Home Others Knowing When To Upsell Your Existing Clients

Knowing When To Upsell Your Existing Clients


by Lewis Robinson

sell button

Ah. The upsell. Every marketing professional worth his or her salt knows about this sort of thing. It’s easy in theory to sell your clients a complementary product or more services at a higher price. It’s another thing to do it. For one thing, most business owners have a fear that if they try to sell their clients more, they might lose those clients.

Somehow these business owners perceive it as something that they need personalized negotiation training for. But shooting down a client’s objections really isn’t the goal when it comes to upselling. Instead, it’s a matter of knowing your clients and know which of your services would suit them best. The key is to solve your clients’ problems.

Is It Related to the First Purchase?

In an article on Quick Sprout, SEO and business expert, Neil Patel suggests that business owners who suggest upsells should suggest ones that actually relate to what the customer is buying.

Here’s an example. Let’s say a company hires you to write content for a brochure for the company. You know that there is no graphic designer on board to do the project yet. You actually offer graphic design as part of your services. Why not offer them the service? They’re going to need it anyway. Doing this puts you in more of a position to get them to say, “yes,” because you’re not asking them for something that makes no sense in context.

Here’s a good example from Inc.com that shows how much upselling can do for your bottom line. An article on the website talks about a company that sold language abroad products/ services mostly. However, by offering housing and travel insurance, the company increased its bottom line by 21% to 25%.

How To Do It.

The previous paragraph gives you a hint about what should be done about the upselling dilemma. Chron explains this as identifying the customer’s needs.

Let’s go back to the example in the previous section and the example of selling graphic design services. The “push” for the upsell can come in the original conversation, and it really doesn’t need to be a push. In this case, it might be as simple as explaining what you do and asking if your client already has a designer in mind once you deliver the copy for the brochure. The key is to be prepared going into the meeting. If you know that you’re going to be talking about writing brochure content, don’t just bring writing samples, bring design samples.

Additionally, this part of the conversation opens up the possibility of talking budget. Typically, when a client approaches you about a project, there is some initial talk about budget. But that budget talk is related to the first product or service the client wanted. If you introduce a second product or service and you know the client needs it, the flow into budget can go much smoother. You’ve already determined need. Now you just need to see if the client has budgeted for what you’re suggesting.

Why To Do It.

Inc.com reminds us that current customers spend 67% more with us than a new one will. While you may not sell an upsell the first time around, once you have that customer, chances are really good that he/ she will buy from you again. This is especially true if you have a good working relationship. The customer has grown to trust you. That also makes them more open to suggestive selling in the first place.

And before we move on, we should think about trust some more. Most people have the wrong idea when it comes to sales. The best client/ vendor relationship exists, because the business in question solves the customer’s problem/s. If you develop a reputation for suggesting products or services, because they will solve a customer’s problems, you have a better chance of selling to that customer period. One way to do this, according to Inc.com is to help your customers sell more to their customers. That helps them see your value.

Last Thoughts.

The best upsells happen naturally and organically. And the best salespeople include them as a matter of course when offering services for their clients. However, making the effort to upsell your clients can increase your business’s bottom line by as much as 25%. Finally, if you approach the sales situation as a problem-solving situation, you’ll have better vendor/ client relationship in the long run.


lewis robinson

Lewis Robinson is a business consultant specializing in social media marketing, CRM, and sales.  He’s begun multiple corporations and currently freelances as a writer and business consultant.