Sell Your Reps on Upsell Programs
You don’t have to resort to enforced compliance among your customer service reps to make an upsell program successful for your catalog.
In fact, you’ll probably sell a lot more incremental product if you invest the time and effort to ensure that your reps understand and support the validity of the process. Following are six important keys to an incremental sales program that your reps will accept and follow.
Stress offers, not selling.
Most reps in catalog operations are more comfortable with the idea of helping customers to buy than they are with selling. So soft-pedal your sales talk, and make it clear that what counts is letting customers know about the company’s great products or special values. At the same time, emphasize that the purchase always is the customer’s choice and not in any way meant to be an imposition by the rep.
Work on “how to,” not “have to.”
Part of the reason reps get turned off is because they don’t know how to make an upsell offer work (no one wants to sound stupid or feel like a failure). It takes more than supervisory exhortations to convince them to ask for the order consistently.
To give them a sense of ease, give reps some coaching and encouragement that acknowledges their feelings. Example: “Here’s how to make the offer sound accommodating, not pushy.”
Give reps sample language or help them craft their own.
Some reps will never be comfortable upselling unless they first ask for the customer’s permission. Example: “May I tell you about some new items we’re offering our phone customers today?”
If this ask-then-offer approach fosters greater rep compliance, let them use it. It’ll generate sales if the items you’re offering are desirable and your customers already are generally satisfied with your products and service.