8 Up-Selling Best Practices

Poorly Executed Up-Selling Can Lead to Churn

Up-selling involves offering customers an upgraded or premium version of a product or service. Sites like Amazon and Expedia creatively use up-selling to improve revenue. “You bought product A, you might like product B and C too”. They don’t try to up-sell during the customer service process, they limit up-selling to the buyers purchasing phase.

It all depends on how many products you sell. Some companies only sell one, but they may sell multiple levels of service. Other companies can stock thousands of products. Either way, the following are relevant.

Sales process model

Build Relevance

Unrelated product suggestions are simply not helpful for your customers and only serve to distract them with additional noise and clutter while they’re in the buying path. You want to be seen as legitimate, and if you offer bogus recommendations, this legitimacy will be eroded.

Customer Service is Important

Excellent customer care is crucial to keeping customers and getting them to renew. The better your customer service, the more likely you will be to up sell and cross sell in the future.

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Be Credible

A great way to successfully upsell is to cite top rated suggestions from customers or reviewers. Your prospect is buying one product; try to recommend a top rated complimentary item at the checkout.


Resist the temptation to try to upsell too much with the original purchase. You don’t want to scare them off at the checkout. Restrained upselling will maximize purchase value.

Give Details

Your prospect won’t purchase any attempted up-sell, if they don’t know anything about the new item or service that’s being offered. Provide these details, and educate your customers.


Customers that find it hard to navigate between the cart and product pages are easy to lose.

Bundle Discounts

Bundling is the best tactic to maximize value. A whole set of complimentary items can be up-sold at the final stage. Offering a price break for multiple item/service purchases benefits both you and your customer.

Where in the Process?

The most successful time to upsell, is at the final stage of the buying process, preferably before the “checkout”. You want to upsell when they know what they are buying, but before they have their credit card in their hand.

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