Upselling. It is time to change its reputation.

Upsell. I have never liked the term. It sounds, for some reason I can’t explain exactly, “sneaky.” And even if that is not the intention, it just has a nefarious edge to it.

However, I get it. You’ve got customers in your shop, and you want to make sure they know all their options and all the things you have on offer. That’s fine, but upsell makes it sound like, “I’ve got you as a captive audience and I can put things in your cart that sound good in the moment, but you don’t really need or want necessarily. Buahaha.”

Could we change that? Could we get upsell turned into something that really stresses a more ethical intention?

Well, before we get to that, let’s think about selling in general first.

Sales has a bad rap, and in many cases, for good reason. For too long, selling has been about pushing things on people with the intention of lining the pockets of the salesperson and the business. This has led to a lot of bad practices and a lot of buyer’s remorse.

Thankfully, sales, in a more positive, modern reconsideration, is transforming its reputation by being more about learning what customers need and using that learning to provide advice on what is best for them. In the best cases, selling has become a service rather than an ordeal to be suffered.

How about upselling? Could we transform its reputation, too?

If we take as our model that second, more enlightened, sales-as-service view of what selling is all about, perhaps we can throw out the negative view of upselling by replacing it with a new term –upvaluing (yeah, I know, it is a made-up word)— that better describes what we should be doing.

When a customer comes into our shop, whatever our shop is, we get closer to them, we have an opportunity to really get intimate and learn their personal, individual needs and wants. When we learn that stuff –stuff, mind you, that we could not learn at a distance— we have a chance to provide more value, to give the customer new insight into offerings that might help them see greater success. That’s noble. That’s providing service, real service, rather than selling for the sake of selling, or worse yet, for some more despicable purpose.

Upvaluing. Let’s make that a thing. Next time you meet with your team, explain the term, and see how it can change how they view and manage their customer interactions.  

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