How to increase revenue using up-selling

- September 6, 2008 2 MIN READ

Up-selling and cross-selling is cheap to implement, develops customer relationships and can dramatically increase revenue. Are you taking advantage of it in your business?

I worked at McDonald’s whilst at high school and so know what makes them so successful. After a year I was suspended because I was caught failing to up-sell. For over a year I’d been asking people “Do you want fries with that?” to have them reply “If I wanted fries I would have asked for them”. I thought it irritated the customers so I stopped.

But now, I look back on the up-selling and realise how clever and simple it is. The customer is in the shop with their wallet open, they want to spend money, chances are some of them are going to say yes.

How can we take advantage of up-selling and cross-selling?

The good news is up-selling and cross-selling is incredibly cheap to implement, it develops your customer relationships and can improve your sales by an estimated 40%. Let’s put it to use with some practical examples:

If you’re a service provider

When a customer buys from you, offer them a maintenance contract for a year. Use a win-win strategy by offering the customer a discount for taking out a longer contract. Or when you provide a new customer with a quotation, include prices for related services and explain how these will be of benefit.

Too often as service providers, we assume the customer has researched all of our offerings and selected the most suitable. A majority of times, this is not the case. Here, up-selling will expose your clients to solutions they hadn’t thought of, solutions that will save them money and produce a better outcome for all.

If you sell via an online shop

When a customer is at the checkout, show them related products for a discounted price, or if they buy in bulk, offer a saving of 15%. Or for each product page, take inspiration from Amazon and show “people who purchased this item also purchased…” Whilst this can be costly to implement, online up-selling is rumoured to increase sales by 50%!

Want more articles like this? Check out the growth section.

Start cross-selling to existing customers right now

Don’t assume that your clients know all about your services. Don’t assume they’ve read every page of your beautifully crafted website.

  • Email signature. Include a special offer in your email signature, or a short blurb about your company including services your customers might not know about. For example, “10% off all website services for the month of June” or “Bob’s Business provides expert web development, online marketing, consulting and domain registration.”
  • Email newsletter. This topic is covered really well on Flying Solo, so view the email newsletter section to read all about it.
  • Educate, educate, educate. If you’ve created a new brochure, why not send a copy to all of your existing clients. Even cheaper and greener, email them all a PDF of your new brochure.

In conclusion, don’t be afraid to suggest complementary services to your existing clients, even in casual conversations. You’d be surprised how little your clients know about you. Ultimately, your clients win as they learn which are the necessary services to succeed and you win by increasing your revenue and building relationships.

Do you engage in cross-selling or up-selling? Share your methods or suggest new ways of up-selling and cross-selling.