How to get your staff Upselling
Upselling is something we are all exposed to from time to time. And whether you sell meals, bedrooms or widgets, it's a technique that can not only help your bottom line, but done well can give your customers an all round better experience. Here are some of the things to consider in getting your team to upsell effectivley.
Upselling usually involves marketing more profitable services or products, but upselling can also be simply exposing the customer to other options he or she may not have considered previously. Upselling implies selling something that is more profitable or otherwise preferable for the seller instead of the original sale'. But is it just about increasing the customer spend, or is it also about giving the customer a better all round expereience, giving them something they might have forotten to order, or never even thought of?
McDonalds of course are the masters of this - have you ever not been offered fries or a drink to go with your burger. And when was the last time you bought an electrical appliance and not been told the benefits of an extended warranty?
What to promote
- What are the high profit items
- What are the component parts of any packages
- What's not included, but may be relevant to offer to the customer
- What are the ingredients in a dish
- What does it taste like
- What are the best accompaniments to a dish
Allow staff to experience all the products and services first hand - this will not only make them more memorable, there will be more willingness to promote if they are confident to talk about it, and it will certainly be easier to evoke emotional appeal through vivid descriptions of taste, smell, feel, if they've experienced them themselves.
Spot the opportunities
- Options on accommodation - room upgrades, special packages, champagne in rooms,
- In the restaurant - bottled water, suggestions for starters, accompaniments, side orders, deserts, desert wine, specialist coffees, after dinner drinks
- Bar - branded beers, snack items, pasties with their coffee
I'm sure you'll have many more specifics for your own operation
It's also about timing - for example selling desserts - ask too soon and people say they are still too full, and go straight on to coffee, ask too late and they have gone off the idea, and want to head off home.
- The need for open questions to identify what the customer wants
- How to listen actively to customers' requests or preferences
- How to respond, and make suggestions, or offer alternatives that best meet the customers needs
- How would they describe each of your products and services? Rather than a script, allow them to develop their own dialogue, one that comes naturally to them, rather than something they have to remember and run the risk of forgetting.
Practice makes perfect
Plan for objections
- Distinguish between a definite 'No', and a simple request for more information before buying
- When it's just a matter of timing - they are too full now, but ask me again in 10 minutes
- They want something more, but you've just offered the wrong thing
- Explain the need to identify the nature of the objection by asking open questions
- How to demonstrate empathy and understanding of the customer's perspective
- How to gain trust by matching the response or offering to meet the customer's needs
Guide and support
Caroline Cooper is a business coach with over 25 years experience in business and management development, and founder of Zeal Coaching, specializing in working with hospitality businesses, and is author of the 'Hotel Success Handbook' . For more information on Zeal Coaching see