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Richard ArnoldRic Arnold has spent a lifetime learning what customers want. As a small business owner he transformed a $250,000 retailer into $1 million-plus operation in 12 months. As branch manager in Yellowstone he helped increase revenue by 100%. More than 30 years experience excelling in sales, marketing and customer experience management puts Ric in a unique position to offer practical advice and insights to help your business thrive.

Here is an article by Ric providing businesses such as yours insight on methods of upselling and making the most out of each sale.

Are You Getting Enough Out of Each Sale?

How many times have you been out for dinner when the server has said “Our feature appetizer tonight is… Would you like to try it?”, or experienced the infamous McDonald’s “would you like to up-size for just $0.50?” Simple, specific upsells that solicit the emotional, spontaneous ‘yes’. We all talk a lot about upselling, and most of the time it sounds easy. However, most of us are not as successful at it as we would like. Upselling requires top selling skills, tenacity and customer awareness. Yet if you master upselling accessories (such as motorbike apparel or camping gear) and add-ons (such as extended warranty or servicing), you will find it one of the best ways to increase commissions and profit, and move inventory.

Tips to Improve Your Upselling

It is easy to forget that it is up to us to take the customer through the journey of purchasing their dream – a dream that includes all the right gear, protection and features. For example, someone buying the latest snowmobile will likely want the apparel and equipment needed to use it right. Done properly, upselling can help achieve their dream while also boosting your business. Here are my top tips to improve your upselling:

  • Notice the Customer – Watch as they walk through your dealership or explore a unit. Notice what they touch, talk about or pay attention to. As the customer walks through a RV, for example, pay attention to where they spend the most time.
  • Build Rapport – This is one of the most fundamental – yet overlooked – selling skills. Gather information by genuinely talking with customers to gain insight into what accessories or add-ons they will want or need. Learn things such as how they will use their unit, what they do on holidays/weekends and what their family structure is.
  • Know All Your Products – We often forget there are other departments in the dealership we should know about. Why? To help you close sales that are of full value to customers. Get to know other departments’ products: what apparel can you offer to complement their new dirt bike or do you sell fishing equipment designed to be used in the boat they just bought? Know what you can offer and how it links into what you sell – and use this to build value for a customer.
  • Demonstrate the Product – Get it into their hands. Have the customer sit in the outdoor chair, try on the helmet or jacket, or listen to how the pipes sound. Get them excited about the product and create an emotional connection so they feel they cannot leave without it.
  • Affordability Now – As sales people we are all guilty, at times, of assuming what the customer can afford. Who are we to make the decision that the customer cannot afford the helmet, jacket and boots? Let the customer tell you what they can afford. Work with your F&I team to find out how much different accessories will add to bi-weekly or monthly payments. An extra $1,000 in add-ons and accessories will probably cost them less than $20/month, or $0.75/day.
  • Be Specific – After you have closed the sale do not say anything generic, such as “would you like some clothing?” or “can I show you some accessories?”. Be specific and, if you can, take the customer to the product. “Can I show you the helmet the manufacturer recommends?” or “we were sitting in those chairs when we talked about the trailer, can I add a couple of them in for you?”
  • Gift Cards – A customer should never leave your dealership without an in-store gift card. One of my F&I customers showed me this opportunity. Giving customers a gift card of up to $1,000 included in the deal ensures they will come back to your store for accessories, clothing and service. It will keep them in contact with you and means they will buy more products (often at full price).

I hope all this gives you some ideas on how to improve your upselling. Remember, chances are your customers will buy accessories anyway so why not ensure they get everything they want from you. Upselling is a great chance to improve customer loyalty and retention, get referrals, and sell accessories and add-ons at full retail price.