Improving the customer experience should be the ultimate goal of every business owner, regardless of industry, because the success of your business relies heavily on retaining clients and their referrals. When considering ways to improve customer experience, upselling probably isn't what you would think of. Upselling often takes on a negative connotation involving pushy, disingenuous people offering goods or services to every client. But the truth is upselling is just exposing targeted clients to specific goods or services that based on their history you think they would want. This type of upselling is giving your customers a great overall experience and building trust between them and your brand.
So how do you train your staff to upsell in a way that actually improves the customer experience? The first step is determining what products or services you wish to promote as well as the target demographic. The worst thing you can do is tell your staff we are pushing said product or service and they advertise to anyone who comes in the door.
Your staff should be constantly engaging in conversations with everyone that walks in the door. If you’re not talking to people, you’ll never find out what is and what is not working. The conversations had between your staff and customers is an opportunity for discovery; likes, dislikes, concerns etc. A great example is someone that comes in with a sore back from all the deadlifts they'd done the day before. The staff may suggest a Sunday yoga class to help reduce pain.
More than just training to upsell, your staff should be well-informed on everything you sell—any services and products. Knowing which things complement each other helps them identify upsell opportunities. A product has to have high perceived value to the customer otherwise it will not meet your sales expectation and it will not contribute to customers’ satisfaction and trust. It’s also important to distinguish between a high selling price and profitability and meeting your customer needs – as it simply may not go together and you could end up with an unhappy customer feeling forced to buy something that he/she is interested in and is not within his/her budget.
Whatever you are selling, your staff should know it inside and out. What are all parts of the package/set, "which food supplement is recommended if they have the exact need, what does this protein bar taste like... When questions come up they should have a well-informed answer to provide to customers. This will, in turn, build trust. Allow your staff to experience all the products and services first hand to increase their product knowledge and making them more likely to promote it with confidence.
Just as important as asking questions to glean information from customers, it is also important to analyze their behavior in order to anticipate their goals and motivations. If they sign up for a 10-time boot camp pass, they might be interested in getting healthier. If you have a nutrition workshop or 30-day workout challenge, there’s an upsell opportunity. Always be sure to align the upsell with what’s best for the customer.
Observe how your employees handle the upselling conversation and give them feedback on what they did well, what they could improve. Being a good leader to your staff involves offering that support and guidance on areas where they need more help.