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Hustle ... Self-determination to go out there and work it out until you made it.

Low Hanging Fruit

Upselling to your existing customers

If convincing your current customers to spend more seems like a hopeless uphill climb, consider this: Studies have found it costs five times as much to win over a new client than it does to serve an existing one. That makes upselling an essential component of your ongoing work with a customer—not only to solidify your relationship but to make that relationship more profitable for you. Upselling can cover everything from upgrades to more comprehensive services and solutions. The following six strategies can assist you in compelling existing customers to do more business with you:

  • Know what they need

Talk to clients on a regular basis and make certain you understand what their needs are. Have them prioritize issues. What's immediate and what's further down the road? Don't focus on what you'd like to sell them. Listen carefully to what they say and, from there, identify those upselling opportunities that best match their requirements.

  • Don't sell products and services. Offer solutions

Now that you know what your customers need and what you can offer to address those issues, try to lay out a variety of alternatives. Offer them solutions that are incrementally better and at incremental price levels.

  • Educate them

If you offer a client three different upsell options, make certain they fully understand how each alternative functions and their varied advantages. That means genuine education, not a sales pitch. That way, they get to see the true value of what they're buying.

  • Quantify

One of the most compelling strategies to successful upselling is quantifying cost versus benefit. For instance, if a customer has downtime that costs him or her $5,000 a month and a marketing software package that can help attract new customers to fill that void runs $2,500, put those two numbers together to show the payback on the investment.

  • Stretch the timeline

An even more effective means of quantifying is illustrating how the upsell will benefit the client over the long term. Taking the example above, that one-time $2,500 software package will help cut into $60,000 that's going out the window every year. Don't limit your approach to the short term. Don't forget to point out the downside of simply doing nothing. How will things improve if nothing changes?

  • Follow through

Training and support after the sale solidifies your relationship with a client, which builds a level of trust and leads to additional upselling opportunities in the future.

Upselling is a matter of knowing your clients' needs and goals and staying on top of them as consistently as possible. In that sense, upselling really isn't "selling". Instead it's ongoing service that benefits both your customers and your bottom line.

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