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Let’s talk about effective upselling.

Studies show that most customers are comfortable spending up to 30% more than the original price in upsells. There’s a reason McDonald’s invented the phrase “do you want fries with that?” Fries are cheap to produce and they make more by selling combos instead of just burgers.

I have a close friend who’s a shop owner. When I come down to his shop, I watch him sell and he’s great at it. He was sharing with me a story from before he was a shop owner. He used to sell high-end knives. He’s a great salesman. Everyone he talked to about his product bought them. The problem was that no matter how good he was, he was always the number 2 salesman. He could never get to number 1, and it would eat him up. He asked the number 1 guy what his secret was and the answer was that it was in the upsell.

Little things always add up to big things

Sometimes we get our head stuck on the big item. We want to sell that item because it’s $1000 instead of the other item because it’s only $100. We get so fixated on that that we forget about the little upsells. That’s how the other salesman hit number 1 all the time. Along with the knives, he’d upsell the knife sharpener, cutting boards, and holders. It all added up and improved the customer’s experience with the product.

Let’s say you upsold $50 to half of the 300 cars that come in per month. That’s $90,000/year in extra revenue. I’m not sure about you, but I’d be pretty excited about making an extra $90,000 this year.

Upsells are smaller items, not the services you sold at the drop-off.

Think about the last time you went to the grocery store. There’s always those last-minute things near the checkout line. The gum, chocolate bars, and magazines. The things you didn’t go to the store for, but greatly contributes to their profits.

Some grocery stores have a maze of things you have to walk through before you get to the cashier. You don’t have to copy the grocery store exactly, but there is a lot you can learn from this.

Do I have to ask why you don’t have a display rack that has auto-related products on it? Windshield wipers, air filters, detailing kits, headlight polishing kits? These things that you can sell for an extra $25 or more with a service visit. You don’t have to stock every year, make, and model, let the parts store stock them. But if you have a nice display to get their interest, you’ll sell more as a result. Put a sign that says “how are your wipers working?” and put some windshield wipers on display. It will do the upselling for you!

When upselling, look for the signals.

These are the verbal and physical signals when you’re talking to your customers. Are they looking away or down, or are they engaged with what you’re saying? You only stop selling when the customer stops buying. If they keep saying yes, keep going further if possible. Don’t stop yourself from upselling because you think you’ve sold enough. Don’t think “I’ve sold two things, that’s enough” when the customer may be willing to would buy five things.