Have cross-selling and upselling become lost retail arts?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from The Retail Doctor’s Blog.
Cross-selling and upselling in retail are the foundation of raising the average ticket.
Here are five tips to get you started in your store:
- Build rapport: Cross-selling and upselling at retail too often involve a salesperson trying to sell an extended warranty at the cash register in their first conversation with the customer. The associate hates doing it, but is required. The customer hates it because they know it’s coming. It rarely works. Here’s a better way: build rapport first.
- Know your pairings. A broad selection of complementary, additional products should be in the sales associate’s head to suggest before a shopper ever walks into the store. Examples would include shoes and handbags, ties and blazers, watches and cufflinks.
- Make it relevant. Keep your upselling suggestions relevant to the primary product and the interests of the customer. The rapport you build with your customers before you ever get to the product will help you make recommendations that resonate and increase customer satisfaction.
- Showcase items. Complementary items and common pairings should be prominently displayed on the sales floor. You’ll likely lose out on an upsell along the way if you have to walk across the store to find a blazer to match a tie or fetch socks for a pair of shoes.
- Be reasonable. If a shopper buys a $500 blazer, it makes sense to suggest a $50 tie; but if a customer buys a $50 tie, don’t try to sell them a $500 blazer.
One thing to avoid is to simply ask the shopper to look at a premium item without knowing the right selling strategies. The easiest response for that customer to offer is “How much?”, quickly followed by “No.”
Both of you lose when you do this without preparing the customer. While they may save some money, customers lose out on benefits they didn’t recognize and you miss a chance to upsell. It’s likely your customer loyalty will take a hit as shoppers revert to an online retailer to make a purchase later.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are retailers properly training sales associates to offer credible cross-selling advice and to upsell customers when appropriate? What are the keys to engaging in these selling practices genuinely and successfully?