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How to Sell without being Salesy


I recently started a weekly 30-minute planning and accountability session with a fellow business owner and we somehow ended up talking about sales. In particular, she mentioned her sister’s bakery that offers not only birthday cakes but a variety of accessories such as birthday cards, balloons and candles as well. It really brought me back to my McDonald’s days where it was mandatory to suggest 2 apple pies for $1.99, or large size your fries and drink for only 0.60  cents. Thinking back, that was and still is a great opportunity to increase revenue today. You see, you’re not really selling, you are simply complimenting an existing purchase- Upselling! I’ve been doing this for years as a part-time server so for me, it’s become second nature and I have huge plans to continue offering complementary services to existing clients now. 


Here Are Some Tips on How to Up-sell or Add on to Your Services:  


Create Packaged Tiers for your Offerings.

Think about the range of customers you serve. From solo preneurs to corporations to governments, and how you can provide something for your client range. Give the packages a name. For my all in one business management app, I offer The Gold Starter, The Gold Essentials and The Gold Business. So I have something for everyone who's looking an all in one business management app no matter if you have one client or hundreds.


Couple Products & Services

While you may offer services, there might be an option for other tangible upgrades. E.g. A therapeutic massage company might offer massage oils or even self-warming pads for an achy body. If you constantly think about client needs in your industry, you’ll be amazed at all the a la carte options you would come up with. Recently, I have been working with clients that are not necessarily new to business, but new to turning their business into credible and trustworthy ventures to build confidence.  Due to this need, I have started offering a suite of new business services just for them! These include domain name purchases so they can have an online presence, register for a business email services and even an official business name registration offering. I don't just offer these, I guide them through the whole process and some I even manage on my client's behalf so they have one less item to worry about. That's not sales, that's providing relevant services to my business clients!


Following Up


In my follow up blog post, following up is a great time to offer your customers complimentary services. E.g. You have a client not completing their purchased life coaching courses, offer an upgrade that comes with monthly 1:1's so that they can accomplish their personal goals on time. You're not selling- you’re assisting your client on a more personal basis. It’s like going to the dentist for a cleaning and they discover a huge cavity, it only makes sense for the dentist to book you immediately for cavity fill. It has to be RELATED. You’re not selling- you are offering what’s best for the customer in that exact moment.


Just Ask


If you have a service where you book appointments, after the appointment, ask to book another down the road. Clients want less to do and with one item out of the way, it's one less item on their to-do list plus a sale for you. Talk about a win-win. I can spot a lost business opportunity anywhere and I see small businesses leave money on the table all the time.  Go ahead this week, see how many people will rebook with you when you ask in the moment. Even if it's just one, it's one more sale.


When I was a server at Cora, my favourite upsell was offering white cheddar and caramelized onions on top of homefries that already came with the meal. I favoured this upsell because homefries were apart of almost every meal. I had an upselling strategy as well and I could turn breakfast for 2 into a $60 bill and a $10 tip not to mention customers who had a blast with me.  I love selling, because it's not selling if you're offering is just right.

You might be thinking what the heck does upselling has to to with client experience or customer service. It has everything to do with it! I still remember the day I purchased a pack of frozen chicken fingers and not get offered the plum sauce while cashing out. I was livid when I got home. Not sure how many people say no to plum sauce with fingers. How do you think my customer experience went? Not good and I never forgot. 


Benefits Of Up-selling


  • It shows that you are really being proactive about customer need.  

  • Make more money. Up-selling is a great way to increase customer lifetime value.

  • Customers become more aware of the other services you offer. Sometimes it’s not that obvious. They might not purchase now, but they might in the future.

Continue engagement and building rapport with your clients. Increasing touch points almost always result in more sales.  "It's not the customer's job to know what they want" ~ Steve Jobs



Hello, thanks for stopping by, learn more about why I love client experience and truly believe it really matters for business success.


We can even meet online and discuss what's standing in the way of giving your customers what they want right now.