What's Inside This Guide
- 1 Upselling In Hospitality
- 2 Firstly Let’s look At The Three Types Of Upselling
- 3 What Is Upselling?
- 4 Touchpoints That You Can Practice Your Upselling
- 5 Communication Is Key
- 6 Go Out There And Upsell
Upselling In Hospitality
People literally walk through the doors of your venues every day intending to spend money. The amount they spend is entirely up to you. You are their guide.
The first reason, and most important, is by using your product knowledge coupled with effective selling techniques you will enhance the experience.
It also means that your venue will increase Its sales, which is then reinvested back into the company allowing them to invest more in you by creating career opportunities.
Firstly Let’s look At The Three Types Of Upselling
But what do we mean by these?
1. Suggestive Selling
Suggestive selling is a sales technique where you ask the customer if they would like to include an additional purchase such as a shot or a more expensive mixer than normal.
Suggestive selling is a sales technique where you ask the customer if they would like to include an additional purchase such as a shot or a more expensive mixer than normal. Click To Tweet
Suggestive selling is used to bump up the transaction value. Maybe not by a lot but by at least something.
Often the additional secondary sale is much smaller than the original purchase so the customer doesn’t mind the extra money being spent.
EXAMPLE: Customer comes to the bar with a friend and asks for 6 pints of beer, you see that it is a table of guys who have been having a great time. Whilst making the pint’s for the group you happen to mention that it is 2 shots for 5 pounds at the moment and maybe the two friends should get some.
Here 3 things could happen in this scenario;
1. They decline – But now they are aware of the shot prices and this will come up in conversation around the table at one point
2. They agree and go ahead with the secondary sale
3. They like the idea of that and choose to purchase 6 shots for the whole table.
2. Generalised Upselling
This will be the one that you are most used to in everyday life.
Generalised upselling is when you give the customer the option of a better product or the opportunity to have added extras to what they have ordered.
You got to a fast-food restaurant and they ask you if you want to go large. You go to a bar and they ask you if it is a double that you wanted.
This happens to be the least productive way to upsell. Customers see these as trigger words, with which they know that you are attempting an upsell.
It is a technique which should be used as much as possible though!
It does work in its own way. Customers who are on the fence about going for a double instead of a single will say yes. Unfortunately it won’t change the mind of someone who wants a single unless the price sways heavily in the customer’s favour. For instance if it is an extra pound or dollar for the double.
3. Proactive Upselling (Our Favourite)
Proactive upselling means to not just serve the customer the lowest denomination of what they ask for based on what they are asking and proactively offer them the upsell.
Proactive upselling will solidify your position as the expert to the customer and they will trust your upsell suggestion.
Some people will say the main aim of upselling is to make more money first and foremost. We don’t agree with that and that is why proactive selling is our favourite of the three techniques in upselling.
Some people will say the main aim of upselling is to make more money first and foremost. We don't agree with that and that is why proactive selling is our favourite of the three techniques in upselling. Click To Tweet
With proactive selling not only do you make more money, but you also create trust in the brand and trust in you from the customer. We want all of our customers to stand up and shout about how good our service has been for them. You are solidifying your standing as the expert behind the bar wowing your customers every time.
Two customers have been drinking whiskey and coke for the last couple of hours and haven’t changed their drink once. They come to the bar for another round and you ask them if they have tried a whisky cocktail before? They haven’t and they are willing to give one a try! Before you know it, they carry on drinking the cocktails you recommend and your upsell was a success.
The customer comes up to the bar and asks you for recommendation and instead of just telling them what YOU would order or your normal go-to suggestion, you start to ask questions to determine what would suit the customer the best. This shows that you have product knowledge and the customer is more likely to take your recommendation.
So now that we know the different types of upselling it’s time to really work out…
What Is Upselling?
If you think that it’s selling something bigger, more premium or extra to a guest then you might be missing the bigger picture.
Upselling is not JUST about selling more.
It’s about the opportunity to deliver a great service and to exceed a customer’s expectations.
Upselling is not JUST about selling more. It's about the opportunity to deliver a great service and to exceed a customer's expectations. Click To Tweet
Upselling allows the customer to try something new and broaden their knowledge which encourages the customer to return to your bar.
