8 Ways To Use Upselling To Grow Your Business (With Examples)

8 Ways To Use Upselling To Grow Your Business (With Examples)

According to AnnexCloud, nearly 65% of a company’s business comes from repeat clients–speaking to the importance of strengthening the ties with your existing business portfolio.

The more value your business brings to a client, the more loyal they’ll be. And more loyal clients are more likely to spread the word about your business and keep coming back for more.

There are different ways to accomplish this level of loyalty, but one of the savviest ways is through upselling. Thing is, upselling is easier said than done, and there are a lot of factors to consider before attempting to upsell.

Unless you consider these factors, you could end up turning the client away and negatively impact your business.

In this post, we explain what upselling is, why it’s important, and when to do it. We finish with a rundown of eight of the best upselling techniques used by the top sales managers–techniques that you can adopt immediately and use to your advantage.

Let’s dive in.

What is upselling?

Upselling is a common sales technique where a sales representative encourages the client they are speaking with to purchase more than they originally intended. When done well, upselling generates more revenue.

This very successful sales tactic is a great way to encourage upgrades, add-on services, and/or bigger-ticket purchases.

Why is upselling important?

Of course, upselling is important to every business’ bottom line. The more a business can upsell to its clients, the more revenue and profit that’s generated.

Upselling also helps sales teams meet and exceed goals/quotas. Since sales representatives are motivated by these goals, upselling is used to multiply sales results.

Beyond favorable financial benefits, upselling can strengthen client experiences and relationships if done correctly (see next section).

When a sales representative is familiar with the client they’re speaking with, they can use upselling to recommend upgraded products/services to help with additional pain points clients may not even know they have.

When should you upsell?

Timing is critical to upselling. You don’t want to come off as pushy and drive your clients away because they think you’re trying to manipulate them.

Upselling is most effective when:

  • The client is on the verge of purchasing your product/service;
  • The sales representative is confident about who the client is and what their interests/goals are;
  • The sales representative can justifiably explain how a higher-priced or advanced product/service will bring more value to the client.

Anytime you can make a client’s life easier, loyalty is created and future sales opportunities are maximized.

What’s the difference between upselling and cross-selling?

Cross-selling is another popular sales tactic that somewhat differs from upselling. These two terms are often used interchangeably, but it’s important to make a distinction between both because their success rate changes based on the situation.

While upselling is the process of offering an upgraded product or service, cross-selling is the act of offering additional products or services that complement the one the client has already purchased or is looking to purchase.


Here are two scenarios that clearly distinguish between both selling techniques:

  • After getting a massage at a clinic, a massage therapist sells Client A a bundle to get massages twice a month for a year. This is an example of upselling.
  • Client B comes in to get their teeth cleaned, and a dentist sells them an electric toothbrush. This is an example of cross-selling.

So now that we’ve explained what upselling is, why it’s important, and when you should use it, we’ll jump into the eight best upselling techniques you can begin implementing today.

8 of the best upselling techniques used by sales professionals today

1. Extend the client relationship

Before you can effectively upsell, you must take the time to understand your clients and their individual needs. Once you know your clients’ values, you can identify which products and services will best meet their needs currently and down the road.


Take time to discuss with your clients what they want to gain from using your products or services. An example of how to do this is to create a chat system on your website to encourage clients to leave immediate feedback or ask any pertinent questions you can answer for them.

The key is to look for areas where the team can improve the client’s user experience. Here are a couple of questions that can start the conversation:

“How do you feel about the amount of time it takes you to________________?”

“How important is it to you to ________________?”

2. Pitch upsell options that are appreciated

Tying into the previous technique, once you understand the type of upselling your client would appreciate, it’s important to offer options that are in your clients’ best interests rather than yours.

In other words, try to put yourself in your client’s shoes to see how they could benefit from an upgrade rather than focusing on the money you could potentially bring in.

For example, if a client is looking to eat healthier, recommend that they buy your customized meal plan rather than your book about why healthy eating is important. They’re already locked into a healthier lifestyle, so offer the best ways to help them maintain it.

3. Use the reciprocity effect

Reciprocity is the process of exchanging offerings between two parties with the goal of mutually benefiting both parties. In terms of upselling, the best practice to leverage reciprocity is to offer free products or free service trials.

