Make selling a mindset. Regardless if the employee is an inside or outside sales rep, their job is to sell, and part of selling is suggesting and asking. Employees need to ask for the sale or rental, as well as asking to fill other needs. They should use phrases such as:
- "Is there anything else I can help you with today such as a (blank) or a (blank)?"
- "Will you be needing any (blank) or (blank) to go with that (blank)?"
- "We also have (blank) and (blank) available. Would you like me to add that to your order?"
Consider an incentive program. A great way to drive the sale or rental of complementary items is to offer an incentive to your employees. Incentives are an effective method for recognizing employees who go beyond the basics in terms of satisfying customers' needs and driving revenues. They are a great way to show appreciation. Incentives also send the message to employees that upselling is important for them and the company.
Practice, practice, practice. Reinforce upselling and cross-selling techniques with personalized coaching and role playing. Developing an effective sales team takes a commitment and plan. Fast food clerks know to ask for the fries because it is part of their culture and is trained from the start. They are measured on that skill, and it is often not an option. Many of our clients use on-site and telephone mystery shops to coach their employees on upselling.
When we work with our customers to design a training program, we consistently hear how important upselling is to their company. Clients feel that their employees are "leaving a lot of money on the table." If upselling is a priority for your company, then develop a program to support and encourage upselling. Implement the skills suggested above and work with your staff to develop these skills. It will pay big dividends in both customer satisfaction and revenues.
Barry Himmel is a senior vice president for Signature Worldwide, a Dublin, Ohio-based sales and marketing consulting company offering customer service training, marketing and mystery shopping services for the equipment rental industry. For more information, call (800) 398-0518 or visit www.signatureworldwide.com/pr.