Upselling, when delivered as part of a tailored, personalised service experience, is considered as a higher level of service from a customers viewpoint. It is not being sold to.
Upselling, when delivered as part of a tailored, personalised service experience, is considered as a higher level of service from a customers viewpoint. It is not being sold to. Click To Tweet
It’s an interesting fact that the vast majority of customers don’t know what they want to drink when they walk into a bar. In fact, it’s not so much that they don’t know what they want, it’s more the fact that they are often bored with what they usually drink and order… For a short moment when asked, ‘what can I get you?’, there is a pause. As if for a fleeting moment they are hoping for a flash of inspiration that will lead them to something different for a change.
Let’s look at an exchange between a guest and a bartender…
Bartender:‘Hi, what can I get you?’
Customer: ‘Ermmmm…, Oh I’ll just have a Vodka Coke’
Bartender: ‘OK, sure’
The really great upsellers, that you are becoming, by the way, recognise the pause (the Ermm…) as an invitation to step in and take control of the service experience and introduce the customer to something they would never of thought of themselves.
For the great upsellers, this is how the same conversation would of gone…
Bartender: ‘Hi, what can I get you?’
Bartender: ‘Well maybe I can recommend something for you? What would you normally order?’
Alternatively the ermmm… prompt is missed…
Bartender: ‘Hi, what can I get you?’
Customer: ‘Ermmmm…, Oh I’ll just have a Vodka Coke’
Bartender: ‘OK, sure do you have a preferred vodka or shall I recommend one?’
Of course, simply saying the right things at the right time is just the beginning. Once you are recognising and responding to the opportunities to upsell, your technique in terms of communication is key.
Touchpoints That You Can Practice Your Upselling
At the point of order
Have they paused when asked what they want? Most people do… If so then jump in and ask if you can recommend anything.
If they have ordered something generic, e.g ‘Vodka and Coke’, ask whether they have a preferred vodka or if you can recommend one. Always remember that if you are recommending a more expensive premium product (e.g Grey Goose, for example) explain why. ‘You must try it with Grey Goose, it’s so much smoother than our pouring brand’.
When customers are ordering a drink, another simple way to use upselling is to ask if they would like to make it a double or a large. However, it is important to remember to look out for signs of excessive drinking and ensure that your customers are drinking responsibly
Instead of asking, ‘same again?’ How about suggesting something else? Something like, ‘instead of another Beefeater and Tonic, how about a gin cocktail from our signature list?’
Use The Menu
A great way to upsell to more profitable serves is by using your menu. Menu’s help undecided customers decide on what to order and can help promote the serves that you want to upsell, such as the signature serves of your venue.
Communication Is Key
Everything that you say, the way that you say it, your facial expressions and your general body language, all impact the message that you are trying to communicate. Here’s some tips
Use Positive Eye Contact
This means regularly connecting with the person or people you are speaking with by looking to their eyes.
Whilst smiling is important, it’s not so important that you should fake it. Far more important than smiling is a need to project your passion for what you are recommending both vocally and physically. If a customer can feel your enthusiasm for your suggestions they are much more likely to go along with you.
Far more important than smiling is a need to project your passion for what you are recommending both vocally and physically. Click To Tweet
Consider The Language You Use
Telling a customer that the Whisky you have just recommended is ‘nice’ won’t have the same effect as saying it is ‘delicious’ or ‘incredible’.
Using expressive and descriptive words will be more likely to draw a positive response from the customer.
What Do You Sound Like?
We must sound enthusiastic, passionate and believable. Remember that you can describe something in beautiful terms, but if you sound bored, fed up or disinterested then your words will have no positive effect whatsoever.
Go Out There And Upsell
Remember that there are different types of upselling and lot’s of points in the customer journey for you to show what you can do.
Be the bartender who is proactive with their selling.
Not the bartender who is like a robot constantly pushing out the cliche phrase of ‘want to make that a large’ while already focusing on the next customer
Now, in your next shift behind the stick, just try the proactive selling technique just once… You will be surprised at how good it makes you feel.
Because… Believe or not… That type of selling is HELPFUL to the customer, the venue and yourself
Let us know your thoughts in the comments