If a client gains value from the free product or a memorable experience from the free service, they’ll feel more obligated to buy something because you provided them something for free.

But this doesn’t mean you should make a habit of giving away products/services to everyone. Make sure to analyze your client data to be strategic with these decisions.

4. Use a Client Relationship Management system (CRM)

CRM systems allow companies to store and track client data. This typically includes information like demographics, sales history, and correspondence logs.

Using a CRM will arm your team with the insights they need to offer targeted upselling solutions. And since tailored upselling solutions work best, you’ll reap great benefits by implementing and digging through your CRM to uncover opportunities.

Here are a few questions you can ask clients when you have their data logged in a CRM: 

“I see here that you have previously used _____________ for ___________. Do you still feel confident that this [product/service] will achieve the results you’re looking for?

“How is your ___________ working? Did you know that a newer model is now available?  It has some new capabilities that may be of interest to you as a ___________. They include _______________.”

“As a leader of a small team, you may find ___________ useful as you navigate your new _________.”

5. Leverage on-hold systems

When clients are placed on hold, it is prime time to help boost and leverage any sales messaging your team might be using. Since a captivated audience is much easier to convert, use this time to pitch clients about possible upselling options.


Using this time allows you to initiate conversation and move to a position in which upselling can happen much more organically.

Some examples of on-hold upsell scripts include:

“Did you know that we offer ____________?  As a current client of ___________, you may find this new product/service especially useful with __________.”

“Ask us about our new ____________. It is the latest upgrade to our __________ [product/service] and is perfect for busy __________.”

6. Offer upselling incentives to sales representatives

Humans are naturally attracted to rewards and competition–especially those in sales.

Since sales representatives respond well to internal incentive programs, offering daily, weekly and monthly quotas, with prize levels attached, can help your team get into the upselling frame of mind.

The best part is that incentives don’t need to be fancy and expensive to be effective; creating goals that are achievable is the main objective. If you do the opposite and create goals that are harder to reach, you’re likely to demotivate sales employees.

For example, you could offer a free lunch to the first sales representative to get three upsells each week.

7. Don’t leave your clients hanging

It’s important to always keep in mind that upselling is still selling. Even though the goal is to provide more value to your clients, you can easily turn your clients off if you don’t continue a relationship with them after they’ve listened to your advice to upgrade.

Set reminders to reach out to a client a week after they’ve purchased an upgraded product/ service to see how it’s benefiting them. This is also a great chance to stay aware of further upselling and cross-selling opportunities.

8. Set realistic expectations

Upselling can be an attractive revenue generator, but it’s key to know when to pull back. Excessive sales tactics can have a polarizing effect, often leading to lost sales and possibly lost clients.

Finding the balance between being effective without abusing your upselling attempts can be a challenge, but following the tactics above puts you in the best position to upsell.

Wrapping up

Upselling can help your business grow its revenue, and it can play a huge role in long-term success. If you’re able to upsell and make your clients happier in the process, it’s a win-win situation.

Here’s a quick recap of the best upsell strategies:

  • Extend the client relationship: Identify which products and services will best meet your clients’ needs.
  • Pitch upsell options that are appreciated: Put yourself in your client’s shoes to see how they could benefit from an upgrade rather than focusing on the revenue potential.
  • Use the reciprocity effect: Offer favors to your clients to get favors in return.
  • Use a CRM: Collect and track client data that allows you to offer targeted upselling solutions.
  • Leverage on-hold systems: Use this time to pitch customers about possible upselling options.
  • Offer upselling incentives to sales reps: Implement upselling contests that motivate sales representatives.
  • Don’t leave your clients hanging: Stay in touch with clients after you’ve sold them an upgrade.
  • Set realistic expectations: Find the balance between being effective without abusing your upselling attempts.

Smiledog is your business partner when you need us most. Let our virtual receptionists handle answering phone calls and booking appointments while you use your time offering the best service and sales experience that you can for your clients.

How To Grow A Brick And Mortar Business In An Increasingly Remote World

How To Grow A Brick And Mortar Business In An Increasingly Remote World

More than 200,000 small businesses in Canada are at risk of closing their doors permanently due to the pandemic. 

