I did not understand the difference between serving and selling before I started work at KFC at the age of fourteen. This is when I learnt the value of the “add on sale”. I have now been in customer service ever since.

Asking the customer for an add on sale can be annoying, would you like a drink with that? or fries? These are common phrases we have all heard, most of the time we don’t even listen as they are so familiar and we automatically say, “no thank you”.

Although if you train your staff to do these properly, they can work majority of the time. I have had staff that just cannot or do not want to do it.

So, I have put together some tips I found work and make it easier for them:

  1. Have them genuinely love the product you want them to upsell
    If your staff believe in the product they are trying to upsell and feel that it is a real benefit for the customer, then they will talk about it easier.
    It helps if you hire people who believe in your product in the beginning (even better if they love the product). When we have in store promotions, if our staff love the product we are promoting we smash our target, when we don’t, we barely reach the target.
  2. Let them be natural how they ask the question
    Do not tell them word for word how to ask the customer if they would like the product, advise them the best way you would say it, but allow them to say it as they would in a general conversation.
  3. Be persistent, accept the rejections
    Staff can feel fearful, embarrassed, or just find it hard to take no for an answer. It is important to help them understand it is okay and even normal for people to say no. If they say yes even once in ten sales that is one more sale they have helped create.
  4. Let them know it gets easier
    It can be awkward at first to ask, but it does not get harder than the first time, the more they practise it and push through that first shift doing it the easier it becomes, eventually they will do it without even know they are.
  5. Be disciplined
    They must do it every shift, not to every customer but often. Have them chose the amount of customers they believe they could ask during their shift. And then follow up with them after to see if they achieved it. When they are the ones setting their own targets, they will work harder to reach it.

When you go through these practices with your staff, it becomes simple and it will work, you will have a team increasing their individual and overall average sales.

They will not get stressed and feel pressured to upsell, it will come across as natural, you are helping them become better salespeople, and as a bonus, you are growing your business.

Anyone can serve a customer, but not everyone can make a sale, who do you want your staff to be?