Ask The Swag Coach: The Art Of The Upsell
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Tenth in a series
Distributor owner and swag sales coach Josh Frey answers frequently asked questions on a wide range of sales topics.
Josh, I am an industry veteran with more than 20 years in promo sales and hungry to make more income. But at this point in my career, I am stuck. What is something I can do right now, if anything, to grow my sales and commissions?
Last month we discussed driving your schedule and getting into a sales rhythm. So if you have followed along since the start of 2022 and are executing on these best sales practices, you now have:
A sales action plan for the year
An “accountabilibuddy” to hold yourself to what you said you would do
A weekly sales scheduler or calendar to drive your efforts and keep you focused
You are well-positioned to sell and now have the focus and time to make it rain. But as the question suggests, there’s probably more work to be done to make this your best sales year ever. What can you do right now to increase your sales and income?
If I’m in your shoes—which I have been—I’m focusing on upselling.
My assumption is you have active projects you are working on right now. When presenting products and ideas, are you being reactive or proactive? Are you pricing out only what your buyer is requesting, or are you scoping out the full opportunity by asking what else your buyer needs or has a budget to buy?
Taking the time to ask a few extra questions of your client to better understand their overall needs and budget on any given project will help you identify the true opportunity, and dollars, on the table.
There are several ways to go about this, and since you asked, I am happy to share some tips on how I successfully upsell my client projects and relationships.
I will break this down into two parts: the questions to ask and then presentation strategies to deploy. Here we go:
Is there an overall budget for this project, and aside from the item(s) requested, what other products, if any, are you purchasing for this project?
Who are the recipients of these items (clients, prospects, employees) and what is your goal in purchasing these requested products (appreciation, client retention, brand recognition)?
Aside from this project, do you have additional needs for this same group of recipients for other events/times throughout the year? If so, would you share those details?
Once you know these answers, you can delve into how you are presenting products, pricing and ideas for your proposal. Below are some examples of how you can now leverage your newfound knowledge of the project to deploy a few upselling best practices:
Present pricing breaks, regardless of the quantities requested. Always show the next two or three price breaks so the customer can see how much they will save, per unit, if they buy a few more units. (A tip: Just because you may get end-quantity pricing doesn’t mean you have to give it away when the customer orders below that quantity. Make them earn it, and it will instantly hike your margins!)
Offer similar products, requested by your buyer, from only preferred supplier relationships, where you get end-quantity pricing and volume purchasing rebates. This not only helps your customer by driving sales toward your trusted vendor relationships, it also helps you build your relationship and show loyalty to your preferred suppliers.
Add an “Additional Ideas” or “FYI” section to your presentation that showcases other products and services your customer may not even know you offer—things that tie into their additional needs and budget, since you just asked them about it.
If you are looking to get your sales rolling right now, go for the low-hanging fruit: the upsell. Practice these tips on your next proposal or project.
Trust me, they work, and you will see solid results if you give them a try.
Josh Frey is founder of Falls Church, Virginia-based distributor On Sale Promos and the Swag Coach Program. He is a 25-year industry veteran and front-line sales coach. Josh@swagcoach.com. Visit TheSwagCoach.com to register for his next Distributors Helping Distributors show and learn more about his promo coaching programs offered.