many bad examples of upselling taking place every single day and it does frustrate customers. It also makes it hard on the staff who often feel they are forced to do it.
I teach staff to let go of the focus on trying to sell and simply use the process as a way to inform customers of something the customer may not know about. This is a complete mindset change and the relief with a lot of staff is palpable. Customers can really feel this and they often drop their defensive guard, which makes the initial sale a lot easier as well. If the customer purchases the original item as well as something else it’s a bonus.
So here’s a couple of techniques you can use that work really well.
1) For impulse items, using the words “have you seen our special?” are so powerful, because they don’t ask the customer to buy anything. In fact all this question focuses on is does the customer know about the special we have on offer.
This technique is quite subtle and the best thing about this question (and variations of these) is that the worst reply you get from a customer who doesn’t want the special is “no thanks.” Now that’s not too bad is it?
Where this works so well is by reducing the amount of additional words you have to say to a customer. Customers get really annoyed when they are bombarded with information they don’t want or need, so this technique is perfect for this. If the customer is not interested, then just drop it and move on.
2) To sell more add ons it all comes down to listening to the customer’s needs, which allows you to say something like “you mentioned that you go running in the morning, we have a fantastic head lamp I could show you.” This is very powerful in a number of ways as it shows the customer you have listened to them and your suggestion is a logical one.
A number of customers come into a store with the intention of purchasing a single item, as that is all they think they need. When the team member connects and listens intently this opens up a whole range of opportunities that the customer hadn’t even thought of.
This is selling add ons for the right reason and a number of customers will take up what the team member has offered. A great way to grow sales!
In both situations, listening and being helpful is the key.
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.