Are You Upselling?
A while back, my hubby and I were on our way back from one of my speaking engagements, and decided to pick up dinner to go. So we called one of our favorite teriyaki joints (Seattle’s Best, on 1st Ave S), to place an order.
Since it’s a little out of the way for us normally, we hadn’t eaten there in a while. So we were rather excited to have it conveniently located on our route home.
Then life got even better…
The woman who took my husband’s order asked if we’d like brown rice instead of white!
Now I don’t each much white rice. But I love brown rice! In fact I’ll order it every time if given the option. So this was a very pleasant surprise.
My husband said yes right away even though it cost a bit more. And boy was it good! This place has the yummiest teriyaki sauce, and it is divine on rice (white or brown).
I can say for sure we’ll now be going out of our way to eat there more …And I bet we’re not alone.
My husband and I were very impressed from a sales and marketing standpoint too. Because they’re clearly paying attention to changes in people’s eating habits, and changing their menu to suit. And they’re making sure customers know about this new option…They actually asked for the upsell!
Upselling doesn’t have to be hard or uncomfortable
With the simple act of asking if we’d like their newest menu item as a substitute, Seattle’s Best made $1.90 more. And now we’ll be there more often, and spending more money each time to get that fine brown rice.
All they had to do was let us know this option is now available, and boom, they grew their business. Best of all, I’m thrilled to have spent the extra money.
This was upselling at its finest. And it’s most simple.
What’s interesting is that big companies and chains often train their employees to ask if you want to make it a combo, add fries with that, try their new dessert, etc. Yet it’s rare to see this done in small restaurants (or any small business).
Which is silly. Because it’s one of the easiest things to do. And almost any business can do it (not just restaurants!).
When I worked in my parent’s animal hospital, we boarded pets. And we always asked if clients wanted their pets bathed before going home. More than 50% said yes.
Added convenience for them, more revenue for us!
The key here is…We were trained to ask.
All too often small business owners (or their employees) just don’t ask. Maybe because they aren’t comfortable selling.
Or they feel like they don’t have time to train employees in this much detail.
Or don’t know how to get the employees to do it.
Or, even worse, they think the employees are asking, when in reality it’s not happening (When was the last time you had a “secret shopper” call in to see what employees really say when they answer the phone???).
In the last case, the poor business owner is usually left thinking the promotion isn’t working. Or the new product or service is a dud.
When in reality clients don’t know it exists!
The bottom line is, you have to let people know about other options, or you probably won’t sell very many. Thankfully, you don’t even have to be there in person to do an effective upsell.