Up Selling Isn’t A Hard Sell

30 Apr

Costco shopper

Every Business Should Be Up Selling. 

Up selling is easy, profitable and a win-win for you and the customer. Up selling is easy to do because your customer has already decided to make a purchase. She has crossed the divide from the barren land of uncertainty to the green lush land of gratification. You know she wants it, you just don’t know how badly.

Up selling is profitable because most products or services that are more expensive or are an upgrade, have a higher profit margin, and it is a win-win for the customer because an upgrade is normally a better product which should translate into a happier customer.

How Costco Up Sold Me, Without Selling Me

I love Costco. I buy lots of stuff there and they hardly ever try to sell me anything. Last week, they up sold me…without me even knowing it. They got me to dig into my wallet and give them $55, and that was even after I paid for my six month supply of toilet paper, bagels, cereal and pancake mix.

While I was standing at the cashier, swiping my American Express card, guessing if my bill would top $175, another gentleman with a Costco ID badge took my Costco card from the cashier and swiped it through a hand-held card reader. He looked at the data on the screen, smiled, and handed the card back to me.

As he was watching my over-sized portions of everything being loaded into my over-sized shopping cart, I asked him why he swiped my card. Seeming like he was waiting for my cue, he began his presentation.

He showed me the data on the card reader which showed how much money I spent at Costco, year to date and that 2% of my current spending was $88.50. With a grin, he told me that spread over a year that would amount to $265! Then he closed the sale when he said I should consider a Costco Executive Card where I get a 2% refund on everything I buy. For only $55 more than the regular membership, I would get $265 back”!

I Was Sold An Executive Membership

The thought of being an executive for only $55 impressed me. The thought of spending $55 to get back $265 impressed me more. To make the offer more attractive, I was told I would get $30 worth of FREE products and discounted coupons. If I use half those offers (which I will), it will bring the cost of the Executive Membership down to $25. Where can you be a member of an executive club for only twenty-five bucks, (even if they don’t have a lounge)?

I Was Sold Something Without Being Sold

The up sell was smooth and easy, and it was a win for Costco and a win for me. I will save more money, and Costco made another $55 and will probably sell me more goods. If your business does not offer upgrades or premium products or services, you should. If you already do, here are a few ideas on how to make the up sell process into a no sell experience.

Selling Techniques That Require No Selling:

1. Create an environment where the customer, not the sales person breaks the ice.  I began the dialogue with the Costco clerk after he swiped my card. Consequently, I was not defensive when he began his presentation because he was answering my question.

2. Offer customers a personalized experience and/or a unique offer that applies only to them? A readily available customer database can make a sales presentation into a customer service experience. At Costco, I saw exactly what I spent and what my savings could be.

3. Provide additional value added offers to make your customer come back, soon. The Costco coupons I received had expiration dates and several offers were for free products, with no purchase necessary. Of course, I’m going to come back soon and when I do, will spend more!

Up selling requires less selling and both you and your customer will be happier when it is done.


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