What is the biggest contributing factor to that trend? We are!

People are not interacting with each other like they used to. More and more, we are leaning on technology and virtual systems to allow us to keep in touch and maintain our lifestyles. The landscape of the way we do business has completely shifted, and those companies who haven’t been able to adapt will, unfortunately, be left behind. 

Don’t worry. You’d be surprised how easily adaptable any business can be and how fast you can implement changes like installing an online payment processing tool or setting up an online booking option.

Let’s dive into why introducing social media, online systems, and customer relationship software into your business will have an immediate return on investment.

One hyperresponsive social media account

Today, social media accounts are a must for every business. They create credibility, instill trust and help promote your brand. As a small business owner, trying to manage a Facebook page, Instagram profile, Twitter feed, LinkedIn persona, Pinterest photos, Tiktok videos, and Reddit forums sounds impossible. Well, you’re right, it is impossible if you try to do it by yourself. 

I don't like too much responsibility gif

So, what do you do? You pick a platform to focus on and give it your all.

You may be asking yourself, where do I even start?

The most important decision to make is what platform your target audience is the most active on. For example, if you own a restaurant, you probably don’t want to focus on Twitter. Instagram would be the right move.

Second, make sure that your branding is cohesive everywhere on the page. You’ll want to take some time to think about the tone and feel of your company’s message. Are you happy and upbeat or more professional and driven? The biggest question here is what will resonate the most with your audience?

Your business’s logo and colour scheme are important as well—just what the logo or colouring actually looks like, but also that they are consistent across your page.

Lastly, be engaging and be yourself. Respond to every comment. That alone can have a major impact on your customers. A well-crafted and thoughtful response creates a sense of care in your clients’ eyes. They feel special and important when you take the time to interact with them. This is an extremely cost-effective way to build trust and loyalty with potential customers.

Proactively engage with other accounts in your audience’s community. This doesn’t mean you should be spammy and overload them with a features and benefits pitch. It means you should provide educational and entertaining content that adds value to your customers’ lives. Build trust first, then offer your solution. 

Social media is just that—a chance to be social and show your audience the people behind the business. People buy a feeling, and more often than not, that feeling comes from other people tapping into that for them.

One last thing to consider that many companies overlook is internal links. Wherever a customer clicks on your page, it needs to redirect properly and to a relevant page associated with your company. The amount of times I have clicked a broken link on a company’s page is shocking, and I immediately lose attention and move on.

Online payments, ordering, and scheduling

Converting company payments, ordering systems, or appointment schedulers to an online platform can be a massive game-changer for many small businesses. The great thing today is that you don’t need a huge capital or time investment to make the change. Getting set up for online payments or scheduling has never been easier.

Online payments

Options like Square, Stripe, or at the very least, e-transfer are great payment options for small business owners as they are cost-friendly and so easy to set up. 64% of Americans make impulse buys once a month when shopping online. Without an online payment option, you’re essentially stopping the growth of your business dead in its tracks. If the option to buy isn’t available to the customer when they want it, you lose them. The impulse has faded, and the consumer has moved on to your competitors.

Online Ordering

An online ordering system is the modern version of a shopping cart. Your customers need a place where they can hold all of their soon-to-be purchases as they browse for more. The system you need will depend on the type of business you’re in. A healthcare professional selling supplements or even a small business owner who runs a small shop would benefit from a platform like Shopify. This type of platform creates a positive user experience and overall interaction with your business, leading to repeat purchases and an increase in brand loyalty.

Online Scheduling

For service-based businesses, online scheduling systems are crucial to increasing conversions and stimulating your company’s growth. Software like Calendly for a consultant or a tool like JaneApp for a healthcare professional can help streamline how your clients connect with you. Providing them with the freedom to book their own appointments gives the impression that you’re working around their schedule. But in reality, you’ve pre-set a schedule that’s convenient for you. Virtual appointment setting is something every small business needs.


Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM)

I can promise you right now that a properly executed CRM is one of the best investments a small business owner can make today. A great CRM is like a home’s foundation; it supports all activities happening above, but no one can see it. 

