Upselling Products by Creating an Upgrade Path

Upselling Products

I’m a big fan of Apple products.

Whenever I come to buy a product, Apple always has upgrade options available. There’s always an opportunity to add more memory, purchase a faster processor or upgrade some feature of the product. It is usually not a huge amount extra to go for the upgrade. As a result, over the years I have spent a fair bit more on Apple products than I had meant to.

The print industry should follow this example and offer more upgrade options

upselling products

It is easy to add an extra sentence to a quotation, highlighting how a customer could upgrade a product for a small cost. If your quoting software doesn’t allow you to do this easily, the upgrade offer can be outlined in the cover e-mail.

Here are some examples of upsell opportunities:

  • Additional prints at a valued price
  • Premium paper stocks
  • UV, lamination or other extra finishing enhancements
  • Enhanced finishing options, such as better binding
  • Extra products, such as business cards or flyers, that complement the original piece
  • Inclusion of Metallic or Clear Inks to give added ‘pop’

Here’s the main reason why upgrades can be such a worthwhile strategy.

Upgrades increase profit margins

Offering upgrades is not about increasing turnover. It’s about increasing profit margins.

In most instances the price of the main product being bought will need to have a fair market price. In today’s business environment that means there is unlikely to be a high profit margin. However, the upgrade option offers the opportunity to change this.

Most buyers are very careful to research the initial product they are purchasing to ensure they are getting a good deal. However, after committing themselves to that specific purchase and supplier, they are often less price-resistant when it comes to extras and upgrades.

When do upgrades work best?

upselling products

Upgrade options are most powerful when used with regular clients. They are less likely to be price checking against the competition. They are more likely to trust your pricing.

In addition, you know these clients better. You are more likely to be able to suggest an upgrade option that absolutely suits them and their business.

Remember also that smaller businesses are more likely to purchase an upgrade. They have more immediate freedom in how they specify their print.

Put upgrade options into practice today

  • Pick some of your best regular clients
  • Choose an upgrade that you think will work for their business
  • Highlight this on their next quote e.g. “Make your brochure stand out: upgrade to cover lamination for only $XX”

Your best clients may soon be spending quite a lot of extra money with you. Just like I do with Apple.

Editor’s Note: This post is part of a larger series on how to upsell:

If you’d like more ideas on how to engage with today’s buyers, download my free e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them.” You’ll also receive my regular “Views from the print buyer” bulletin, full of ideas on how to sell print effectively.

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