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One of the quickest ways to increase your sales is through ... or selling ... products to ... at the time they are placing an order. An ... example of that is found at fast f

One of the quickest ways to increase your sales is through upselling, or selling additional products to customers at the time they are placing an order. An excellent example of that is found at fast food restaurants: when you order a burger, you will often be asked "Do you want fries with that?" It's a great way to increase your revenues, since customers are basically in a "buying from you" frame of mind at that time. This can work for products or services, although services should be "productized", meaning you offer a specific scope of services for a set price.

Here are the basic steps to a good upselling program:
1.Know the value of your products
2.Figure out what others have bought
3.Develop new options (products, installation, maintenance plan)
4.Script your plan

Ready to get started? Get out your pencil and let's go!

1. Know the value of your products

In this case, value means two things: the value or profitability of the product to you, the business owner; and the value or usefulness of the product to your customer.

Start with yourself. Look at each of your products, and calculate the cash in your pocket for selling each of them. This is just the amount you sell the product or service for, less your costs for buying or providing it. Be sure to include all costs - for example, if you buy the product from another company you will need to include the shipping costs to get the product to your location.

Create a table so you can clearly see the profitability of each product: on a piece of paper put the following items as column headings, and then fill your table out:
Product Name
Selling Price
Cost to Buy/Provide
Cash in (Selling price minus your cost to buy or provide)
% Cash in (Cash in divided by Cost to buy or provide)

Next, look at the value of each product to your customer. There are items which are useful by themselves, and items which are useful when purchased with another product. You will have the greatest success if you offer products which are less expensive than the original purchase but are in some way related to it. For example, if you sell a printer, an excellent upsell would be to offer a set of extra printer cartridges to be shipped to them along with the printer.

Add a column to your table:
Related to

In this column, put a "P" for primary products and an "A" for add-on products. Next to each "A" put the name of the primary products it can be sold with.

2. Figure out what others have bought

You should also take a look at prior sales and see what products your customers often purchased together. This may give you some additional ideas and insight as to what add-ons go with what primary products. Update your table based on your review.

3. Develop new options (products, installation, maintenance plan)

Spend a little time thinking about additional options for add-on sales. Again, a great upsell product is less expensive than the original purchase but is in some way related to it, and provides a fixed benefit for a fixed price.

Some options to consider:
-Supplies which relate to the original purchase (e.g. printer cartridges)
-Maintenance or update agreement
-Premium service - such as a special phone number to call with questions
-Extra or printed copies of a report or e-book

4. Script your plan

You now have enough information to develop your upsell script. This is a simple as asking the buyer "would you like _ with that" at the time of purchase. I would also suggest you include some sort of reason to purchase. Here is an example "Would you like a set of 2 additional printer cartridges along with that? We can ship them to you with the printer so they'll be available whenever you need them."

Select the products you will offer with a particular primary purchase by reviewing your product table. You will want to emphasize those items which relate to the primary purchase and which have the highest return to you. (In fact, you may even consider raising prices of the add-on products; there is often less price resistance at the point of sale).

Make it easy on the person talking to the customer by having a separate sheet or separate section on a sheet for each primary product with the specific add-ons to offer.

You can also do this via a web siteArticle Submission, by showing pictures of the related products below the primary product description or next to their selected items in the order summary or shopping cart.

You're now ready to go. Happy upselling!

(c) 2002 Carol Woods

Article Tags: Items Which, Original Purchase, Primary Products

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Carol Woods is the editor of Work at Home Income, a weekly publication of Income Building Blocks. IBB offers free ideas, information and inspiration for moms who work at home - or want to! For lots of free ideas to help you find a work at home job or start a home based business, visit us at and sign up for Work at Home Income!

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