How do you increase sales and make more money? By acquiring more customers? Although that does work, did you know that it is 5-8 times more costly to acquire a new customer than keep an existing one?

When we think about that, it shouldn’t really surprise us. Most of us would rather buy from a company we already trust than one we’ve never done business with before.

So… a more cost effective way to increase sales is to increase your average revenue per your existing customers!

As a general rule, you can increase your average revenue per customer in two ways:

  • Increase your prices
  • Upsell your customers

If you increase your prices, that often comes with its challenges. You may have a magnificent product that everyone needs, however if you price it insanely high compared to your competitors, it will be hard to make decent sales.

Upselling is a much easier technique for increasing the profit margin of any retailer. It is an easy way to grow your bottom line and accelerate your path to profit.

What is Upselling?

Upselling is a sales technique whereby a seller persuades the customer to purchase more expensive items, upgrades, or other add-ons in an attempt to make a more profitable sale.

We all have experienced this in some way, possibly without realising. When we buy a pair of shoes, the salesperson may suggest that we also buy some weather protectant spray. Customers are far more likely to increase their purchase while already in “buying mode.” These are usually small purchases that the buyer doesn’t need to put a lot of thought into. But these incremental gains can be key to generating profits for you as the sales person, and for your organization.

Upselling has been described as ‘helping your customers win’.

If you can make your customer feel like an upsell is helping them win, then you’ll both win. Upselling isn’t just a sales tactic – it’s a customer happiness tactic that can help you build deeper relationships with customers by delivering more value.

Consider this situation: I check into a hotel for the night. Whilst checking in, the clerk offers me an upsell: would I like to add breakfast — usually $40 — for “just” $20? I accept without reluctance, in fact, I am very happy to do so. At half the standard rate, taking the upsell offer is an easy win for me. From the hotel’s perspective, they upsold me on an added service that I otherwise would not have purchased, made extra profit, and built a deeper relationship with me, as that breakfast is one more opportunity that they’ll get to serve me. A clear win for them, too.

5 Upselling Tools

1. Work on Product Knowledge

Upselling is also a sales skill that’s embedded in product knowledge. If your sales reps lack understanding about the products they sell, it can be hard for them to upsell. They need to understand how to recognise an opportunity to sell-up and deliver the “ask.” Product training isn’t always incorporated into employee upsell training, yet it should be.

Sales reps who have intimate familiarity with the products they are selling are in the best possible position to identify which features will most likely excite a particular type of customer and to determine which upgraded products they should sell up to.

2. Become a Good Listener

What is being said? What isn’t being said? Listen for opportunities to serve/sell.

Sometimes getting an up-sell is as simple as listening to the client. A salesperson is trained to know the company’s full product line or full offering of services, while the customer may not. Many times during a conversation, a customer will tell you about other needs he has. Often he may not be aware that your business offers a solution. If you are able to find that solution, it creates a sale for your business and satisfies the client.

Listening carefully will allow you think of logical up-sell solutions. Don’t just throw in products because you have them and want to make more money. Effective upselling should always come from a desire to identify and fill needs, rather than just trying to push a product without much concern for how it fits or is perceived. If they are highly relevant, they’ll convert better.


3. Sell benefits, not features, to create value

Why do you buy something? It could just be an impulse buy, but in most cases you buy something because it solves a problem. By focusing on the benefits of a product instead of its features, you are likely to increase the number of
people who will choose your upsells.

When you upsell, you’re promoting increased value in the form of higher security, convenience, prestige or something more concrete. It’s saying, ‘For just a little more money, you’ll be so much happier—with a better rental car, or breakfast in your hotel room, or increased perks at the gym, or whatever.

Unless what you are promoting has perceived value to the customer, it’s unlikely the sale will be achieved and will do little to build your customer’s loyalty or trust.

4. Ask

While each of above tools are certainly key factors in increasing sales, an up-sell won’t happen unless the salesperson simply asks. Salespeople need to be trained to ask for the up-sell. More importantly, if the salesperson works on a commission basis, then he should understand on how asking for an up-sell every time can influence his pay check.

5. Intention

Finally, intention is key. If your intention is to make as much money as you can, that will shine through. If your intention is to make sure your customer is given everything they need, that will shine through. It will also result in increased customer happiness.

6 Sure Fire Ways to Upsell & Turn Your Customer into a Raving Fan!

Here are six great ideas to ensure your customer has the best offer whilst increasing your sale value at the same time. The examples are customers in a retail door shop.

“What about a door viewer, Sally?”

Does Sally need a door viewer for her entrance door? Sally wins – as she gets the extra security and peace of mind knowing who is on the other side of her front door.

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“Upgrading to 316 marine-grade hinges will save you money in the long term, George.”

Does George need 316 Marine Grade stainless steel hinges on his external doors? If he lives close to the coast, or on the foothills, this is essential for corrosion resistance. A win for George.

Minerva Cabinet Handles

“No doubt you would like your cabinet handles to match your door furniture, Mr & Mrs Smith?”

Mr & Mrs Smith didn’t even realise this was an option! The Smiths win – matching their kitchen handles with their door handles, creating a consistency of finishes and style throughout their whole house. Even in a renovation, cabinet handles come in 32mm increments so it is easy to match up with existing hole sizes.


‘If you don’t fit one now, you surely will later – it’s more efficient to get it done now Julia!’

Does Julia want a Door Closer to her shopper or laundry door? She wins getting ease of use, the door just shuts behind her. Some of our reseller base have reported they receive a lot of new-home owners coming in a few months after construction completion to purchase closers for their shopper and laundry doors.

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“And door stops too, Mr Jones? – to protect your walls & handles”

Yes, Mr Jones wants door stops.  Another win – at a very minimal cost, these will save damage to his walls and handles.

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“Ah, now your onto something Amanda– an electronic lock, the ultimate in convenience and style!”

Does Amanda want to win by going for ultimate convenience? The Stealth Electronic Deadbolt can be opened via remote, pin code or key. So whether she has a handful of groceries, she’s sick of fumbling with keys, or she wants the convenience and freedom of choice, Amanda takes a close look at the Stealth. She wins!


Upselling exists in many forms but the principle remains the same: offer customers the opportunity to purchase additional items to benefit, enhance, supplement or otherwise improve upon their current purchase or experience.

Upselling is simply selling more to a customer than he/she originally planned to purchase. We all have experienced upselling in the world of fast food, with a cashier saying “Would you like fries with that?” and how many times have we ordered fries just because we were asked?

Well-executed upselling techniques can lead to a boost in revenues by selling more to the same customer. However, it’s not one-sided. The benefits extend to the customer’s experience and satisfaction as well.

Now it’s time to get out there and put these strategies to the test. Upsell your customers and maximise your revenue!

Good luck upselling!

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