If you haven’t mastered the art of upselling, you’re leaving money on the table. There seems to be a common trend from salespeople and businesses of focusing solely on customer acquisition. I am not sure why the love for upselling has disappeared. Mastering the upsell was one of the major factors that helped grow the business I was managing 24.4% year over year. You can master the art of the upsell too because it’s pretty easy once you get it down.

Set yourself up for success by asking the right questions (check out my post on the best questions to ask your customers). If you establish trust first, you’re going to be a lot more successful. Think of upselling as a recommendation. You’re recommending the next higher model or package because you feel it’ll suit the needs of the client more. You’ll only be able to do this if you are engaging and finding out the main problem that the client is trying to solve. That’s the best way to sell is when you have a full understanding of your client’s needs, wants, and problems. Not only that but it’s the best way to reduce buyer’s remorse and increase customer satisfaction! It’s a win, win in my book.

Common Sin of the Upsell

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If you don’t master the upsell, things can go sideways fast. Remember you are attempting to upgrade people that may be completely sold on something. Even if you (as the customer) would never buy something doesn’t mean it can’t be a perfect fit or price for someone else. Be respectful and never insult your client. It will make your clients feel insignificant and you’ll most likely lose the sale.

I use Crocodile Dundee here for the classic knife scenario. He is saying how the smaller knife shouldn’t even be considered a knife. Always remember that a smaller knife might be all that person needs, can afford, wants, etc. You never know but you still always attempt the upsell!

The Greatest Upsell of All Time

McDonald’s created the single greatest upselling system of all time. They’re the epitome of upselling and a great example to follow… I mean they’re only the most successful food establishment ever. Their success came from one simple concept. Persistence. If you haven’t seen the movie The Founder, about how McDonald’s came to be, I highly recommend it. But, they used persistence in their upselling technique by asking customers “would you like to super-size that?”

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The super-size it upsell caused sales to skyrocket and it required minimal effort and money. Think about it, all they did was add 5 seconds to their order process and it equated to millions and millions of dollars, if not billions. Customers could not pass up this offer and it was only an additional $.49. You cannot beat that. They saw so much success from this that people took them to court and actually blamed McDonald’s for their obesity… because you know self-discipline isn’t a thing…

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Americans believed McDonald’s to be one of the biggest culprits in causing obesity to become so rampant. There was even a documentary (Super-Size Me) about it where a guy ate 5000 calories of McDonald’s every day for 30 days and was baffled that he became obese… go figure.

In the end, McDonald’s removed the super-size option due to negative publicity. They knew this would impact sales so they took a step towards re-branding to be healthier to drive more people in. If McDonald’s perfected upselling system helped them get to be #1, why wouldn’t you do everything in your power to master it? Upselling requires the least amount of effort, time, and money. That’s why if you don’t master it you’re leaving money on the table.

6 Steps to Mastering Upselling

  1. Persistence. I know I mentioned this earlier but this is the most important step. You have to make sure that you upsell each and every single customer you help. If you’re 100% sure they will not upgrade or even look at an upgrade, you mention an upsell anyway. It’s important to not get discouraged when you get shot down. You will fail often but the payoff is worth it.
  2. Verbiage. Your wording is very important. You want to create a hook that your customer bites on. You can do this with your pitch and use of buzzwords. If you ask someone “can I show you the upgraded version or model?” or “can I show you the step up from this?” you will find some great success. People will entertain the idea and it’ll do one of two things. One, they’ll fall in love with the upgrade and become sold. Two, they’ll become more sold on the original version if they don’t like the upgrade and it’ll be less expensive. But the key is you tried!
  3. Can I show you? Do everything in your power to show that upgraded version. If someone is on the fence about seeing the step up, all you have to do is say “can I at least show you while you’re here?” A lot of times this will push them over the edge because there’s little commitment to it. It makes people more reasonable and understanding. Get your foot in the door with this and upsell away.
  4. Create enthusiasm. You’re not going to get people excited about upgrades with a negative tone and no excitement. It’ll be a world of difference if you say something like “hey (name), I have something very similar to this that’s a step up that I know you’ll love! Can I show you it real quick?” Your enthusiasm is contagious (more on that here).
  5. Get creative. You’ll find more success with upselling the more creative you get. Asking the right questions beforehand will give you a leg up on how creative you can get. If you know what is important to your client then you can recommend upgraded versions while honing in on solving their problem! If I was selling a car and knew that a couple was upgrading to a midsize SUV because it’ll fit their family more I could pitch something like this, “I know the most important thing to you is to have a car that you and your family can grow into. Can I show you a standard SUV that I think would be a better fit and that you’ll absolutely love?!”
  6. If you think you shouldn’t attempt the upsell, see step 1. You get that weak shit out of here! You become a master at this by attempting to upsell each and every single customer. End of story.

How to Handle Objections

Now, you’re going to get push back and objections (find out the best way to overcome objections here). Always remember to keep your composure and overcome that objection. I’ll take that same scenario from step 5 and assume the customer mentioned a price objection.

Let’s say they said “yeah, but wouldn’t that be more money?” You could answer back something like, “absolutely but it’ll save you money in the long run because you won’t have to come back in a couple years to upgrade again. Most people expect to keep their cars a minimum of 10 years. Even if you don’t have anymore kids or anything, in 10 years, they are going to have friends and I’m sure you’ll drive around family at times too. What this’ll do is prevent you from having those space issues again (create problems they didn’t know they had). Now, you’re here anyway, can I show you it real quick?” 9 times out of 10 your customer will AT LEAST entertain the idea and that’s all that matters. Can’t upsell if you don’t try and persist!


Here’s a great example of a package upselling system. Packages are all the rage. Just one more way to make it easier for your clients. I highly recommend creating a system like this if you don’t already have one.

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Once you master the art of the upsell and cross-sell (coming soon subscribe to my blog to figure out the second half to skyrocketing sales) you are going to be a sales master being all like…

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Let these recommendations be a way to help skyrocket your sales and grow your business. It’s a no brainer because it requires zero money so the return on investment is high.

Be sure to check out the second half of this post with how cross-selling will skyrocket your sales!

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Be Great,

Cody Cameron