Do Not Upsell

Are you frustrated because your front line staff views cross or upselling as pushing unwanted products on people? Here’s a great quote from Daniel H. Pink: “Anytime you’re tempted to upsell someone else, stop what you’re doing and upserve them instead. Don’t try to increase what they can do for you. Elevate what you can do for them.”

Pink continues, “Upserving means doing more for the other person that he expects or you initially intended, taking the extra steps that transform a mundane interaction into a memorable experience. This simple move from upselling to upserving has the obvious advantage of being the right thing to do. But it also carries the hidden advantage of being extraordinarily effective.”

A great mindset – but how do you inspire your sales team to ask the right questions to understand the needs of your customers and see your products and services as valuable solutions that a customer might welcome knowing about?

First, make sure your sales people are raving fans of your company and your products and services. If they’re not – find out why and fix it, or change their role. People will not sell what they don’t like or understand.  Then:

  • Help them change their perspective:  the goal is to help a customer feel even more satisfied with their decision to do business with you, not to push a product just because it benefits the company.
  • Make sure your sales team knows why someone would want to buy from you – how each product helps a customer accomplish their goals.  And why what you offer is better or at least on par with the competition.
  • Help them become more comfortable asking questions and getting truthful answers from customers – and to be seen as helpful – not pushy.  Give them the right skills, mentor, coach and reinforce these skills constantly.
  • Listen to your team’s feedback and be willing to address their concerns and ideas.

Pink also states that your salespeople should ask themselves the following question:

“If the person you’re selling agrees to buy, will his or her life improve? If the answer is no, you’re doing something wrong.”

Yes, we’re talking about culture here – a culture that not only speaks to being customer focused but actually does it. And along the way you will sell more because your customers will know what you have to offer because your team asks the right questions in the right manner, they listen and only continue the conversation if a customer’s needs match what you offer.

Upserve, not upsell – a great mindset.

We can help you help your sales team – contact me at 303-795-3539 or


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2 Responses to Do Not Upsell
  1. Karen Susman
    September 8, 2015 | 6:46 pm

    I really like the concept of upserving. Thanks for writing this article.

    • loconnell
      September 8, 2015 | 6:57 pm

      Thanks Karen – I like the concept of upserving too – it changes your whole perspective on selling!

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