I recently bought a deal to a very fancy local steakhouse. Since we’re local, Mr. Bartender and I figured it would be a good way to check the place out. And we’re well aware that we need to tip the server on the full value of the meal. We also figured we might buy some extra items. So we went expecting to spend more than the cost of the deal. The food itself was wonderful. The service was a totally different story. The minute the server found out we had purchased a deal…we became the red-headed stepchild.
[Tweet “An Open Letter to CEOs – Teach Your Employees to Upsell”]
I understand there are many reasons a company chooses to sell a deal of the day offer. And many reasons people choose to buy them. But one thing is consistently true – companies are trying to get new customers out of it – or bring back those from the past. No one offers a Groupon with the hope of reducing their customer base.
Which brings me to today’s post. Organizations need to realize that delivering good customer service can directly equal more profit. One way to deliver excellent service is through the concept of upselling. It’s defined as a sales technique where the seller induces the customer to buy a more expensive item or add-on. When it’s done properly, it can come across as excellent customer service. Here are some examples:
- Server: Can I get you a drink from the bar?
- Customer: Yes, I’d love a gin and tonic.
- Server: Tanqueray or Bombay Sapphire?
- Customer: I’d like to purchase this shirt.
- Store Clerk: This is a nice shirt. Can I show you a tie (or necklace) that would go great with it?
- Director: We’re looking forward to working with you to implement the new system.
- Sales Manager: We are as well. Before we get started with implementation, I’d like to mention a few optional items. You might feel you don’t need them today, but I’ve heard a lot of clients say they wish they would have bought them on the front end.
I happen to be one of those people who loves a good upsell. While some might view it as a nuisance, it shows me that the person knows their product or service and they believe in it. And I will buy. Another story, a few months ago I purchased a spa package. When I checked in, the receptionist told me that they would allow me to purchase the same package at the same price upon leaving. At first, I thought that I wouldn’t want to do it. But I had a very nice day so, when I left, I was ready to buy another package.
Except they didn’t offer me the deal. No upsell. Revenue lost.
I understand that the price of everything is going up. But businesses can’t complain about rising costs and then do nothing to generate more revenue for themselves. Training employees how to upsell generates revenue for the business. And the cost to provide upsell training would more than pay for itself.
I like to think of upsell training as a combination of customer service and sales training. Make customers happy by suggesting ways to improve their experience. All while directly growing your top line. This is low-hanging fruit.