Five Ways To Upsell Your Products And Services

Simply talk to your customers about how additional products or services could help, and what investment might be required.
Five Ways To Upsell Your Products And Services
Image credit: Shutterstock
Contributor
General Manager of Business Incorporation Zone (BIZ)
6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

The fastest and most efficient way to grow your top-line revenue is by upselling to existing customers. While the probability of selling to someone new is under 20%, the probability of selling to a current customer is a huge 70%.

And even though upselling can be tricky, you can find success if you:
- Are open and transparent
- Show value through quick wins
- Tailor your offer to customer needs
- Get your timing right
- Use evidence to back up claims

So, let’s break down these five tips and how you can use them to give customers what they need and achieve increased sales in the process.

Be transparent and upfront with your clients (and yourself) 
Don’t hide the fact that you’re trying to upsell. Be positive, but honest, with your approach. Nobody likes to feel like they are being manipulated into a sale, and anything that could be viewed as sneaky could end up costing you a solid customer relationship.

Simply talk to your customer about how additional products or services could help, and what investment might be required. This upfront approach includes being transparent with pricing. Break down the pricing as much as possible to ease any concerns they might have about vague or hidden charges. And don’t push the upsell above 25% of the original cost as this will scare them off. It’s also good, to be honest with yourself before any upsell, because not every customer will be a good candidate for upselling.

So, take the time beforehand to identify the benefits they should get from the additional purchase, making sure it’s an opportunity worth your time and theirs. If you can’t think of any clear benefits, then don’t pursue it– and move your focus to customers who will more clearly benefit from an upsell.

Show the value of the upsell with quick wins
People will be wary of investing more into your business without proof it’s going to help them. Even people who are happy with the product or services you’re already providing will need some convincing.

Providing evidence to back up your claims is always good (we’ll get into that in a moment). However, the best way of showing your customers how you can help is by offering quick wins– and delivering something instantly of value. Let’s say you’re in the technology industry. It could be providing them with a free trial of a software upgrade. This allows them to benefit immediately while providing a direct demonstration of the long-term value they will be gaining.

Whatever this quick win is, it won’t require too much effort or expense on your part. Just make sure it delivers instant value and shows the customer how much they could benefit from a stronger investment with your business in the future.

Tailor your upsell pitch to the customer and their needs/goals 
In order to upsell your products or services to a customer, you need to make sure they will get added value. Which means taking the time to understand your customer’s business needs and goals. What are they looking to achieve in their work? What constitutes value or success for them? And how can you help? Knowing your customer and their vision for the future is the key to upselling.

Upsell pitch checklist:
- Be proactive
- Communicate with customer
- Identify immediate needs
- Understand longer goals
- Tailor your offering accordingly
- Watch for future upsell opportunities

Focus on your timing
Timing is everything. And although it might seem there’s never a good time to approach a customer for more investment, there are certain situations which provide the perfect opportunity for a successful upsell. Such as:
- When the customer is already finding success with your products or services. Maybe you’ve just had a big win or you’ve reached an important milestone together. Either way, you are demonstrating your ability to help them, so they’ll be more willing to listen.
- When the customer is referring you. Recommendations don’t come cheap, so this means they’re clearly confident with your offering. So, now is a good time to see how far that confidence will stretch by giving them the chance to invest more with you.
- The customer’s business is growing. Things are going so well for them that they now have a budget for investing in additions and improvements to take them forward. This is the perfect time to check in with them to see if you can help further.

Use evidence and examples to back up your reasoning
Any upsell pitch will require evidence. If you’re telling customers you can help their business, it’s essential to be able to demonstrate how you’ll help, especially if you’re asking for more money. Show them case studies or testimonials that detail how you’ve been able to help other companies who invested with you. Gather all your best customer reviews for a particular product. Use as much social proof to back up your claims as you can. Two more key tips for using evidence:

- Make use of your CRM. Up to 39% of companies say they achieved significantly more upselling opportunities through the use of such a database, tracking customer purchases and identifying potential upsell products.
- Using low stock as a driver of urgency. The use of ‘low availability’ signals or data has been proven to help boost the chances of effective upselling to customers, as it creates a sense of urgency and of ‘missin’.

Make your upselling a success 
Getting customers to invest more in your business needn’t be a struggle. While upselling can be tricky, following these tips means you will be more likely to find success for you and your customers. And it won’t stop there. Over time, you find what works best, with what customers. As you hone your strategies, you further improve the percentage of take-ups on your upselling offers. 

More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Starting, buying, or growing your small business shouldn’t be hard. Guidant Financial works to make financing easy for current and aspiring small business owners by providing custom funding solutions, financing education, and more.

Latest on Entrepreneur