How to Upsell to Your Customers

how to upsell to your customers

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Despite the many advantages of upselling, many salespeople avoid trying to sell a more expensive version of the same product or service to their customers. The reason is that they do not want to create an awkward situation by sounding pushy. This can result in upset customers and missed sales opportunities. However, salespeople can position themselves as trusted advisors by communicating a product’s value and benefits in a friendly and conversational manner.

Upselling can help salespeople build long-term, profitable business relationships with their customers and generate more referrals when it is done right. This is a win-win situation for all parties involved: the salesperson, the customer, and the small business owner. If you work in sales or own a B2B or B2C business, this Balboa Capital blog post is for you. It is jam-packed with tips and strategies on how to upsell to your customers.

Do not pressure customers.

There are many reasons why shoppers make purchases. Some are unplanned and impulsive, while others are research-driven and financially cautious. When talking to customers, you should take the time to ask questions to find out what they are looking for. Then, listen to them, show a genuine interest in their situation, and provide them with sound advice and recommendations based on the prices they are willing to spend. Doing so will help you build a rapport with your customers and, ultimately, help you upsell more.

Next, always remember that upselling is a process, not a fast transaction. Nobody likes to be pressured into making a purchase. However, if you overpower your customers and do not give them time to make the right buying decision, the sales will probably slip away. Therefore, you will need to walk a fine line during the sales process and guide your customers to the transaction finish line in an unhurried, respectful, and empathetic manner.

Think of when you went shopping and had a pleasant buying experience with the salesperson. The salesperson was friendly and easy to work with, and they guided you in the right direction with no hard-sell tactics. Try using similar sales techniques to enhance your customer experience and start closing more deals.

Offer solutions, not just upgrades.

For your upsells to work, you must uncover what your customers are looking for and then show them the available options. If a customer already has their mind made up and is ready to buy, you can complete the transaction quickly and move along to another customer. In situations like these, the last order of business would be to upsell an extended warranty, if applicable, or an additional product that works with their initial purchase. These are commonly referred to as add-on sales. For example, a construction worker who purchases a table saw might be interested in additional saw blades or protective eye goggles.

If you sense that a customer is not entirely sold on the items they are looking at, ask them if they are open to looking at something different. If they are, ensure you stay on course and only show them options similar to what they were initially interested in buying. One word of caution: do not give your customer too many choices. If you do, they might become overwhelmed and not buy anything.

Make your pitch at the right time.

Upsells are more likely to happen at or near the end of the buying journey. That is why you avoid suggesting alternate products to customers immediately after they start shopping. Instead, wait until the time is right. Then, once your customer is ready to buy, casually mention a different option with more features or just hit the market.

For example, if you sell whole house water systems that filter up to 500,000 gallons, let customers know that you also sell systems with salt-free water conditioners and UV filters that filter up to 1 million gallons. These added benefits can help you sell the more expensive water system.

Understand what you are selling.

If you do not understand the basics of the products you sell, you might not provide customers with the answers they seek. As a result, they might not buy from you. Therefore reading product manuals or looking online to get your information is essential.

Product knowledge enables you to provide a wealth of knowledge to your customers. You will be better prepared to discuss a product’s features and benefits and answer your customers’ questions. This instills confidence in your customers and can help you increase sales and upsell more.


Upselling can be awkward for you and your customers. So, come up with a plan and try it out with a handful of customers. Finally, do not try to upsell a product that is not relevant or an improved version of the product your customer wants to buy.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.