3 Questions To Ask Before Starting With Upsells

I’m going to say a really bad word so brace yourself (the faint of heart look away)–


It might not be the word you were thinking of, but it has some serious negativity associated with it. If you’re like most business owners when you think upselling you think of a retailer forcing unwanted warranties on you. But upselling doesn’t have to be an ugly monster.

Customers don’t want to be upsold to. Walking up to a customer and saying, “Okay Jenny, get ready, I’m going to upsell to you now” probably won’t end well. Customers will however appreciate being given the opportunity to get on board with cool new things, add-ons, extras or other expanded products or services that can make their lives easier. It’s all about how the upsell is positioned and the energy it’s given.

Upselling can be a great way to help your customers get more out of your products or services, help them be more successful in the long-run and keep them happy.

But upselling isn’t for everyone. There are 3 questions you have to ask yourself before getting started.

Question #1 – Are They Ready?

First thing’s first, is your customer ready for the upsell? Good candidates are happy customers who are using your product or service, could benefit from extra features/benefits or are just looking to simplify their lives. Once you’re sure you have a happy customer on your hands, it’s time to move on to question #2.

Question #2 – Do I Have A Strategy?

Every upsell needs to be treated like its own little mini sale. Don’t think of it as another piece to be thrown on the heap of stuff customers have already bought from you. With a core product or service sale, you’ll take prospects through a series of logical buying steps (interest, education, validation, etc.). By the time they get to the end of the sales process they’re ready to make a buying decision.

Think of an upsell the exact same way.

Create a system which gauges a customer’s interest, educates them, gives social proof, justifies the cost, etc. Once they’ve gone through the entire process, then for the upsell. If you skip steps or assume they’re already warm from the initial sale, they may not see the value, and it’s easy for them to say no.

Question #3 – Am I Ready To Listen?

Modern selling is about conversations and building a relationship with prospects and customers. Even if you absolutely know an upsell can benefit them they need to come to their own conclusion. You never want to tell them what they need. Instead, ask questions and guide them towards a buying decision.

A key thing is to be listening for pain phrases. If you hear a customer say I want to ___[fix, stop, avoid, get rid of] something____ it’s important to perk up your ears. These are pain phrases, or negatives that they’re trying to get away from. When you hear these types of phases, start steering the conversation towards an upsell and how it reduces the negatives.

This process is all about listening, engaging and helping your customers.Understand their motivations and behaviors so you can work together to find a solution to their problems.

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