All About Upselling: Info and Useful Tips

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The benefits of additional sales are many. It’s always possible to sell more to a customer, as long as you can invent new products and services or find ways to upgrade your offerings. But what is upselling and how can you sell more to existing customers? Below we answer all your questions about the concept of upselling and give several useful tips.

What is upselling?

Upselling is a term used in sales and marketing. The definition of upsell is a sales technique that encourages existing customers to buy more products or services. But also to get them to upgrade to a newer version of their existing products or services. Upselling is used in e-commerce as well as in restaurants and stores.

When it comes to additional sales, the focus is on existing customers instead of new ones. As with finding new customers and selling to them, there are some challenges in reaching out to the existing ones – and this is where upselling comes in.

What does it mean to make additional sales?

So what does it mean in practice to make additional sales? Let’s say you sell a scheduling service that lets your customers manage their employees’ schedules digitally. A customer creates an account for your service and signs an annual subscription that must renew every year. It is also possible to subscribe for two or three years. If the customer is satisfied with the service, they will hopefully renew the subscription after one year.

When the customer signs for another year, you can contact the person with information that it would be beneficial to take out a 2-year or 3-year subscription instead. This is upselling – you offer to give the customer more for less. Since the customer has used your service for a year and feels satisfied, they are more open to accepting your offer.

The same principle applies to you who sell products. A new customer buys a cheaper product from your brand and builds trust when he or she discovers your brand is of high quality. At this point, it is an excellent opportunity to try to sell the customer a slightly more expensive product. Entice by informing about the benefits of buying the more expensive product instead.

Read more about different selling techniques and how you can sell more here.

Different forms of upselling

All forms of upselling mean that you sell more to an existing customer. However, there are various forms of this sales technique and some similar expressions to explain upselling. We will go through these now.


Upselling is the term that describes the sales technique used when you want to increase sales to an existing customer. This can happen in connection with a purchase, you get the customer to buy additional products in addition to what they “came” to buy. Additional sales can also take place after a purchase. For example, customers could receive an e-mail offering to purchase additional products. It can also be to sell a larger volume or a larger number in connection with a purchase.

Customer development

This is mostly work that intends to long-term help your customers to succeed better and with it makes more and bigger business. The term is mainly used for B2B customers and not as often for B2C customers. Your goal and profit is of course to sell more, but you only achieve this when you have invested in a deeper relationship with the customer. Only then can you identify problems and with that help the customer through in-depth cooperation.


When you work with cross-selling, you want a customer to buy from multiple parts of your inventory. Now we return to the example of the company that sells a scheduling service. The same company has time reporting software that they want customers to use as well. You can sell the other product or service as a complement to the one that the customer already owns.

With the customer journey in mind

There are certain things you need to consider before you start working with upselling. To begin with, you need to keep the customer journey in mind. The customer journey usually begins with the customer reading or absorbing information about your brand, and it goes all the way until the customer has bought the product and used it for a while.

Imagine the customer’s situation and map out when it might be the right time to sell a new product/service or offer a new version. You need to give the customer time to think through what he or she thinks about the product and your brand before you can start upselling. Ask yourself questions like:

  • When in the customer journey does the customer need to upgrade their service?
  • Where does the customer most often encounter obstacles and therefore need an upgraded product or service?

Upsell strategy – how can you sell more?

When working with upselling, try to find out more about the customer groups that buy your products or services. Map out their customer journey and figure out where they might encounter obstacles. You can then get in touch with the customers who you think might be interested in your products or services. An advantage of upselling is that the already current customers are often more open to your communication because they know your brand. Get in touch by explaining to the customer how your product/service can help solve a particular problem. What is required is that you have a product/software that shows how much the customer has used your services.

You can also inform them about how, for example, they can work more efficiently and successfully if they upgrade or buy a new feature. Reviews from other customers are always good to include in the mailing.

Have you just recruited new salespeople to your company, or do you feel that your team can improve their sales skills? We at Salesonomics help with smooth recruitment & onboarding and offer sales training for both new employees and existing salespeople.

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Simon Blanche