Whether it’s that delicious donut with your morning coffee or the contemporary accent chair to complement your new sofa set, chances are you’ve experienced the art of upselling as a consumer. As an independent retailer in the paint and decorating industry, upselling is important to not only boost your bottom line, but also to establish your small business as more than just a paint store.
In addition to bolstering your company’s reputation as a one-stop shop for all of your customers’ home decorating needs, upselling is an opportunity for your staff to show off their expertise. But converting a simple transaction into a blockbuster sale is harder than it seems. It takes experience, expertise, technique and practice. Here are five tips to get you started on the path to mastering the art of upselling.
Carry the right products. In order to properly conduct a successful upsell to customers, you should keep your store fully stocked with a wide array of unique, quality product lines. Stay knowledgeable about the best coatings, brushes and other products by following relevant blogs, developing strong relationships with distributors and attending industry trade shows. And remember, when it comes to the products that line your shelves, quality always trumps quantity.
Superior product knowledge. The more your employees know, the better chance they have of selling additional products that will benefit the customer. Their roles should not simply be those of salespeople, but as well-informed and educated product experts; each interaction with your customers should be less of a sales pitch and more of a two-way conversation that adds value to their shopping experience. Take the time and make the investment to thoroughly train your employees about each of your products so they can make educated upsells when the time is right.
Effective product placement. Almost as important as the product lines you decide to carry is where you decide to place them. Displaying products in a strategic manner has tremendous influence on customers’ spending habits and the financial performance of retail stores. For example, organize your store in easy-to-identify sections and place complementary products close to one another. It’s also effective to place expensive products at eye-level and small, inexpensive items near checkout. Proper product placement will not only make it easier for your staff to upsell, but also for customers to make impulse purchases.
Provide maximum value. Encourage your customers to think about the long term and the bigger picture when upselling them. For example, if they spend a few more dollars, they can get the larger can of paint or coating, which will provide them with more product and possibly save them a trip back to the store. Bundling related products together for a reduced price and sales on specific items are also great ways to encourage customers to spend more than they had originally planned.
Active listening. While upselling is important to your company’s financial success, it’s even more important to listen to what your customers are saying. Instead of pushing unwanted products on your customers, encourage your employees to actively listen to your customers’ needs and ask the right questions. Often, the customer will be the one to initiate an upsell, but it is the job of your staff to recognize – and jump on – the opportunity. If a customer feels like your employees are only interested in getting more money from them, it might be the last time they shop at your store. And as a business owner, you know that few things are more expensive than losing – and having to replace – a customer because of a bad experience.