|By Caroline Cooper | |
|Thursday, 9th December 2010 | |
Upselling is something we are all exposed to from time to time and whether you sell meals, bedrooms or widgets, it's technique that can not only help your bottom line, but done well can give your customers an all round better experience if done well.
Here are some of the things to consider in getting your team to upsell effectivley.
Wikipedia describes upselling as 'a sales technique whereby a saleperson induces the customer to purchase more expensive items, upgrades, or other add-ons in an attempt to make a more profitable sale'.
Upselling usually involves marketing more profitable services or products, but upselling can also be simply exposing the customer to other options he or she may not have considered previously. Upselling implies selling something that is more profitable or otherwise preferable for the seller instead of the original sale'. But is it just about increasing the customer spend, or is it also about giving the customer a better all round expereience, giving them something they might have forotten to order, or never even thought of?
McDonalds of course are the masters of this - have you ever not been offered fries or a drink to go with your burger. And when was the last time you bought an electrical appliance and not been told the benefits of an extended warranty?
What to promote
So in order to do this effectivley the fist thing is to determine which are the products or services you wish to promote. It obviously makes sense to be promoting high profit items, but there can be a danger in using this as the only criteria. Unless what you are promoting is perceived as value to the customer, it's unlikely the sale will be achieved, and does little to build your customr's loylaty or trust. It's also important to distinguish between high selling price and profitablilty and appropriateness to meet the cusomters' needs. For example upselling to a more expensive bottle of wine when it does not appeal to the customers tastes.
Staff need to fully understand each of the products and services available: • What are the high profit items • What are the component parts of any packages • What's not included, but may be relevant to offer to the customer • What are the ingredients in a dish • What does it taste like • What are the best accompaniments to a dish
Allow staff to experience all the products and services first hand - this will not only make them more memorable, there will be more willingness to promote if they are confident to talk about it, and it will certainly be easier to evoke emotional appeal through vivid descriptions of taste, smell, feel, if they've experienced them themselves.
Spot the opportunities
Let them identify all the situations that lend themselves as an opportunity to upsell - not just in their own department - but across all areas. • Options on accommodation - room upgrades, special packages, champagne in rooms, • In the restaurant - bottled water, suggestions for starters, accompaniments, side orders, deserts, desert wine, specialist coffees, after dinner drinks • Bar - branded beers, snack items, pasties with their coffee
I'm sure you'll have many more specifics for your own operation
It's also about timing - for example selling desserts - ask too soon and people say they are still too full, and go straight on to coffee, ask too late and they have gone off the idea, and want to head off home.
Teach staff the mechanics of upselling. • The need for open questions to identify