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On Upselling

You must upsell your clients.

Upselling your clients isn’t about producing more revenue for you and your company, although it will certainly produce that outcome.

Upselling your clients isn’t about improving your profit margins, even though it will absolutely make you and your company more profitable.

Upselling isn’t about moving your clients upstream into a high priced solution as part of your sales strategy, even though it’s sometimes the right strategy and it often works.

It isn’t about your commission check.

Upselling is about creating the maximum amount of value for your clients.

Let’s say you walk into your dream client’s office for a meeting. They know what they need and share those needs with you. You have just the solution. It’s what they need and will get them the right outcome. All you have to do is help them buy it. It’s an easy sale. But that doesn’t make it the right sale.

What if there is something more your client needs? What if there is a larger, more strategic outcome you could deliver? Selling your client what they need isn’t the same as creating the maximum value that you can create. Stopping short of maximum value creation makes you transactional.

So why don’t you upsell your clients? First, it’s easier just take the deal in front of you. Some salespeople just take the easy sale and move on. But the second reason some salespeople don’t upsell their dream clients is because they’re afraid that by increasing the size and scope of the deal they lower their chances of winning it. They also believe that increasing the value created also means lengthening the sales cycle (and it might).

Not upselling means not creating the maximum value for your client. It means choosing to be transactional instead of strategic. Not upselling also means increasing the likelihood that one of your competitors (one who isn’t afraid of losing and isn’t afraid of a little longer sales cycle) will win their business—and their mindshare, their wallet share, and their loyalty.

Your job is to create the maximum value for your client in every deal. That doesn’t mean selling them more than they need (that’s about you). But it also doesn’t mean selling them less than they need (that’s about you, too).


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