How to Upsell to Your Customers

how to upsell to your customers

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. Reason being, they do not want to create an awkward situation by sounding pushy. This can result in upset customers, missed sales opportunities, and negative online reviews. However, by communicating the value and benefits of a product or service in a friendly and conversational manner, salespeople can position themselves as trusted advisors.

When it is done right, upselling can help salespeople build long-term, profitable business relationships with their customers, and even generate more referrals. 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 was written for you. It is jam-packed with tips and strategies on how to upsell to your customers.

Do not pressure customers.

There are a number of reasons as to 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. Listen to them, show a genuine interest in their situation, and provide them with good advice and recommendations based on the prices they are willing to spend. This 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. If you overpower your customers and do not give them time to make the right buying decision, the sales are most likely going to 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 a time when you went shopping and had a pleasant buying experience with the salesperson. Chances are, 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 and you will enhance your customer experience and start closing more deals.

Offer solutions, not just upgrades.

In order for your upsells to work, you need to first uncover what your customers are looking for, and then show them the different options that are available. If a customer already has his or her 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 quite sold on the items they are looking at, ask them if they are open to looking at something different. If they are, make sure that you stay on course and only show them options that are similar to what they were initially interested in. One word of caution: do not present your customer with too many choices. If you do, they might become overwhelmed and not end up buying anything.

Make your pitch at the right time.

Research shows that upsells are 20% more likely to happen at, or near the end of the buying journey. That is why you avoid suggesting alternate products to a customer immediately after they start shopping. Wait until the time is right. Once your customer is ready to buy, casually mention a different option that has more features, or that 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, and 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 about products you are selling, you might not be able to provide customers with the answers they are looking for. As a result, they might not buy from you. Therefore, it is important to read product manuals or look online to get the information you need.

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 to answer your customers’ questions. This instills confidence in your customers and can help you generate more 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 that is not an improved version of the product that your customer wants to buy.