Upselling exists in various forms but the principle almost always remains the same. As open forum explains, you should always offer customers the opportunity to purchase an additional item to benefit, enhance, supplement or otherwise improve upon their current purchase experience.
“Strategic entrepreneurs understand that customers are far more likely to increase their purchase while already in ‘buying mode.’ These incremental gains can be key to generating profits.”
As a sales representative, the same methodology can be applied when selling to your customers. As Forbes explains, if you gain a customer through marketing efforts but lose one you already had because you weren’t paying enough attention to them, you end up with the same number of customers. The only difference, lower margins - because it costs far more to gain a new customer than keep an existing one. In fact, Donna Fenn found acquiring a new customer is five to 10 times the cost of retaining and existing one, and the average spend of a repeat customer is a whopping 67% more than a new one. So as a sales representative, how can you successfully upsell to current customers?
1. Know your customers inside out
Study your customers. Understand who they are, what they do, where they want to be in 5 or 10 years time.. Take the time to listen to their needs. What are their pain points? From there, offer advice and services to address these points. Be a true consultant for your customer. By knowing your customer inside out, not only does this grow loyalty, it leads to credibility and trust. Like in the example outlined before, the barrister took the time to get to know my situation, and provided a helpful solution to my needs.
2. Identify products or services your customers should be buying but aren't
Harvard Business Review explains that as a service or product supplier, customers look to you as the expert. “They rely on you to perform important tasks they cannot do themselves. This places more emphasis on you, as the provider, to be proactive.”
As a sales manager, arm your reps with the insights they need to know. For example, what your top 10 selling products are and which customers are not currently buying them. For your rep, if they know what your top selling products are, they can proactively lead the conversation to upsell to those customers missing out. By using your selling data, you can show customers the benefits of purchasing your other products and the results similar customers have had from stocking them. As Megan Tough says, “if you are not leveraging your existing customers, you’re losing out on a low-cost course of new business.”
3. Build trust
A great way to build trust is to talk results with customers. Ken Dooley recommends showing how your product or service can positively affect the customer’s performance. “Identify the appropriate needs and create a compelling case for your solution.” Each month, show your customer what they could be buying and the positive results this could bring to their business. Showing this level of understanding creates a solid foundation of trust between you and the customer.
4. Go the extra mile
Give your customers a reason to keep coming back to you and forgo your competitors. As a sales manager, instil a culture of exceeding customer expectations at every interaction aids in creating a loyal customer base. Paul B. Brown explains, “if you have done a good job taking care of your customer in the past, and your products have performed well for them, they are usually willing to give any new addition to your product line a try.”
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