The Art of Upselling

By Mike Moore, Director of Training, HVAC Learning Solutions

If you haven’t mastered the art of upselling, you’re missing out on valuable revenue from both the actual sale and the opportunities for maintenance and return visits to the customer’s home. Some people see “upsell” as a bad word in good business practices, but that’s a common misconception. When practiced right, upselling is a critical tool on both ends of a sale.

To upgrade your own upsell process, ask yourself these questions:

Are you trying to upsell or cross-sell? These two methods are often confused, so identifying and understanding the difference is the first step to success. Upselling is offering your customer a relevant upgrade to what they’re already purchasing, while cross-selling is packaging another possibly unrelated item into the purchase.

Upselling tends to be more successful because a customer walks away with a better version of what they initially intended to purchase, and you walk away with more money in your pocket — a win-win. Another reason upselling works is that since you’ve already built a mutually respectful foundation with your customer, they’re more likely to trust your recommendation when you offer them the upgrade.

Does the offer make sense? This mutual benefit is the key to a successful upsell. The customer is counting on you to make a thoughtful and fair offer, and dropping the ball on this can make for some serious trust issues. So take the time to think through these promotions. Who is your customer, and what added benefits to their purchase make sense? If you’re striking out with your upsell, you probably need to rethink what you’re offering. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes: Would you take this upsell and walk away feeling like it was a win?

Are you being transparentThe key to a healthy upselling process is being fair and clear with your customer. Make sure you’re listening to them — present them with the offer, but if they’re not interested in the upsell, that’s perfectly fine. Dogging your customer is only going to lead to distrust. You never want a customer to leave feeling swindled out of their money, so tread lightly and be weary of how hard you push.

Follow these tips and enhance the experience on both ends of a sale. Upselling is a key factor in your team’s success, so be sure to practice it across as much of your business as you can. Find more sales tips on our TwitterGoogle+, and Facebook pages, and check out our HVAC video tutorials on YouTube.

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