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Why Upsell is a Dirty Word in Sales

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This is the full funnel freedom podcast, supporting sales leaders, and managers to improve their sales funnels from people to prospects. I'm Hamish Knox. In this show, you'll learn how you can improve your results. Lead a great team and hit more targets with full funnel freedom. Welcome to the full funnel freedom.
Episode number eight, I'm your host Hamish Knox. In this episode, I will be sharing with you ideas and insights around why upsell is a dirty word in sales. We in fact, I have a client who has banned the word upsell in their organization. And when I asked them why it was because they felt, and they got a little bit of feedback from their clients about this, that using the word upsell, made the client feel like a transaction and a source of money only, not a valuable relationship.

And so from a mindset. The shift was, we're not upselling, we're expanding. So we're having expansion conversations with our clients. It is easier to sell stuff to people who are already buying from you. It's a cliche for a reason because it does contain a grain of truth. And so a lot of our full funnel freedom is really going to come from expanding existing relationships because they already love us.

Theoretically. They trust us to solve one problem. They're all likely to trust us enough to solve another problem. One of the ways that we can make these expansion conversations significantly easier for our salespeople is to encourage them to have a ongoing series of touch calls with their clients. I mentioned touch calls in a previous episode.

One of the ways that. A competitor of mine back when I was in a, a company before I joined Sandler used touch calls very effectively is they would say to their clients on Monday, every one of their key account managers had to call their top 20 clients every Monday morning and say, Thinking about you wondering how you're doing what's coming up over the next week, where we might be able to provide some help.

And because in our industry, we were working in a very high paced industry where our clients were usually making choices very, very quickly and needing to get information out to their publics very, very quickly. Having those touch calls created a lot of expansion opportunities for our competitor because not only did their client feel valued because who doesn't want to be thought of, but also because they were probably already staring down a week of high-intensity programs that they needed to get out to the world and their supplier who was our competitor was very open to.

Helping them out with that. And most proactively reaching out to them to ask, Hey, how can we help you? Now? Sometimes there are events that allow us to have an expansion conversation with our clients or prospects. So we see an announcement or we hear about something going on that is affecting their industry.

And by proactively reaching out to. We raise ourselves up. Our salespeople raised themselves up from that level of trusted advisor to that level of trusted advisor, as opposed to just being a vendor back when I was with Canada Newswire and actually working in their operations department. So I wasn't even in sales team, I was a proofreader and.

I would see a press release come across from one of our clients that said they were opening up an office in France, or they were launching a new product in Australia. And because we were part of a, a global news distribution system, I would go over to their account representative and say, Hey, I see that this company is opening up an office in France, or they're launching this product in Australia.

Would it make sense for us to reach out to our client and ask them if they want to see. Distribute this news in either France or in Australia, so they can maybe get some more attention from the local markets and the. Person would often say, yeah, that sounds like a good idea. How about you do that? Which really was my entry into sales because I was calling up because I thought, Hey, this is going to support our client, but also, you know, it does support our business as well because we're going to get more revenue for this service.

Oftentimes when I'd call up those claims. They would be overjoyed to have this information. And certainly some said no, because they didn't want to invest the extra dollars for that distribution. But in many cases they were ecstatic that someone on a vendor side took the initiative to reach out to them and say, here's an idea of how we might be able to support you further.

What do you think. I closed a lot of sales didn't necessarily put any additional money in my pocket, but it certainly supported our client and it supported our business as well with that extra revenue. So have your salespeople keeping eyes and ears out, whether they're using social media or whether they're using feeds to gather information about their client companies that could be used to create expansion conversations, not in a slimy salesy.

We certainly don't want to be the cliched. So do you want fries with that salesperson? And that's how our salespeople can come off. If they're not framing these expansion conversations correctly and the other way that we can actually create expansion opportunities around say our quarterly reviews with our clients is stories.

Stories are incredibly powerful. It's how humans use to share information before we had writing. By encouraging our people to have a library of stories internally that everybody can access around various expansion opportunities with our clients. So for example, you're selling products to a manufacturing company and your sales person has seen their production facility, whether it was a virtual tour or a physical tour.

And they might say to their prospect. I see that you are using process at. In your production facility. Now we have some other clients who also use a process similar to process acts. Sometimes they run into problem. Why or problem Zed. Wonder if those are on your radar, yet client might say yes or they might say no, but I'm glad you brought that up.

Salesperson can then say, you know, we are selling. Product aid to you right now to support your other processes with our other clients who are running into problem Y or problem Zed, they found that product B solved those problems. And in fact, increased their production efficiency by X percent curious.

Would it be worth having a conversation about whether or not product B might be a good fit for process X at. This is the alternative to, oh, Hey, I see you're doing this thing by the way. Did you know that we have a product that could help you with that? Do you want to buy some that's pure transactional?

There's no rapport there. There's no looking at our client as a valuable member of our ecosystem. That's purely transactional sales likely to get a firm know or a, send me a quote and I'll think about it. And then I'll come back and ask you for a discount instead by setting up the. Opportunity ask in the form of a story, we take the pressure off of us and our prospect, because all we're doing is telling the story and then the prospect can choose whether or not they want to be long as part of that story.

So while you're role-playing with your salespeople, make stories apart of that role play and encourage your salespeople to share stories back in. Whether it's in some kind of an app or whether it's an internal shared space where they can have these stories ideally on video. So anybody in the future can listen to them and can take those stories and use them to create expansion opportunities in their own accounts to review the three ways that we can create expansion instead of upsell opportunities with our clients in a non salesy way, our.

Have a regular cadence of touch calls, especially asking our clients what is coming up in the next week. Next two weeks, whatever fits in your world better. Maybe it's the next month where you might be able to provide some. Events specifically around, uh, new products, new offices, bringing on new people.

And then of course, stories, stories are a great low pressure way to introduce ideas to our clients without coming off like a cheesy pushy salesy. This has been the how to succeed podcast. I've been your host Hamish Knox. Appreciate you listening. Thank you for sharing rating and reviewing until we connect with you on the next episode.

Go create full funnel of freedom. Thank you for listening to fall funnel freedom with Hamish knocks. If you want to increase your sales with. Go-to full funnel,