January 6, 2013

Grow your Business with an Up-Sell

A few simple words could be worth hundreds of dollars in increased revenue for your business. The most famous examples of up-selling, of course, are “Want fries with that?” from McDonald’s and in the movie theater “Do you want butter on your popcorn?”. Just asking if the customer wants another item gives them a chance to say Yes and adds money to that sale. Another obvious option is the up-size — “Would you like a Large for 25 cents more?”.

Nearly every type of business has the chance to offer an additional item. At the hair salon, if the customer is getting hair coloring, ask if they want their eyebrows and eyelashes colored as well. Salons already do a good job selling hair care products, but it works better if a similar item cannot be found elsewhere at a better price for comparable quality. If your car is in for maintenance, an oil change “while it’s on the hoist” is a good potential up-sell. It’s even more attractive if there is a discount from the normal price.

Up-sells are more successful when they are relatively low-cost options or complementary services that enhance what the customer is already getting. Unpopular up-sells, however, can turn customers off. Nobody likes the extended warranties or maintenance plans offered on high ticket items. Why? It suggests the product in which a customer has already invested a great deal is not reliable. While the sales person tries to minimize that by playing on the customer’s fear of additional expense, it really doesn’t work. A much better approach would be an “insurance” plan that covered not only failure of the product but theft or accidental breakage. Every customer I know, including me, has worried that we’ll drop that new big-screen TV getting it from the car to the living room.

Of the 3 ways to increase sales, larger dollar amounts on each sale is the easiest to achieve. Any additional product or service that represents added value can be offered as an up-sell. What can you offer your customers that will make them buy more?

 

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