The Art of the Up Sale: Top 5 Tips for Increasing Your Revenue

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As we do business every day, we always wonder how to get more of it. More money, more clients, more dollars per hour while still being “competitive.” Sometimes it’s hard to make any of those things happen singly, especially all at the same time. A great way to increase your overall revenue (e.g. money in your pocket) is to work your current projects for extra work. It has all the benefits of repeat business with none of the extra work of getting back into contact. Work these top five tips for how to close the upsell and make some extra moolah.

1. If you don’t ask for it, you’ll never get it

Ask and ye shall receive: the first step to getting an up sale is to ask for it. If you don’t ever bring up the subject of doing additional work, expanding a project to truly meet a client’s needs, they definitely won’t bring it up unless they are trying to squeeze it out of you for what they’ve already.

There is a caveat — you have to sneak it in. Remember little things your client says about a wish, a dream or a goal for their online marketing, and then use them as ammo. If you are truly listening to what they are saying, they’ll spill their guts about things they wish they had. If you can, mention it right there. “You know, we can add that into your project for just 2 additional hours of labor, it ends up being discounted because you’re already doing business.” If your client really wants it and the price is right, they’ll pick up on it and probably approve the extra labor.

2. Don’t force it — you have to make them want it

If your client isn’t necessarily receptive to asking about additional labor, make them want the addition. Prove how it extends the capabilities of their project deliverable by making their life less complicated, or easier for them to make more money from their website. Convince them of that, and bingo, the up sale is complete and closed.

3. Always provide a “Good,” “Better,” and “Best” when giving quotes, or re-examining work

When creating quotes, or doing anything where you have an option to provide “more service,” provide a Good, Better and Best option. The good option should always be exactly what the client asked for, the better option should provide additional functionality and be approximately 25% higher in both labor and expense, and the best option should be a full-blown option giving your client things they never even realized they wanted, and can be 50% or more in price. The goal with your bigger options is to keep them in line with your client’s goals, and make them sound luxurious and valuable. “I know you said the following is exactly what you wanted, but I wanted to make sure you had some options that could make your life simpler, reduce upkeep costs and give you a better, more functional website for your customers to interact with.”

4. Develop the relationship and make them open to suggestions and upgrades, even midway through the project

As you can see, the key to working the up sale is to already be working with the client. You can’t up sell somebody who isn’t currently doing business with you. Once you close the initial sale and begin the consultation to make their website, pepper options in and see how many your client will bite. Always providing options will also make repeat business easier to get.

5. Never leave your client vague about what the future options are

Your client is happy, you’re almost done with the project, now what? You should always take the opportunity to let your client know about add-ons you can for their website, new options they can take and new technologies they can implement. Ask probing questions to find out what your customer’s future goals are, and see what they consider their next step to be in their overall marketing strategy. See how you can involve yourself, and up sell yourself into the next phase of their marketing plan.

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10 thoughts on “The Art of the Up Sale: Top 5 Tips for Increasing Your Revenue”

  1. Great article! I can see how learning these techniques can really apply to any field. In fact, they used up sale techniques when I got my coffee this morning…

    This will definitely be valuable knowledge to have. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  2. Great advice, perfect for the economic times we’re in now. And you touched on it with the “Making Them Want It” step, but the best way is to offer quality work that they can’t get anywhere else. You can increase your prices if your work merits it.

    1. @Donnie I’m not even specifically talking about increasing your prices, from a rate perspective. If they like you and like what you do, they’ll be open to project expansion. I do agree though: give them a combination of service and a deliverable they can’t get from anyone else, and they’ll be back.

  3. Being part of the internet business, I think it is really important to communicate with client and ask for what you need. So to me, #1 is especially important.

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