Do You Want Fries With That? – Using Suggestive Selling to Increase Your Sales

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Do You Want Fries With That? – Using Suggestive Selling to Increase Your Sales

Suggestive selling is a powerful tool that can increase your revenues–and your bottom line–significantly. We are all used to the order taker at a fast food place asking if we want fries with our burgers, or if we would like to “Jumbo-Size” our orders, but suggestive selling can work in any business.

Shoe stores suggest socks or polish to go with your new sneakers, hair salons recommend styling products, and stores selling electronics offer an extended warranty on the gadget you just bought. In each case, the business encourages the customer to add on to the purchase they are making.

Upselling can be done in person, on the phone or over the Internet. Many online shopping carts allow you to set up a product-specific upselling page. That means that when someone orders Product A, they get the suggestion that goes with that product. Someone who orders another product receives a recommendation appropriate to that product.

Here are some tips to make suggestive selling work for you:

Make the suggestion after the customer has made a commitment to buy. Don’t try to add on to the sale before the customer has made a firm decision and is in the process of buying.

Upsells should be related to the original purchase. An upgrade, a warranty, accessories, or something else that adds on to what the customer is buying can be effective. The customer is more likely to see such a suggestion as helpful than as simply a sales ploy.

Consider making the upsell a “two-fer” offer. Because the customer bought one item at regular price, they are able to get a second at half price.

The add-on product should have a lesser cost than the base purchase. Suggesting batteries to go with a radio works. Recommending a radio to go with a battery purchase doesn’t.

Don’t hit customers with a lot of upsells. One (or possibly two) is enough. Badgering them to buy more can backfire and maybe even kill the sale completely.

Make sure employees and order takers are making upsell offers to customers. Remind them of the importance of doing so, and consider rewarding them for great results, or even when you “catch” them upselling. Give telephone order takers a script that includes a suggestive sales offer.

Done properly, an upsell is helpful to the customer and builds your profits as well.


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