>If you have been in sales a while, you have come across terms like “up sell” or “cross sell” meaning to sell deeper and wider to your customer base. About ten years ago, sales terms like “relationship sales” and “partnering” with your customers came into fashion as well. We were all going to classes and seminars learning how to convince our customers that we were different from other sales people because we were about relationships. Unfortunately, most of those courses only taught us techniques that made our current method of product pushing or order taking simply a little less obvious.

If you want to turn your prospects into customers than yes, you do need to learn to sell deep and wide, and you do need to learn to develop and build relationships. Why? because the last thing you want is your competitor offering a product or service to your customer that they find valuable, simply because you never offered it. That is not only embarrassing it can be fatal.

Your job as a “relationship” sales person is to care about and for your customer. It is your job to understand their business and their goals, and then identify multiple ways that your product or service could add value. Remember, your prospects understands their business and they understand their challenges. They are looking to you (or other sales people) to provide them with options and solutions.

This is where the “up sell” comes in. I have to share with you, I do not like that term and I don’t like it’s underlying meaning. Instead, I describe this process as selling opportunity and possibilities. By doing so, we give our prospects choice, power and control! Simply, by providing the prospect with one or more options, you can open their eyes to possibilities and choices they did not know existed.

For example, one of my favorite clients owns a large plumbing company. His business is evenly divided between new construction and service. In reviewing his sales process and looking for opportunities to grow his business, we noticed that the majority of his new construction work never evolved into service contracts. YES! here is opportunity for growth. We simply adjusted his sales proposals (as well has revamped the sales team’s conversations) to offer two or more options. Simply put – Option one: new construction; Option two: new construction and one-year service contract with option to renew. Sales increased, the process was far more efficient, and the salesman loved it because it was so easy. Ultimately, the prospect had the choice, but more often than not they chose option two.

If you want to sell possibilities and opportunities, then you must follow these simple rules:

  1. Build trust first – do this by committing to not trying to sell more until you have solved the prospects immediate need.
  2. Give the prospect the choice, always have more than one option so they can feel they are in control and it is their decision.
  3. Explain the benefit of the higher option. Make sure you can clearly articulate and explain why this higher option has value
  4. Provide a discount for the higher option. Bundle your product and services then give your prospect a personalized deal. You don’t have to discount much, but make the effort to ensure they feel this is just for them.
  5. Don’t push, if they do not choose the higher option. Give them the room to try you on for size. If you get some business you always have the chance to get more. If you push, you may shut the door on future opportunity.

Turning your prospects into customers is fun when you learn to sell by opening your prospects up to the possibilities and opportunities.