The Secret Art of Effective Upselling

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If you apply the technique I’m about to show you to your Web site, you'll see an immediate 20% to 30% increase in sales. Guaranteed. And what's so wonderful about this technique is that:

a. It doesn't have to cost you a penny, and

b. It will take you LESS than a few hours to implement

... So by tonight, you could already see a 30% increase in your profits. What's this magic technique? It's called "upselling"…

If you've ever bought fast food; if you've ever bought clothes; if you've ever had your hair cut; then you've experienced it.

Fast food joints have the up-sell down to a fine art. You walk in their doors, walk up to the counter, and focus in on their - Value Menu. You're looking for quick, CHEAP food.

As your senses are attacked by the smell of cooking burgers and fries, you scan their menu and choose your meal. You step up to the cash register in a "buying state."

The cashier asks for your order and you tell him that you'd like Value Meal 32. He nods at your choice, and then pleasantly asks if you'd like that '"Super-sized for only $.49 extra."

Only $.49? For more of those fries you've been standing there sniffing? And more soda to wash it all down? That sounds like a great deal!

You readily agree. And with your nod, you've experienced yet another upsell.

Shoe shops do the same thing with shoe polish ... And hair salons do it with hair products. The routine is always the same. They wait until you've made your decision to purchase and then offer you a "special deal" that you suddenly can't seem to refuse.

Have you been had? Isn't this rather sneaky? Not at all! It's just good business!

The fact is when a person trusts you and likes your product or service enough to buy from you once, they like you enough to buy from you again and again.

The biggest obstacle you will face when persuading people to purchase from you is gaining their initial trust. This is why upsell products are so important.

Understanding the 80/20 Rule

Remember the 80/20 rule? I know from our own testing and research that it holds consistently true for "upselling" products:

... Basically, I've discovered that if you present customers with a SECOND offer while they're placing their initial order, 20% of them will claim the second product too.

It's as easy as asking customers to “tick this box" to claim Product X so they'll automatically receive the second product, and you'll automatically claim the extra profits.

The beauty of this technique is that it all happens automatically for every customer! All you have to say is, "Would you like fries with that?"

For example, if you sell printers, your "add fries" offer could be, "Would you like ink cartridges with that?" Or if you have an online flower ordering service with same-day delivery, your "add fries" offer could be, "Would you like the special holiday vase with that?" Yoga classes - "'Would you like the low-priced members-only yoga mat and water bottle with that?”

Do you see how this works? You can offer something that is a "natural" fit with your product or service, or you can offer MORE of the same product at a discounted price.

How to include “upsell" offers on your order pages

One of the most effective places to include an "add fries" offer is directly on your order form. The customer has just purchased from you. Their credit card is out. They trusted you enough to buy from you once. You've already earned their trust and persuaded them to make a "buying decision" - now is a good time to make a second offer.

So why not present your "add fries" offer on your order page - while your customer is filling out the order form?

I've personally seen as many as 40% to 50% of customers purchase the "add fries" offer alongside their initial purchase directly from the order form - but standard uptake typically falls between 20% to 30%.

The trick to making the "add fries'" offer work is ensuring that it's clearly related to the original purchase AND offered at an appropriate price point.

Nobody who just purchased seat covers will want to purchase a matching car; however, many people buying new gloves will want to buy a scarf to go with them.

I've found that the best price point for an upsell product is about 30% of the price of the original product - so for a $15 pair of leather gloves a $5 scarf would be a perfect upsell.

Make your upsell offers specially priced for customers buying that particular product at that exact moment only ... Create a special one-time offer - don't let customers think they can "decide later and come back.'" Make it clear that if they don't claim the deal now, they've have MISSED their opportunity!

They are open to buying from you now - so be sure to make them a special discount offer that they can't refuse!

Include text that says "Tick this box to include Product X with this purchase at a special 20% discount." Then in a couple of paragraphs, explain how Product X complements the product they're about to purchase, and how they'll benefit from having both. Clearly state the price of the "add fries" product and make sure you mention your guarantee as well (always remove the risk!).

If this seems like a LOT of information to include on an order form think about this for a moment. Our order forms are sometimes four pages long - and 30% to 40% of our customers purchase at least ONE of the two value ads we offer on every order form.

Don't underestimate the power of this upsell strategy. Once you've added these "add fries" offers to your order forms, the sales all happen automatically!

Why your “thank you" page can be a great source of EXTRA sales

Here's another little secret...

You can increase your sales by another 10% (easily) by simply adding offers for complementary products to your purchase "thank-you" pages.

So when Bob buys a brand-new vacuum cleaner, the purchase “thank-you" page he sees might say something like –

“Thanks for your purchase of a vacuum cleaner ... Just in case you're interested, I also have this special stain remover available ... "

This is such an easy thing to do yet most Web site owners leave their customers high and dry after they purchase. Sometimes they forget to even redirect visitors to their homepage!

Remember: A customer is MOST resistant to buying in the moments before they decide to go ahead with their purchase. They're filled with doubt ... "Do I really need this product? Is it too expensive? Will it be worth the money?" These are the questions that go through their minds before they buy.

Straight AFTER they make a purchase, however, they feel much better. They're excited to start making use of whatever it is they've just purchased, and all that stress they felt before - ­sometimes referred to as "buying resistance" - is gone. That's why your "thank-you" page can be another easy source of increased sales.

If you sell upgrades or add-ons to your products, make sure you mention these on your “thank you" page! After all, they've just demonstrated their willingness to buy one of your products ... Why not let them know about other products that they might need?

So to sum up, your customer has purchased your product, then hit your "thank-you" page and decided to grab your "add fries" offer as well ... What next? Well, next you’ll likely send your customer an e­mail conformation of their order…

So include another offer in that email!

ANOTHER offer? Isn't that getting too pushy?

Actually, it's not. The offers you include in your order confirmation emails should be soft offers and subtle suggestions - not "hard" sells like on your Web site. But these confirmation emails present another excellent opportunity to take advantage of the relationship you've now developed with a new customer. And it's so easy for you to do automatically with an autoresponder program.

These people have a clear interest in what you offer. They trust you and they've already made the decision to buy from you once. And they won't be irritated by another offer - on the contrary they'll be thankful for the advice - if you can position your offer as a complementary product or service that will help them in some way that is related to their initial purchase.

A one-time customer is a lifetime customer if you play your cards right. Keeping your customers informed and presenting them with the solutions they need is half the battle. Solve their problems for them and they'll continue to purchase from you in the future.