Why is it so hard to get retail associates to upsell?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from The Retail Doctor’s Blog.
I was buying a small electronic item when the cashier asked me, “Do you want to buy the extended warranty?” I replied, “No.” She continued, “I didn’t think so, but my boss makes me ask.”
While that isn’t an example of upselling, it’s the germ of why employees don’t do it.
It’s like parents saying, “Clean up your room” or “Mow the lawn.” No one likes to be told what to do.
The dialogue with employees about upselling should start at the hiring process. Ask during the interview if they know what upselling means. Ask if they have been trained on how to do it. Ask if they like to do it and, if so, why. If they don’t know what it is, give them an example.
The crucial tactic is to get your retail staff to see that they upsell themselves all the time.
Start with something they know. Take coffee.
If they come in with a Starbucks cup, ask them what drink they have and its price. Challenge them a bit. Maybe it’s a Zombie Frappuccino that cost $4.50. Ask them why they purchased that instead of a Slurpee at 7-Eleven for half the price. Then explain to them how they upsold their selection on novelty, Instagrammability or taste.
The point: Upselling is just what they, as shoppers, regularly do on their own.
Make sure you don’t confuse upselling with adding-on. They are two different aspects of selling.
Upselling is taking someone from a bargain, sale or standard product to a similar one that has more features. That means taking them to a better product that delivers more benefits to the shopper.
The upsell item should make life more convenient, deliver better results or have less maintenance. And yes, it costs more too.
Whatever you sell, make it clear upselling is part of everyday life — all you’re asking is for your team members to proactively help shoppers who are just like them.
- Why It’s So Hard To Get Retail Employees To Upsell – And How To Get Them To Do It Anyways – The Retail Doctor
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What advice would you have for managers trying to encourage store associates to upsell? Do some associates have to overcome a mental barrier in order to upsell? Are some more naturally inclined to upsell than others?