We were at the Hilton in Las Vegas recently for the New Media Expo. When we checked in, they offered us an upgrade for $25. We thought that an “upgrade” just meant a better room. But we knew we weren’t going to be in the room much. We’d be at the conference all day and meeting up with people in the evening. So why upgrade?
One evening, we were at dinner with some friends. One of them had upgraded. She got access to the spa and fitness center, a private breakfast, and more! As our friend described it all, we wished we would have gone for it!
However, the employee didn’t talk about the benefits (or even the features) when he offered us the upgrade. He didn’t give us a single reason to do it.
But at least he offered it; some employees don’t even do that. Or there’s the other extreme – selling so aggressively that you begin to wonder if what you were thinking about buying is any good at all. You start to question the company and its products or services.
We don’t know if Hilton…
- has an incentive to reward employees who are successful at selling upgrades.
- explains why upgrades are good for customers, employees, and the company.
- Thoroughly trains their employees to present the benefits of upgrades.
We do know that …
- We would have bought if the upgrade was presented how our friend presented it.
- “What’s in it for me” applies to employees too!
- We still love Hilton!
The power of offering more
Every sale presents opportunities for more sales. One of those opportunities is upselling – selling more of the same thing. According to the great book Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive, customers like choices “that fall between what they need at a minimum and what they could possibly spend at a maximum.”
The authors say that if you give your customers two choices, they will likely choose the least expensive one. However, you’ll make more sales than if you don’t offer a second choice at all.
The magic of 3
When you add a third product or service to the process, magic begins to happen. When that third product costs more than the other two choices, customers tend to go for the moderately priced product instead of the least expensive.
One of my businesses was a heating and air conditioning business. We had always offered our customers service agreements – we would schedule preventive maintenance of their furnace and air conditioner. We expanded that offer to include predictive maintenance (we automatically replaced inexpensive items that regularly broke down) and an all-inclusive program (our customers didn’t pay for anything else). We found that we sold more agreements than we did before. About 8% of our customers bought the high-end service, around 12% bought the low end package, and the rest bought the middle one!
So it pays to present your customers with a good – better – best offering. Your sales will skyrocket … as long as you can get your employees to tell your customers about it! Do you have any examples to share of good or bad upselling? How about some suggestions on how your business upsells to customers? Share your stories with us by leaving a comment.