Sales Techniques: Upselling

Jan. 3, 2012

A customer comes into your locksmith business looking for an extra key because his son has lost a key. Instead of just taking the key and making a duplicate, you start a conversation, eventually asking, “This probably is not the first time you are duplicating a house key, correct?”

You’ve taken just a few minutes and find out that no, this child seems to lose a key every few weeks and it is getting to be rather annoying as someone has to leave work to let him into the house. Not a problem you would expect from a teenager. Well, there seems to be more of a problem than just making another duplicate key. In addition to losing the keys, there are lost keys somewhere at his school or in the neighborhood that can unlock the front door. That’s a scary thought.

How can you, the security professional resolve, the real problem? The solution certainly is not selling another duplicate key. Instead, show the customer a few keyless deadbolts, mechanical and electronic. Show both types, but begin by discussing the features of and demonstrate the top of the line electronic deadbolts. As an alternative to a key, the teenager can remember a ten-digit telephone number; his cell phone proves that. Plus, he can’t lose a User Code. And as an extra benefit, the deadbolt’s electronic code can be programmed into his cell phone. Even if he forgets it, the electronic deadbolt can still remotely provide access.

The parent becomes intrigued with the electronic deadbolt since it can remotely grant access into the home. The electronic deadbolt’s home monitoring system offers the ability to send email and text alerts when programmed User Codes operate the deadbolt. The parent can even set up the system to include a camera or several to monitor what is going on inside the home.

By the time your customer leaves the store, he is happy because he now has a workable solution, increased security and the ability to control his world from just about anywhere.

He has also purchased much more than the duplicate key he originally came in to get. He is proudly carrying home an electronic deadbolt, the home monitoring system, a camera and other accessories. The sale went from a $3 transaction to around $300. The profit margin rose right along with it.

This is an example of Upselling. In reality, you are selling your customer the “right” security products for the application, solving his problem.  He is happy. You provided personalized service to the customer. This is the best way to get and keep a customer. Sometimes the “right” security product is larger, has more features or is more expensive than the item they thought.

Upselling needs to be done adroitly without the customer feeling pushed or you seeming too eager to force unwanted products. To do this you must think about selling as suggesting the right product or service. You need to be a people-person, friendly, outgoing and, most importantly, genuine. You have to want to provide your customers with the “right” products and services.

If you are on a job changing the combination, and see a worn hinge, be sure to discuss the hinge with the customer. When a customer tells you what he or she thinks he wants, listen for cues and let him finish talking without you having a rush to judgment.

Completely listening to your customer takes only a little more time. Listen to what is being said as well as not being said. Once the customer has discussed his or her problems, wants and needs, only then do you think about talking. Ask questions that will help focus the problem.

What is the incentive for taking the time? For the locksmith storeowner, it is the greater potential for increased sales. For the employee, it should be some type of benefit/incentive to take the time when talking with a customer. Remember you must be patient, listen and communicate well. Always attempt to build strong relationships with customers, and represent the company professionally and in a positive way.

Track your sales to prove to yourself that taking the time, being genuine and truly trying to help the customer in the long run is profitable. Knowing that most of the sales will be a higher dollar amount should be more than enough to convince you.

If you leave the job with the customer satisfied, you will get additional business.