I’m sure we’ve all been in that position where you’ve walked out of a shop, after initially going in to buy something, a suit for example, only to find yourself leaving laden with extra bags containing a shirt, tie, belt and shoes and not really knowing how you ended up there. This is upselling at its finest!


As a salesperson, the opportunities to upsell are numerous but it’s amazing how many are missed. If you want to make your manager’s day then read on here and try and apply some of these simple rules to upselling. This will improve your sales figures and your customer may well will leave with the benefit of having something they had previously not realised could be so good for them


No one really likes hard sales tactics, so you have to be very careful not to come across as too pushy or even needy. Make sure that when you suggest an added value item that you time it right. You may recall an old TV detective called Columbo. He would spend five minutes summing up the case seemingly going nowhere and then just when the killer thought he’d got away with it, he would drop out the ‘just one more thing’ line to deliver his final ‘gotchya’ statement. Doing this when upselling is a bad idea so don’t leave it till the end. Introduce suggestions as you go.


It’s also worth noting that whatever item you suggest to your prospect, as an add on, has more impact if you make it slightly more attractive for him or her. So maybe offer a small discount if they take the shirt and shoes today rather than coming back later when they realise themselves that they actually now need them.


Obviously, whatever you offer needs to be aligned to the product they have just bought too. Whilst we don’t like salespeople to be too fussy, once you do engage with a salesperson you want them to make suggestions as to how your current purchase may be enhanced. It’s not that people don’t like being ‘sold to’ it’s rather that they don’t like being sold to badly. Even if someone is making suggestions or trying to upsell me and I don’t necessarily want or need what’s on offer, I can respect the efforts of a professional salesperson just doing their job.


When you do make suggestions to upsell your prospect then it is logical that you should have a sound rationale for doing so. There’s nothing worse than having just bought a suit and the salesperson saying something banal like “Do you want a shirt to go with that?” which is a very poor cousin to professional selling and upselling in particular.


By asking the rights questions during the transaction you can glean what the occasion is and why this particularly suit needs to be this style of garment making it the right one. At that point, you at least the right ammunition to go back with something more credible when you make your suggestion. For example, saying something like “I know you said you have a plain white shirt to go with the suit, but would you consider this shirt which really emphasises the key colours in the fabric?”. This is at least linked and relevant to the initial purchase and therefore more preferable.


There are always opportunities to upsell your client, customer or prospect, we just have to be tuned into exactly what it is they are looking for and assess those items that make sense and logic to go with the initial sale. Even if they don’t take the offer they may well come back into your shop soon after or you make a follow up call to establish if they are happy with their purchase and at this point you may even still have the opportunity to offer something that will count as an upsell on the initial transaction.


Selling is not a dirty word and people really do appreciate being sold to professionally. If you are able to bring your prospect from a position of ‘they don’t know what they don’t know’ to a place where they have bought some add on items which really enhance the initial purchase (and they didn’t even realise they needed them) then that counts as a win-win. You have arrived at an increased sale without applying any unpleasant pressure tactics or coercion and your client will be grateful to you for your suggestions and professionalism.


At Maguire Training, not only do we offer classroom-based courses and programmes, but we are also proud to offer a versatile and intuitive suite of over a hundred e-learning modules on our website, which covers a range of sales and customer service topics. Have a look at the on-line module ‘Selling Features and Benefits’, which would be a perfect complement to our classroom-based sales course ‘Professional Selling Skills’.


If you need further information then you could always call us of course on 0333 5777 144 for a no obligation discussion about your training requirements. Alternatively, simply hit the ‘Contact Us’ on any page of our website at and we’ll get right back to you.


Either way it would be great to hear from you.

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