Beginning the search for the right CRM is extremely daunting. The number of choices alone could stop you before you even begin. So I want to help you navigate through the noise with a few tips on nailing down the right system. 

First, map your current workflow. Having a visual breakdown of how you currently manage your pipeline will allow you to see the bottlenecks in your process and better search for the features you need in a CRM to improve your company systemization.

Second, create a must-have list of the features you need. That can include workflow automation, online schedulers, email templates, task reminders, or even quote creators.

Third, take advantage of free demos! Many SaaS companies offer two-week free trials or even a free version with limited features. Hubspot is great for this as they give you just enough features to get a feel for how their software works. Streak is also another great option built right into Gmail so you can manage everything without ever leaving your inbox!

When it comes to a CRM platform, the main question to ask yourself is: Will this allow me to easily communicate with my clients and give them a better experience with my company?

Wrapping up

Shifting your business into the digital landscape is not about making sure you have every software available with all the bells and whistles; it is simply about adapting to the shift in consumer’s preferences and how they interact with different companies. 

Consumers want simplicity when choosing products and services to purchase. An online scheduler or a great social account may be all you need to reduce the barriers for your clients to interact with you. The most important thing to remember about business is that it’s the people that keep it going. The only thing a new software can do is help you better bridge the gap with your customers because everything begins and ends with them.

The most important thing you can do right now is start thinking about your customers and how they want to interact with you. Once you know what that looks like, find the solution and get to work! 

If you’d like to discuss how Smiledog can help support your business’s ongoing growth and customer service delivery, schedule a call so we can figure out what solutions will work best for you.

5 Ways a Virtual Receptionist Can Save You Money

5 Ways a Virtual Receptionist Can Save You Money

5 Ways a Virtual Receptionist can Save you Money

Virtual Receptionist services allow small businesses to operate in a more productive and efficient manner. A virtual receptionist is a contracted position. They typically provide administrative support, often in the form of telephone answering services and/or appointment scheduling.


 These are the top five ways hiring a virtual receptionist can save you money

save money with a virtual receptionist

Save on overhead

The beauty of hiring a virtual receptionist is that you pay for what you use. Unlike having a full time in-house receptionist, with a virtual receptionist, you can choose the hours you need coverage. Additionally, expenses associated with a full time employee including benefits, employment insurance and more are eliminated. Answering service companies will supply the needed equipment and space for their remote reception team. This frees up those responsibilities for small businesses working with fewer resources.

virtual receptionist

A Virtual Receptionist Requires Minimal training

New employees typically require a certain about of onboarding. Onboarding can be time consuming and expensive. Most virtual receptionist companies provide comprehensive training to their teams. Meaning they are able to step into any organization and get started, right away.

Minimize Opportunity Cost

While it may not seem like a big deal to miss a call here or there, missing a call comes with a substantial cost. Studies show that 80% of customers will not leave a voicemail. 70% will move to another company before calling back. Therefore, the cost of missing just one call can cost thousands of dollars over the lifetime of a potential client. Ensuring that your calls are covered during the most prominent business hours can have a drastic effect on boosting your bottom line.

employee turnover

Decrease Turnover

One of the most time consuming activities for small business owners is recruitment. Not only does it take valuable time, it is a great source of frustration when a new hire doesn’t work out. Enlisting the service of a virtual receptionist ensures that you have a pre-vetted addition to your team. Additionally, in the event that the person doesn’t work out with your organization, you will have access to a replacement with no downtime or additional training required.


A Virtual Receptionist Increases Your Productivity

For small business owners, time is money. When your time is freed up to focus on the things that generate the most revenue, your productivity increases. For many entrepreneurs, taking calls, booking appointments and answering routine inquiries are not the best use of their time. Investing in remote reception services frees up the time to focus on client acquisition, upgrading skills, working on marketing campaigns and in many cases, acting as the main practitioner.

Thinking about enlisting virtual reception in your small business?

Taking the first step towards saving money and increasing your bottom line is easier than ever with our free daytime reception or appointment setting 5 minute demos and pricing guides. We offer seamless integration so your customers and clients receive the ultimate customer service experience. Free up your time to work on the parts of your business you enjoy the most and let us take care of the rest.