The Art Of The Upsell..

The up sell is one of the most important things every marketer needs to learn. While selling a product – an ebook, online course or an Mp3 download, for instance – is great, the real money is in identifying those customers who are willing to spend even more.

A classic example of up selling are the get-rich ebooks that sell for cheap (say, $15) then up sell you with five other ebooks (at $40 a pop) as soon as you purchase, each of which “holds the real secret to untold online riches”. With the right customer, that can prove a veritable goldmine, easing them into the sales process (via the cheap product) while hooking them later on.

Up selling, of course, is rarely as easy as putting the next product in front of your customer. In fact, I’d venture that turns most people off. Sneaky up sellers actually implement their marketing more subtly, giving the customer time to naturally develop a desire for the next step of the sale.

Instead of up selling by inundating the customer during the first sale, many smart marketers are creating exclusive forums, newsletters and blogs especially for first-time customers. Just as naturally as the customer evolved into a buyer of the beginner product, these resources can help convert them into a next-level buyer the more time they spend consuming it.

Some products go as far as to have different levels of up sell. Double Your Dating, possibly the most successful dating product online, starts you off with a $19 ebook and nothing else. In fact, until you buy the book, you probably won’t even realize they have other products on sale. Once you get the ebook, though, you are added to a different mailing list with access to resources designed to sell you one of their recorded CD programs.

If you get that, you are then slotted to receive another set of resources which tries to sell you a subscription to a monthly interview series. The further you buy into their product set, the more products you end up discovering they have – seminars, in-field workshops, videos and more.

There is an art to the up sell and it takes finesse and a lot of planning to execute. Why burden your customers to an up sell right at the first point of sale unless you’re trying to piss them off?