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Sales Planning - Upselling

By Steven J. Schmidt

Once you've sold the customer and you get the commitment to buy, the sale is still far from over. In many companies, there are always going to chances to upsell. Let's go back to the insurance agent for this one.

You just made the sale for car insurance for State Farm for example, and you want to mention other ways to save money. If you sold them car insurance, you may also want to bring up life insurance because if you have life insurance that will reduce your car insurance, and by doing they'll save a lot of money. As the deal is closed and you are leaving, you say, "OK Ms. Taylor, I thank you for the time and we will keep in touch... You know what Ms. Taylor, I almost forgot to mention our life insurance package which would save you another seven percent off what I'm already saving you with the car insurance. Why don't I take another quick second, just to let you know about it?"

The customer has already bought what you sold them, so that means they already have your trust and will listen to what you have to say. Sales people often aren't successful in upselling because they simply don't think of mentioning their other products. However, if you make it seem like it's no big deal, the customer will listen to you as if you're telling them your favorite place to eat.

Sales and and upselling are made by how you present yourself. I used to know a sales guy who treated everything nonchalantly. If a customer gave him an objection like, "Sorry, but I'm not interested because I hate that company," the sales rep would respond, "Yeah, but look, I know you hate the company but you're just going to give it a try because you know this a good deal, and I'll have the furniture delivered to you next week."

He would the just right the order up and then say, "Please sign here, I'm going to give you a copy. Would you prefer Saturday or Sunday delivery?" He pretty much steamrolled over the objection and then closed it at the same time.

In addition to upselling, some salespeople make it seem like the extra products or services are part of regular package. One example of that would fall into the residential side of selling cable. If you're selling cable, but you can offer phone and Internet service for the same company, you should try to sell the customer on all three services as if they all fell into the same package.

One salesperson i used to work with would only sell his customers all three services. He told me he did this for a few reasons. First, he'd get the greatest commission by selling the most services. Second, the more services the csutomer was getting, the more money they would save. He would tell the customer, "I understand you only want to get the Internet service, but we are only allowed to sell all three services, and once you get all three, I'll be able to install all three services for you for free."

You have to remember, that the customer only knows, what you tell them. Go back to the pharmaceutical rep for a minute. You're now out to lunch with him, and the doctor has agreed to buy the pills for women who take birth control. Well, you better make sure you have the next drug or something else that's going to be big on the market. In addition to making extra money, this will also show the doctor that you mean business, and you want him to think that you are going to be his go-to guy (or gal) when he needs the most cutting-edge drugs for his patients' best interest that the market has to offer.

If the customer doesn't bite on the upsell, don't be afraid to walk away because at that point you don't want to lose the sale for being too pushy. Some salespeople will be just as pushy as they first were, and that may work, but you want to develop some type of relationship where you let the customer breathe a bit.

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