Upsell or Upserve? Which Do You Do?
On my flight back from L.A. to Philly this week, I read Daniel Pink's latest book To Sell is Human. It's a thought provoking read, from an outstanding author and thought leader, that shatters the myth of the sleazy sales person and lets us know that in today's world we're all in sales—whether you're selling promotional merchandise to a client, or talking nap time to your three year old toddler—we all use our persuasive skills every day to move people in the direction we want.
I especially liked the Sample Case on moving from "upselling to upserving." You've probably been taught to upsell, which is trying to get someone to purchase more than they originally intended or needed. In the past, I've been guilty of using and teaching this concept, but to be honest, it can backfire. Clients know when you're trying to upsell them, and very often resent it. Even if they do go for more than intended, they may have buyer's remorse after the purchase, which doesn't leave a good feeling about doing business with you. (One caveat, please don't confuse upselling with making the right recommendation for the client's needs. If there's a justified reason for a client to spend more, that's a whole different ball game.)
So what does work? Dan says to move away from upselling and instead think about upserving. Many of us in promotional sales are already doing this every day. I believe upserving can cement relationships, build trust and encourage repeat business. He says, "Upserving means doing more for the other person that he expects or you initially intended, taking the extra steps that transform a mundane interaction into a memorable experience. This simple move—from upselling to upserving—has the obvious advantage of being the right thing to do. But it also carries the hidden advantage of being extraordinarily effective."