“Upselling” Doesn’t Have to Be “Hard Selling”

"Upselling" or "Cross-selling" as a practice is much broader than the way many people define it. We tend to think of the pushy CSR who crams offers we’re not interested in across the phone line and down our throats before attempting to place our order or resolve our problem. Nevertheless, sometimes an "upsell" is very subtle, customer-centric and effective. For example:

We have many clients who operate some type of rewards program. As the loyal customer does more business, the "reward points" or "bonus bucks" rack up. It’s not uncommon for customers to not even think about it. When the customer calls in to ask an account question or to change his address, it’s perfectly appropriate for the CSR to conversationally remind the customer that they have reward points sitting out there that could be used for free merchandise, travel or other services. The reminder may cause customers to use the program which will often lead to more business. It’s a win-win.

Another example is free customer-centered services that the customer may not be aware exist. Increasingly, customers are using on-line services to manage their accounts and communicate with the company. These service aren’t for everyone, but a conversational reminder during the phone call that these services are available can be a win-win for those customers who wish to do business on-line and the company who will be taking fewer costly phone calls.

As with any upsell, you should always follow some basic upselling principles to make sure that you’re effectively serving the customers with your offer – not driving them away.

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  4 comments for ““Upselling” Doesn’t Have to Be “Hard Selling”

  1. June 28, 2006 at 9:35 pm

    Tom, I don’t have any problem having our agents try to “upsell”, especially on the “customer-centered” services like online account management or automated balance check and payments on using our IVR. (This is the topic where we were “introduced” on Guy Kawasaki’s site. right?) We’re definitely on the same page on this one!

  2. June 30, 2006 at 9:02 am

    In fact, when it’s in the customer’s interest and may prove a value-add – I look at it like “up-serving” not “up-selling”!

  3. Jordan Blaker
    October 26, 2007 at 7:38 pm

    always give information first!!

  4. almira clemente
    October 27, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Hi!…I’m used to reading and searching the internet on available articles that could help me in hard selling or to be exact upselling for electronic gadgets…I’m looking for exact details on how could i insert the add-on accessories for their main items like camera for example wherein they would not notice that i’m upselling something to them.

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