Up-selling Fail

Up-selling Fail

A few days ago I chanced upon this funny picture online.


Restaurant put their sign on the wrong side

All stores want to improve their sales, their profit and their revenue. The dream of every business owner is to increase cash flow while minimizing expense.  While we often think about increasing the number of Buyers, we can also increase revenue by getting those same customers to buy more, or buy more valuable products. Normally, more premium products have a higher profit margin compared to simpler ones. A strategy know in the industry as Up-selling.

For many merchants, the easiest way to do so is get their front line staff to inquire if the buyer would also consider getting these Premium products as well.

Hence this picture. It seems that this food establishment had attempted to explicitly up-sell the drink to its customers and yet this had gone horribly wrong. For those still unable to discern the absurdity of this image, the instructions to the staff have been placed, upside down, facing the Buyers. Defeating the purpose in the most hilarious way .

It appears to me, sitting heavens know how far away staring at his laptop, that the core reason of this failure was seller apathy. The cashier simply did not care about management’s goals. I am in no reasonable position to pass judgement upon this man. He could have had the worst of days, draining his energy and attention focusing on other task, we all have those days. Perhaps he was unaware of error, or maybe had not been told at all. More likely, he had not been made to care.

Tips to consider

If you want to improve your business using up selling from your front line staff, here are three tips to consider:

  1. Explain to the staff how upselling to benefit both them and the Buyer. Before your staff can sell , you have to sell them the importance of selling. Apart from just cash incentives, another major motivation would be to to let the staff truly understand how this could benefit the buyer. In this case, that this drink would be good to wash down the main meal.
  2. Have management oversee the initial implementation. Our employees are always busy, as they should be improving the business and serving the Buyers. Hence, any new actions should have someone overseeing, troubleshooting, guiding a new project into its place. Only then can the project truly start to bear fruit.
  3. Help the staff to understand that they too, must sell. Every cashier is a salesperson. He/She handles the point of purchase, and it is at this point where the Buyers satisfaction will peak. Here is where the highest probability of a successful up-sale can occur. The Buyer has already agreed to the sale, what’s a little more to him/her? If the staff do not see their roles as sales, those critical words are unlikely to be said.

If you are interested in improving your sales, or for us to assist your staff in the sales process, you can always drop us an email!

Voiceofsales specializes in making it so that everyone can sell, and offer a range of material and courses to help all realizes their inner sales potential. You can find out more about our course here!


Here was the funniest comment from the picture:

“No they didn’t, it’s just an interesting challenge. Can YOU sell a drink to an employee?”

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