The Art of Upselling

An experiential ...

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The other day I walked into our hotel pastry shop a little after 6 in the evening to pick up a packet of cookies for a neighbor. The first thing I was greeted was with …along with the most alluring line-up of confection on the shelves, was the bright smile of the associate at the counter. A broad, genuine smile that radiated joy at being present there at that particular time. Now…we all know that an engaged employee’s genuine smile is very, very hard to fake. And you can tell.

‘Wow….what a wonderful perfume you’re wearing today’ he remarked with a twinkle in his eye, as he paused to take it in with full concentration. ‘Why, thank-you so much’ I retorted, immediately warming up a bit.

Packing the chocolate cookies I choose in the bag, he pointed out that the items on the shelves were at a 50% off since it was post 6pm. How wonderful the timing seemed, I agreed with him. So, would I care for something else…he asked. What about the gourmet chocolates that the Chef had lined up for the day…..he probed gently. There was one with a raspberry filling that I was sure to love. I nodded…halfway convinced. ‘Here, try one’…and I was now on his side, as I bit into the home-made dark chocolate square with a tart fruity inside.

Walking away with the additional pack of nine gourmet chocolates, and with a satisfied grin on my face, I thought how I had allowed myself to be upsold that box, while still feeling immeasurably happy with the entire experience.

He’d nailed it… suave colleague at the pastry shop. The art of upselling.

It really is an art, because the customer should, ideally have paid more than they planned at the start of transaction, and yet walk away with a spring in their step, feeling glad with the entire process. Selling then….immediately becomes more of an experience, and less of a transaction. The cornerstone of luxury hotel brands !

What is Upselling

Upselling is the process of convincing the guest to buy a more expensive product or service and having them see the value in it. The entire experience should seem like a pleasurable interaction. And never ever should a guest feel shortchanged or fleeced. The term is a bit different from cross-selling, which means selling supplementary or additional services or products.

Room Upgrades…the easiest example of upselling.

Why Upsell?

The hallmark of a luxury brand, upselling firstly helps to ‘up’ the base rate and aids to enhance revenue. But more importantly, upselling results in increased customer satisfaction and personalization. It is essentially a slow tango – one where the guest interaction is more intimate.

Who can Upsell?

An engaged employee, firstly. Yes…you heard it right. Only an engaged employee upsells, because it takes that much more to delve deep into the act. It certainly takes tact and time…and a deeper level of interaction.

Secondly, an employee who has a deep rooted belief in the brand he represents will be able to transmit his own buy-in and conviction.

Thirdly, he has to be absolutely confident in what he is doing. He knows he is leading the guest to dig a little deeper into their pockets, but why not do it with panache?

Passion. What are we ….without a dash of passion?

Upselling , when done the right way can be a boost for the brand proposition as also a thrust for the employee’s confidence. Not to forget the customer stepping out with that smile.

It is a hallmark of luxury brands and a huge win-win for all those involved. A slow tango that everyone involved in…enjoys to the fullest

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