Four Simple Tips for Upselling and Cross-selling while on the phone

“Sales…? Eww. Gross.” When most people think about “sales” as a profession, this is typically the reaction that people will give you. The field of sales is oftentimes synonymous with terms such as icky, pushy, slimey, etc. I get it. We’ve all been burned by that cold-calling sales person who won’t let us off the phone or that really pushy clothing rep at the mall who follows us around the store and gives a side-eye every time you pause to glance at an article of clothing for longer than a moment. In my experience, most people have this opinion of sales because they’ve never seen or experienced someone who has done it correctly. This reigns true for most things in life, “We all fear what we do not understand” (Dan Brown). Sales as a discipline is no exception. From a business perspective, there’s absolutely no question that a successful sales team is something that keeps a business strong financially and pushes the business forward. One way that companies will do this is through upselling or cross-selling which is what I’d like to focus on for the moment.

First things first, let’s define our terms. Upselling is working with a customer to encourage them to purchase a higher-end product/service than the one they’re interested in. It’s like asking would you like to super-size that? While in another vein, cross-selling is providing customers with the opportunity to purchase a related product/service to the one they were originally interested in. This is like asking would you like to purchase a quart of oil while you’re pumping your gas? Big sales teams are able to drive a business forward and increase margin by participating in either tactic especially if this successfully takes place over an extended period of time.

Here are four simple yet effective pro tips to help you and your sales team increase your skill at Upselling and Cross-selling while on the phone.

Pro-Tip #1: Smile when you’re on the phone — There is a literal difference in your voice and phone presence when you’re smiling on the phone. Customers oftentimes pick up on these slight nuances. I recently heard a story of a saleswoman who used to keep a mirror at her desk so that she always remembered to smile while she was on the phone. In fact, she used to make funny faces at herself in an effort to cheer herself up if she was dealing with a particularly difficult customer.

Pro-Tip #2: You’re not a salesperson. You’re a business developer. — This is a key distinction that needs to be made both mentally and emotionally. A business developer is someone who’s looking to add value to the lives of everyone they encounter. When it’s all boiled down, sales is about finding the needs of others and offering them value to fill that need. Keep that in mind next time you’re on a sales call.

Pro-Tip #3: Fact tell and stories tell — This little idiom certainly reigns true in my experience. People oftentimes won’t remember what you said to them, but they certainly will remember how you made them feel. Storytelling can be a great way to connect emotionally with a customer. It’s helpful to be conversational and have a story in your back pocket regarding the product that you’re looking to cross promote or upsell. This is good place to refer to a personal experience that you’ve had with a product.

Pro-Tip #4: Don’t prejudge people. Oftentimes the people you think will not be interested often will be and vise versa. — Your mental attitude is a huge determining factor to your success in this area. Treat every customer and prospect as a new opportunity for you to add value to their lives. You never know the full story of someone you’re talking to and you never if there’s someone in that person’s circle that might be interested in your product or service. Again, you’re not a salesperson. You’re a business developer.

In truth, these four simple tips are all pulled from the sales methodology and leadership of Dani Johnson. She has a very unique story in that she went from Homeless to Millionaire in two years. In her first year of sales, she went from living out of her car to making $250,000 repping a diet program. The value that I find she brings is that her pro tips (four of them condensed above) are applicable to anyone who’s willing to apply themselves…no fancy college degree necessary.

Are there any additional tips that you’d recommend for a someone who is involved with sales over the phone?

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