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What would it mean for your company if you could add 25% to every single sale? If you learn to up-sell, this daydream could become reality. Not only will up-selling increase your business’s profits, it will allow your customers to purchase other items that they need. This business strategy can be a true win-win situation once you learn how to do it correctly. Start by understanding what upselling is by reading this article. Here are five strategies that have been proven to increase your chances of increasing a sale.

Strategy #1 – Service Portfolio

One of the best upsell strategies that should be quite obvious, but  rarely is, is to have a service portfolio that ties together and builds upon each service. The same goes for products. An ecosystem of products is the same as a service portfolio.

To upsell a service when a customer is already buying from you, the upsell connection has to make perfect sense and should be a natural extension of the service that is already being bought. For instance, if a customer is buying a brand naming service, we also offer a slightly discounted logo design or brand identity service offer. This is a natural extension and a service that the client would need – once the brand name has been nailed down.

By offering a small discount, that we would normally not offer anywhere else, the incentive for the buyer is to save a few dollars and for us as an agency is a bigger project and the motivation to allocate more design resources to the project – a win-win for both parties involved.

On the flip side, a bad upsell would be if a client is buying a website design service and we offer them a package design or brand naming service. That makes no sense. There may be a very small percentage of clients who may actually benefit from a re-evaluation of their brand name or domain name. But that chance is so small that by offering seemingly unrelated service at the point of purchase, we would actually be diminishing the brand perception and hurting our chances of creating a favorable perception in the first place.

Strategy #2 – Service Upgrade

Another strategy that dovetails into the previous one is the concept of a verison upgrade which is used extensively in the software segment and works really well – and makes sense. In terms of a service upgrade, you would be offering a better version of the service for a little bit more.

However, this strategy has to be used with integrity in mind and with the customer on top of mind. The upgrade should not contain core features that customer might expect to find in your service. If the customer feels that a feature has been put into an upgrade offer that should originally have been in the core service, then your brand loses trust.

A simple example of a natural upgrade offer would be our logo design service that can be upgraded to include a business card design. However, if we were to try and offer a particular file format (such as a PDF file of the logo) in the upgrade then it would go against the integrity of the brand since most standard file formats should be given to the client as part of the original service.

Strategy #3 – Value-Based Upsell

Value has to be created in anything your sell and in anything a customer buys from you. However, you can cascade value into different tiers depending on the impact it would have on the customer’s life and how much of it the customer is prepared to invest it.

Now, this may sound like it goes against the integrity principle of your brand but allow me to explain.

Value comes in different forms and can add different levels of impact. For instance, when we offer our brand identity service, the value we offer is the strategic approach to creating an identity including visual storytelling, real-world context-driven usage of the designs, and originality.

But there can be other value-added features that can be offered such as a brand audit, that not only looks at your current visual identity but also your current messaging framework. Or perhaps even a competitive positioning strategy can be a value-added service IF the client needs that and would benefit from it. At Spellbrand, we take a deep look at what the client would need to move towards the Blue Ocean and awaken their brand.

Strategy #4 – Offer The Big Picture

This strategy dovetails into the previous strategy. When offering service upgrades, one of the best things you can do for your customers is to offer them a big picture service – this could be a service that moves their business forward or their life get better.

Short term strategies would end up hurting your brand and your business in the long term. Be very careful when offering upsell-offers. The worst thing you can do is look like you are trying to make a quick buck. By thinking about the big picture and your customer’s world view, you can come up with and offer upsells that benefit the customer on a higher level and align with their life goals and ambitions.

This means you have to understand thoroughly who is your target audience is and create detailed customer avatars. Check out this series of articles on brand archetypes that will give you an idea of how to create your buyer personas and more.

Strategy #5 – Make a deal

Customers often will buy more—at times much, much more—if they think that it gets them a better overall deal. You can offer complimentary gifts with purchase, quantity discounts, or just about any deal that has been shown to entice them. Get creative and think about ways you can offer a perceived value that costs you very little in the long run. Be sure it’s a deal you can offer on a regular basis without hurting your profit margin, as your customers will be sure to tell friends and acquaintances about their killer deal.

Keep careful track of what up-sell strategies are working best for your business. This will allow you to offer expanded selections in these areas and develop a custom up-sell strategy that is just perfect for your business and your customer base.

We’ve all fallen for up-selling, sometimes knowingly when the up-sell was advantageous for everyone involved. Offering these types of win-win situations can help your business succeed and ensure that your customers have everything they need to enjoy your products and services to the fullest.

Mash Bonigala

Mash B. is the Founder & CEO of SpellBrand. Since 1998, Mash has helped conscious brands differentiate themselves and AWAKEN through Brand Strategy and Brand Identity Design. Schedule a Brand Strategy Video Call with Mash.