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Upsell Without Upsetting Your Customers


Upselling is a sales technique that is used to sell additional goods or services to existing customers. It’s a great way to generate revenue because you don’t have to spend the time and effort trying to acquire new customers - you already have these companies as clients. You have a much better chance of closing a sale to an existing customer as well: the probability of selling to an existing customer is between 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is somewhere between 5-20%.

The problem with upselling is that, if done incorrectly, it can anger your customers:

“I’m already paying you guys $___ a month. Isn’t that enough?”

If you do this frequently enough, your customers may even choose to take their business elsewhere. So, you need to tread lightly.

Understand Who You’re Trying To Upsell

You shouldn’t begin trying to upsell to a client if you don’t understand what your customer is looking to gain from doing business with you. On a base level, it will have to do with what managed services means to their company. Why are they choosing managed services over your typical break-fix IT services?

After you understand this, you need to look at the particular industry this company is in. Are they in the healthcare industry? If so, why does the healthcare industry need managed services? What sort of regulations does the healthcare industry need to comply with? What are the pain points that they go through on a day-to-day basis?

Finally, look at that particular business’ needs in relation to their company itself. So, does that company struggle with maintaining their phone lines? Maybe they would benefit from VoIP services. What other technology-related issues does this company deal with due to their physical location? Their size? Their capabilities?

Once you get to this point, you should know exactly what that particular business’ pain points are. Now, you need to say how the additional services that you offer will help mediate those pain points.

If you can’t do that, you should not be pursuing this upsell.

Trying to sell in this way will keep your clients happy because it shows that you did your research and truly care about their success.

Upsell Supplemental Services

This strategy, what some refer to as cross-selling, occurs when you offer a related product or service alongside a service that they already have (or, one they are in the process of purchasing). For example, if someone is purchasing email hosting from you, some supplemental services you could offer with that would include spam & virus email protection and email encryption.

When using this method, you need to articulate the additional savings that your client will receive if they choose to bundle these services together. You could do this by listing the cost of having these services à la carte as a way to demonstrate that if purchased together, they will "recognize a savings of $___." 

Create Product or Service Tiered Packages

If you don’t already have something like this, it will take some time to design the right package structure. But, packaging your services in this sort of way makes it a lot easier to upsell your clients: you already know who has the lowest level package. Chances are, these clients would benefit from going to the next package. And, it’s a much smaller step for a client to go from the ‘bronze’ package to the ‘silver’ package rather than going from the ‘bronze’ package to the ‘platinum’ package.

To get the client to go to the next package, you need to articulate how the next package level will benefit them specifically.

Use Sales Promotions

If you don’t have the time to research each and every client that you want to upsell, running a limited time promotion is a great way to get them to come to you. Get your current client in the door with a new service by offering a discount when first signing up. It can be a free trial, or a percentage or dollar discount off of the first month of the service. Making it a no-obligation trial will encourage more people to give your service a try. And, if they like what they experienced, they’ll likely continue on with your service - even after they have to pay full price.

Need Further Direction?

We can help you run campaigns that target your current clientele. Contact us today for help running one.

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