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  • Writer's pictureElaine Thompson

The Secret to An Increase in Sales Lies in the Upsell!

One sure and simple way to climb the entrepreneurial ladder is to ascend rung by rung. Quite often, the rungs of success leave us frustrated simply because we are tired of consistently hustling, searching, marketing, and asking for the business. Startups can be overwhelming, and many often feel consumed by the activity of seeking sales, especially in the beginning. The dynamics surrounding sales can be compared to fishing. You must bait the potential client, then reel the potential client in. Last, that customer creates value for you when he or she purchases your services. At the same time, in return, you create a massive amount of value for that client with your services by giving them a return on investment. The wealth within the transaction goes both ways. However, the initial part of the sale can be compared to fishing, but what if you could create a return on investment for yourself and that same client over and over and over again? The secret lies in the upsell.

Find a way to sell to that client over and over again. My ghostwriting clients frequently reach out to me multiple times, even after the initial sale. Sometimes, they would like their book in a different format, like hardcover or audio. There are times when they would like me to host their book launch. Oftentimes, they need coaching or a strategy session. Other times, they would like to turn their book into a course. There are so many ways you too can create an upsell or maybe even several upsells. No matter what it is you do, your services are valuable, and that value can indeed go far deeper than you’ve ever imagined.

I once met a farmer named Matthew who loved gardening. He made a little money by selling his fruits and vegetables every Saturday at the Farmer’s Market. His sales were quite good. However, he was still unable to make ends meet. Despite a legitimate business with a good number of clients, he was behind on his mortgage and bills. One day, one of Matthew’s loyal customers, Mrs. Rolle, expressed interest in his skills. She was upset that she could not get fresh, organic fruits and vegetables during the lockdowns. Mrs. Rolle wanted to know if he would be able to create a garden for her very own backyard. She agreed to pay him an initial fixed payment of $500 and, after that, a monthly maintenance fee of $75. Matthew became excited. Of course, he not only took on the opportunity, but he delivered beyond expectations. Mrs. Rolle was quite pleased with the job well done. Her yard became the envy of all of her neighbors, particularly Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Barton. They, too, became clients of Matthew’s. Matthew was now able to add this service to his portfolio. He was finally able to pay his mortgage and utilities.

Many times, we don’t realize that we are more than a product. Our skills are also marketable. Our knowledge and expertise are frequently sought after. Upselling isn’t as hard as it seems. In fact, it’s quite easy. You have the upper hand because that client already knows you. You already have an existing relationship with that client. The services you upsell can also be added to your portfolio for first-time clients, as we saw with Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Barton. The range of these services vary and can range between high and low value, depending on what it is you’re selling. Maybe you’ll make more. Maybe you’ll make less. No matter what, you can be certain of one thing—it is another stream of income. Here are some ways you can create an upsell and update your business portfolio.

Document your knowledge in a book.

Although we live in a fast-paced society there are still many individuals who love to gain knowledge through reading. Last year I encountered an aggressive dental cavity issue and wanted to know if it was possible to heal it naturally. What did I do? I searched to see if there was a book on the topic. A few months back I was curious about hydroponic farming. What did I do? I searched the Internet for a book on the topic. Whenever I want to know about a topic I almost always search Amazon to see if there is a book on that specific topic. This is a cheap and easy way to gain knowledge about an industry or skill. Reading about it takes time and to make things even better, it is self-paced. But, in time I gain the knowledge and can eventually use it to my benefit. I’m happy as long as the book brings about a good result and a sure solution.

Create a course, workshop, or seminar based on your expertise.

This is another way of making extra income. Platforms like Teachable and Udemy make it easy to create courses these days. It can be as easy as record, upload, and go. Of course, workshops and seminars can also be done digitally via Zoom or in person. Whichever way you choose to deliver your knowledge, ensure your clients gain value. Have the knowledge delivered in the best and most succinct way possible. This is also a recurring stream of revenue as you can have workshops as often as you would like.

Make a “Done for You” package.

“Done for You” packages are the most prized offerings of all, in my opinion. This is because no one has time these days to do it themselves, so to speak. These packages also sell at a higher rate. Many are busy and have demanding schedules. With this kind of package, you can charge for your time, which should be respected. It is cheaper for a busy executive to pay $10K to have her book written than to sit down and write it herself. This is because time is money. Upon delivery of her product, she can now host workshops, sell in stores, and book speaking engagements using her book. Some individuals make their money back within the first month of delivery. If she hosts a corporate workshop with 25 executives based on her book, The 5 Steps of Gaining Sales, at $1000 per person, she would have already made a return on investment. Her book was used as the key to gaining entry and was a major part of the negotiation. She may also include a copy of her book for each attendee as a part of the package. The attendees now have a keepsake from the seminar. Not to mention, she has listed her upsell of private coaching at the end of the book at a price of $1500. That is 25 people who will later learn of her private coaching services at the end of the read. As a ghostwriter, you gave her value. If we consider the story of Matthew, we’ll see the same. He was able to give Mrs. Rolle value by helping her to have fresh, organic fruits and vegetables without leaving her home. Mrs. Rolle now has enough to share or sell to friends and family. An extra stream of revenue was created for Matthew as well as two referrals were acquired. In return, this added to his income and clientele.

Charge a maintenance fee for a maintenance service.

If you can charge a maintenance fee for a service, it is yet another stream of revenue. Take the example of Matthew. He gained three clients at $75 per month each—this is an extra $225 per month. You may say that Matthew lost three clients who would be coming to his Farmer’s Market stall every month, and this is true. However, he gained a solid and more secure contract deal with three clients. Rather than spending ten bucks every week on a handful of vegetables, Mrs. Rolle now pays a sure $75 per month for the upkeep of her garden. In addition, an initial $500 was spent. Now, she doesn’t pop into the food store on the corner whenever she isn’t able to make the long drive to the Farmer’s Market. Matthew’s “Done for You” package is ongoing and more stable because Mrs. Rolle depends on her own backyard to eat. Not to mention, because of Matthew’s skills, her bounty is plentiful. She can even sell to her friends and family if she so desires. Matthew has created a return on investment for her! He has certainly brought her value. Focus on bringing value to your clients so that they may get a return on investment after purchasing your services.

To sum it all up, the secret to more income lies in the upsell! Why not skip the initial process of trying to land the client and sell a package to an existing client? Learn how to recognize the need for an upsell. Listen for triggers and clues that would indicate an opportunity for an upsell. In addition, the upsell packages will also attract first-time clients. These packages give your business a more diverse portfolio and an assortment of packages that potential clients can choose from. Increase your revenue and add additional streams of income to your platform with the above suggestions. I hope this helps!


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