When you imagine salespeople, you may envision a suit-clad man with a silver tongue and passion for profit. While this stereotype has given sales somewhat of a bad name, there are tips and tricks you can learn from classic selling tactics to improve your retail business.
Although it’s unlikely that your sales associates joined the team as sales experts, you can help them hone the skills necessary to boost revenue at your store. One invaluable strategy is upselling. This is the practice of convincing shoppers to spend more money by selling add-on products or upgrades. The trick is to recommend merchandise that’s bigger, better or complementary to the items your customer has already chosen. According to Specialty Retail Report, stores can increase sales by 20 percent when upselling is successfully employed.
With the fiscal year nearly halfway over, it’s the perfect time to add new sales skills to your arsenal and earn more profit. Check out these strategies that your staff should learn to master the upsell.
What employees need to know
Sales prowess doesn’t come naturally to everyone – that’s why it’s important to instill the methods of upselling to each member of the staff.
The potential for an upsell begins as soon as a customer enters your store. The way your employees greet and engage with customers throughout their shopping trip is instrumental to increasing profits. It’s all about building rapport with patrons so they trust your suggestions as more than gimmicky sales pitches. Sales associates need to listen carefully and actively when shoppers explain what they’re looking for. The trick is to understand the problem they’re looking to solve with a purchase and offer more solutions.
“Employees must be knowledgeable about merchandise.”
In order to recommend appropriate products to shoppers, employees must be knowledgeable about your merchandise and comfortable talking about it. With solid explanations for how spending more will benefit customers, it’s much more likely sales associates will find success in the upsell. They can also cite previous customer experience, which demonstrates the attention that’s offered each patron. Employees can say, “People often buy x, y and z together.” This way, the advice doesn’t seem like it’s coming directly from a sales person.
You should demonstrate these tactics to your employees, rather than just explaining how it’s done. Next, watch them attempt an upsell and offer constructive criticism before setting them loose to make sales.
3 upsell maneuvers
- Add-on items: One of the most effective ways to boost revenue through upselling is by recommending complementary items to shoppers. A common approach to this method is by placing these products near the cash register. Once customers have committed to a purchase, they’re more willing to spend a few extra dollars on related merchandise. You can also craft store displays that include add-on items. For example, clothing stores can highlight accessories that match the outfits showcased on store fixtures. Another way to pitch add-on products is after the sale has been made. Follow up with shoppers about their purchases and recommend items that can provide even more value. This personalized approach to sales also shows you care about customer loyalty.
- Packages and bundles: There’s another way to improve sales with add-on items. Instead of suggesting one product that corresponds with the merchandise your customer has decided on, create add-on bundles. With this tactic, you group several related products together in a package that’s less expensive than each item on its own. This way, shoppers are getting a deal while spending more money at your store. It’s hard to resist discounted products, especially when they relate to a brand new purchase.
- Upgrades: Finally, you can reap more profit from a sale by suggesting a better and more expensive option. If your customer is buying a certain electronic, recommend a similar item that has even more capabilities and benefits. When the potential upgrade is explained in a way that shows the shopper how this alternate product will improve his or her life, it becomes a tempting offer. Suggesting better merchandise goes back to listening and understanding what the customer is looking for. When sales associates are aware of them, they can find products that speak to shoppers’ desires.