Boss Lady

Upselling opportunities: What to look for and how to reel them in


If you’re looking for ways to increase revenues, consider cross-selling and upselling. These two sales strategies have serious potential to boost your bottom line. Here, we look at strategies to help you leverage these amazing sales opportunities.

First, an injection of knowledge

You might not be familiar with either of these sales terms, so let’s first define them.

Cross-selling happens when you suggest an additional product to an existing customer. If you run a retail shop and have a customer ready to buy a dress, you could suggest a pair of earrings that really sets off the color in the dress. Because she’s already geared up to buy one item, she’ll be that much more likely to tack on an additional purchase.

Upselling is slightly different. With this strategy, you encourage customers to upgrade to a more expensive product or package, or else get upgrades or add-ons for their purchase. Consider the extended warranty often offered when you buy a camera or computer. This is an example of the upsell.

Both provide significant opportunity to increase profits without doing much additional work.

Where most brands falter

Unfortunately, most salespeople miss out on the opportunity to cross-sell or upsell products because they are laser-focused on selling as many of your flagship products or services as possible. They miss out on instances where they could get customers to buy more or come back for additional purchases, and that’s like leaving money on the table.

Now let’s look at ways you and your sales team can leverage these opportunities to boost sales.

Know your customer

The better you know each individual customer, the better you will be able to make suggestions for other products she may be interested in. Keeping track of sales opportunities and taking copious notes on customer interactions will give you ample opportunity to see where you can increase sales.

Maybe you have a long-term customer who always buys the same ream of printer paper from your office supply store each month. But you happen to have a note in your CRM system that says she is opening a second office next month. What better opportunity to suggest a complete stock-up of all office supplies? You could even offer her 10% off all purchases to reward her for being a long-time customer and to help defray her new office expenses.

Market the offers

Done correctly, your marketing promotions can do the work for you in driving sales of additional products and upgrades, especially for ecommerce sites. Make offers so irresistible that shoppers won’t be able to resist the upgrade or additional purchase.

Here’s an example: if you sell subscriptions to your business software for $15 a month, you could offer two months free if customers sign up for a year of service. Or you could reduce the monthly rate to $12 if they commit to a year. People like to save money, even if it means a longer commitment.

Pay attention to patterns

If you analyze your sales data, you can see what people are buying. Maybe you notice that they’re buying your digital cameras on one shopping trip, then returning on another visit for accessories. Here’s your opportunity to bundle the two together to sell more products in one shopping visit.

Being strategic about how you approach sales presents you with the chance to increase the average sale and boost revenues to boot.

About Megan Totka

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. Megan has several years of experience on the topics of small business marketing, copywriting, SEO, online conversions and social media. Megan spends much of her time establishing new relationships for, publishing weekly newsletters educating small business on the importance of web presence, and contributing to a number of publications on the web.

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