Text: Sander Noordzij

I flopped into the couch just in time. The movie I had been wanting to see for a while now was about to begin when my phone rang: ‘Good evening, this is Kristien de Boer’, from some lottery and if her call suited me. I sighed and even though I was not in the mood for it, I let this telemarketer speak. ‘Your chance of winning is almost 70%. Do you ever dream about becoming a millionaire?’ She had a point. Of course I dreamed of becoming a millionaire. Who doesn’t? It would only cost me €13. I could try it and so I agreed. ‘That’s very good to hear, sir. But you know what? You can increase your chances to win to 90%. If you use the doubler you will have a 90% chance to win a beautiful prize and that for only €6.50 extra. Shall I take care of this for you?’ I was sold and bought the doubler. This lady understood the idea of up-selling very well.

According to Wikipedia, up-selling is a sales technique where the seller tries to achieve a bigger profit of turnover by selling the buyer a more expensive or more extensive product or package than he had originally planned. Up-selling does not only involve sales. Marketing is a strong instrument that can be used for a successful up-sell. Good marketing can get the client longing for more.

A lot of sellers use price information for this. They explicitly name the discount, in other words: the advantage the customer will get when buying. Fast food restaurants are very good at offering an up-sell. You probably recognise it. You order fries with a hamburger and the employee asks if you would like a menu. ‘Then you also have some drinks with this warm weather.’ Even though you didn’t plan on it, you said yes and spend €1.50 more. This employee did not only name the benefit, but also went along with the topicality and your feelings.

Telemarketing is also a good way to use up-selling. The first example illustrates this well. In order to make your campaign a successful one you need to start with a good preparation. Know what you sell. And think about how you want to increase your turnover. There are different ways to do this. You can for instance make use of a package offer. You then offer related products or services in a combination package. If your customer wants to buy one product, you can point out to him/her that you can offer him 2 products for a record low price. You can also opt for a discount according to the amount the customer buys. The more products he buys, the bigger the discount.

A good preparation also includes a decent briefing. Telemarketers need to be informed about all benefits. By offering them a script you support them in the sales process. It is wise to divide the script into ‘need to know’ and ‘nice to know’. Information overkill is often counterproductive.

Also the moment of up-sell is very important. This moment gets partly determined by the customer. The telemarketer creates a moment by stimulating a certain need. The telemarketer does this by receiving confirmations from the customer: ‘Do you dream about becoming a millionaire?’ ‘Do you also think this is good news?’ ‘That is fantastic to hear, right?’ ‘You feel the same way about it, right?’ The more confirmations the telemarketer gets, the bigger the chance that the customer will act on the up-sell.

The way the telemarketer brings the up-sell to the customer is of course very important. The whole conversation is one big play. The words are essential, but the way they are spoken is even more essential. Because the telemarketer was so enthusiastic and convincing, I believed her. She brought me the message with a natural flair. This is something telemarketers can learn by means of a role playing game.

A good telemarketer also sells without this being too obvious. No one appreciates smooth sales talks. A good telemarketer offers service, gives advice and listens! The seller catches the sales signal and uses it in his conversation. The telemarketer gave me the feeling of doing me a favour by offering the doubler.

We can conclude that up-selling is an effective way to increase your turnover by means of a well thought-out sales and marketing plan. Telemarketing is an effective tool to achieve this. You immediately reach your target audience and are able to approach lots of customers in a short period of time. You’ll see that your turnover will start growing fast.

Sander Noordzij is Project Manager at Ad Hoc Sales support, a fullservice telemarketing bureau in The Netherlands – www.adhoc.nl