It’s hard to go a day without someone trying to upsell you something or even cross-sell your products/services that can complement the ones you already use. Businesses quickly recognize the importance of mining the existing customers for more revenue rather than focusing solely on new client acquisitions. Upselling and cross-selling become relevant in this conversation.
Digital marketing agencies are no strangers to the concept of upselling. It makes sense for agencies to upsell your clients to add more value to their business and, of course, more dollars for you. We would even venture to say that you’re leaving money on the table if you are not.
Upselling as a business and sales strategy can be quite rewarding for your agency. At FVG, we do this quite religiously and with some fantastic results. This blog will attempt to deep dive into the concept of upselling and how it can work for digital marketing accounts. Let’s jump right in.
What is Upselling?
Before we begin, it makes sense to understand what upselling means. Upselling is a sales technique that upgrades your customer’s product or services to create more value for both parties.
Let’s take an example to understand this. Let’s assume your customer has signed up for running paid campaigns with your agency. While you deliver great results on paid advertising across channels, it may be worthwhile to add social media and content creation to the mix. This helps the client have a more rounded marketing campaign, and you can expand their billing and, ultimately, the customer’s lifetime value. Saas companies offering premium versions of basic products is another example of them using upselling opportunities.
Upselling techniques are generally driven by the sales team and involve building a great relationship with the client first and proving your expertise by consistently delivering outstanding results. It’s not usually the case that a customer would pay you more if they are not getting what they paid for in the first place, right?
Upselling is not just about selling more. It also involves a lot of care in delivering outstanding results and a great customer experience.
Cross-selling is another important strategy that most organizations use, which should not be confused with upselling. To use an e-commerce example here, if you are on amazon or any other site, additional products are often a common sight on the checkout and product pages. These are usually related products or products that can be used with what you are already purchasing. If added to the cart, these additional items increase the average order value for the online store.
Cross-selling and upselling are good strategies for offering relevant products according to the customer’s needs. Both these strategies can help you and your client gets more value out of the relationship.
Why Should You Upsell?
That’s a valid question to ask! Why can’t you focus on getting new customers into the system rather than trying to sell more to your existing clients? Well, the fact is that selling to existing customers is easier than finding new ones.
Studies show that the probability of selling to existing customers could be as high as 60-70%, while selling to new clients could yield results just 5-20% of the time. This, of course, depends on the industry and the product you are selling, but it gives you an excellent benchmark.
It’s certainly more cost-effective. The cost of acquiring a new customer can be pretty high, especially if you run paid marketing campaigns. Upselling is a great way to make the most of your spending to acquire a customer. You will generate more monthly revenue per customer if you are working on retainers and boosting the customer lifetime value.
Things To Do Before You Upsell
Upselling can happen smoothly only if a baseline of trust is established with the client. This can only happen with clear and open communication with them, setting the right expectations with the client, and ultimately delivering what you promised or more.
Trust is also not built in a day. You must constantly work on the relationship to ensure that the client is on-board with what you are doing, and they need to know they are being heard. Constant contact between the sales team and the management, apart from just the account managers, it would be a great idea to build client trust.
Deliver a Great Customer Experience
Nothing can replace a good experience. If you hope to upsell to the customer and expand the business, delivering a great experience is necessary. Even if you deliver what you promised and more, it may not be enough if the client does not have a positive experience.
If the delivery was fraught with conflicts and confusion, the client might not be too keen on extending the relationship or paying you more. This is the key reason why all agencies today are focusing a lot on customer experience.
Understand Their Business in Depth
Upselling is about offering the right product or service at the right time to meet a critical need. Understanding the client’s business in depth is thus very important to making a successful upsell. This will help you understand the client’s needs, and you will be able to make service and product recommendations at the right time.
An upsell’s success lies in making the offer at the right moment. This is where customer journeys become important for you. Define a clear journey for your customer and have clear milestones and objectives. This will help you get the pitch right and increase the probability of a successful upsell.
How to Include Upselling as a Part of Your Strategy
Upselling can and should be a part of your regular business strategy because it makes sense. It is not very hard to incorporate upselling strategies into your overall approach to any client. Here’s how we at FVG do it.
Maintain Regular Contact with Your Customer
Being in touch with your customer regularly, irrespective of what’s happening on the delivery front is critical. You provide your customers with another point of contact, and you are also able to stay abreast of what’s happening in their business. You will gain valuable insights into their approach. You’ll be able to identify opportunities to upsell services if you know what’s happening with their business.
Email marketing and automation help you with this a lot. Sending a quick note to your existing clients about interesting work you’ve done with another client or sending regular updates about what’s going on in the industry are great ways to stay in touch without appearing to be pushy or sales-y. Salespeople are critical in this process too. You cannot just rely on digital approaches. You must put a face out there for the client to interact with.
Knowing what the customer wants and offering it at the right time is key in making a successful upsell. Looking at the buyer personas, understanding their purchase history, and giving them personalized recommendations on what products to buy is how e-commerce retailers do it. Similarly, you need to focus on the client’s current business and campaigns, look at the data available and make personalized recommendations to the client.
You’ll likely see a better conversion rate if you relate it to data you see from the client’s account and give a specific solution. For example, if you notice that a client’s demographics and the strategy would work well on a social media platform that the client is not currently using, offering this to the client with relevant data points could be a way to grab attention and of course, get more business.
Offers and Incentives
Giving clients exclusive offers and incentives can also help in upselling. Many agencies help clients with complimentary add-on services like a website, SEO audit, and whatever work they sign up for. This reveals hidden opportunities, and clients will perceive value in what you offer for free.
Offering discounts, first-month free offers, and other such approaches can help you close more revenue from clients in the long run. This may not lower your revenue per client as you are not spending to acquire this business again.
Upselling is a viable sales strategy in most industries, and it’s no different for digital marketing agencies. Through well-timed personalized offers, you can add quite a lot of value for the client and, in turn, get more dollars in the bank.
Upselling increases your share of the wallet considerably, and given there is a pre-existing relationship; it’s often easier to increase revenue this way rather than chasing new prospects in the hope of new business. However, you must be conscious about knowing when to upsell and how much to push. Too much can put your client off, and too little means you’re probably leaving money on the table.
Want to design an upsell strategy for your agency? Talk to experts at FVG today.