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60 seconds to significant sales

How to upsell without turning off your clients?

If you and your employees aren't trained on effective ways to upsell, chances are you either offend clients by being too pushy or leave money on the table that clients would have willingly spent with you. Either option is costly.

Up-selling refers to when you help a client by suggesting they buy something else or an "up-grade" of a product because it is crucial to their protection needs. For example, a client who has Income Protection cover may also be an ideal client for Critical Illness cover since both these products can work in partnership with each other as opposed to opposition.

The client is someone who is ensuring they will still receive a monthly income if they were to have accident or get an illness that prevents them from working for a specific amount of time through their Income Protection policy.

Since this client is taking precautions for this, they may also be interested in a Critical Illness product that would pay out a lump sum in the event of a potentially life-threatening illness or accident. Watch our webinar now on ‘Income Protection and Critical Illness – which would you choose?’.

Upselling should be easy

The best part of upselling is that it's practically effortless. Since it's done after the client has decided to go ahead with a purchase, the hard part of the sales conversation has already been done. You've already established rapport, identified needs, summarised and presented benefits, and handled objections.

The 3 biggest mistakes in upselling:

  1. No attempt is made to upsell.
  2. The adviser comes across as being pushy.
  3. The upselling is made in an unconvincing manner, so the client generally refuses.

Effective upselling strategies

  1. Assumptive is the key

    You've got to assume that the client will naturally want this. Begin the upsell with a brief benefit, then if possible, add something unique about what you're selling. To avoid sounding pushy, particularly if the upsell requires some elaboration, ask for the client's permission to describe it.

    Here's an example of the wrong way to upsell. Imagine dining at a restaurant where you've just finished a big meal. The server asks, "Would you care for dessert?" If you say "Yes", you might give the impression of overindulging. So many customers refuse out of politeness. Result -- no sale.

    So, the savvy server doesn't ask if the customer wants dessert. The professional just assumes that when people go out for a meal, they are treating themselves. So of course, they'll want to treat themselves to dessert. In this case, the server pulls up the dessert tray and says, "To finish off your meal with a little something sweet, (that's the benefit), I brought the dessert tray over for you." Would you like to hear about the most popular ones?" (asks permission to proceed)

    When the customer agrees to hear about the desserts, the server doesn't just list them by name; they describe their benefits. So rather than saying, "This is chocolate mousse." Instead they’d say something like, "If you like chocolate you'll love this. We've got a delicious home-made chocolate mousse that melts in your mouth."

  2. Focus on client needs - not yours

    Don't try to sell the client something you wouldn't buy if you were in their shoes. It is totally irrelevant whether or not this purchase suits your needs; what is relevant is whether it suits the client’s. That perspective empowers you to upsell effectively and with integrity.

  3. Group related products

    It's a good idea to group similar add-ons and offer them as an upsell at a package price. If someone is getting a haircut and you talk to them about shampoo, it only makes sense to show them a package deal that groups conditioner and shampoo at a package price.

The bottom line

Every business owner should realistically look at whether or not employees could improve the way they up-sell. For most businesses, a little professional training can make a world of difference.

Article reference

Customer service strategist and professional speaker, Jeff Mowatt is an authority on The Art of Client Service. . . Influence with Ease®.

This article is based on the critically acclaimed book ‘Becoming a Service Icon in 90 Minutes a Month’, by Jeff Mowatt