A majority of retail employees are urged to upsell, whether it’s a store credit card, an extra pair of shoes, or a bracelet that matches a pair of earrings. Not all employees, however, are natural salespeople, making that particular part of the job somewhat annoying, if not just downright stressful. But from the business owner’s perspective, upselling is a crucial part of increasing sales and ensuring that the company is successful. So how can employees who are new to the retail industry or employees who simply aren’t salespeople at birth improve their upsell percentage?

At Visual Retail Plus, we offer an all-in-one point of sale system for retail businesses, whether it’s a jewelry store, a sporting goods store, or a bookstore. Our retail POS software offers several features and functions that can help employees with this one aspect of the job, and more. If you want to increase sales and give your employees the tools they need to succeed, work with Visual Retail Plus for an intuitive software that provides solutions to small businesses.

Improving Upselling Techniques

First, Upselling vs. Cross-Selling

In the end, both concepts are suggestions being made to the customer that will hopefully increase their purchase amount. However, there is a fine distinction between the two that can give employees a certain advantage.

  • Upselling: When a customer is deciding between two stand-up paddleboards, and the employee suggests going with the more expensive of the two because it is more durable, easier to carry, and is faster in the water. Upselling is generally when the products are the same, but one is a more expensive brand, has more features, etc. The employee can increase the sale amount while also providing value for the customer.
  • Cross-Selling: When a customer is going to purchase a purse and the employee suggests a matching wallet. Cross-selling is when the employee offers a similar item that complements the first item. The employee is still offering a valuable purchase and still increasing the purchase amount.

5 Tips on Upselling

Ask the Customer Questions

Getting to know the customer is the first step in making them feel comfortable. Ask them questions about what they are looking for, how much they want to spend, what product are they using currently, what do they like or don’t like about the product they have now. Listen closely to the answers to these questions, as they can provide valuable information and will help them when actually upselling or cross-selling.

Show Value in the Purchase

Whichever tactic an employee is using, they must always seek to show the value of the product to the customer. If they are purchasing a foundation makeup, explain how it works well with their skin type or how it’s made with natural ingredients (find a value that will spark interest in the customer based on how they answered the questions that were asked).

Offer Suggestions That Make Sense

Think of this in terms of both products and price points. This is why it’s incredibly important to not only ask questions, but also to ask the right questions, and to listen closely. If the customer says that they don’t want to spend more than $100 on a new outfit, try to avoid offering a $50 pair of shoes when they have already picked out a $60 dress and still need to find accessories. When they’re shopping for a backpack for a hiking trip, you can offer a pair of walking sticks or a water bottle, but leading them over to the shoe department for a pair of hiking boots might be a stretch. Always keep in mind that customers are usually pretty good at recognizing when you’re trying to upsell them.

It’s Not What You Say, it’s How You Say It

There is a certain finesse that a great salesperson needs to have, and this often comes with years of being in the retail industry. However, a great salesperson knows not only what to say, but also how to say it in a way that is natural and doesn’t come off as pushy. Rather than being incredibly obvious and saying, “Would you also like to purchase a package of socks to go with your running shoes?” Instead, the employee could say, “We’re also offering a BOGO sale on packages of socks, would you like the ankle-length or the quarter-length style?” Instead of a Yes or No question, give the customer a choice that they didn’t even know they had before.

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Use the Right Retail Point of Sale System

A salesperson can learn how to get better at upselling and cross-selling with practice, but it’s also beneficial when they have the right tools. At Visual Retail Plus, we strive to make the customer’s shopping experience as smooth and convenient as possible, while also providing employees with the software they need.
At our POS system, the software will offer sales recommendations based on a customer’s order so the employee isn’t left to scramble to find something to offer.
The point of sale system also makes it easy to find an item right at the register with products arranged by group, color, style, size, and more. The employee can pull up an item and show the customer a picture of the product, and can then discuss the value of that item.
The software also makes it easy to create coupons based on the customer’s shopping history. If an upsell wasn’t made at that transaction, the customer now has a reason to come back and purchase again.

Give your employees the tools they need and make shopping fun for your customers! For an all-in-one point of sale system for your retail store, get in touch with the team at Visual Retail Plus today.