Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

FE, Education & Business Marketing: Quick, Effective, Low Cost Marketing

Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

Marketing Mistakes: Upselling or Downselling

Do you practice Upselling or Downselling?



Here is an example of how downselling can kill your sales.


I’m a great advocate of upselling.  You know the sort of thing. It is when you buy a pair of shoes and the salesperson suggest some shoe polish or leather protector.  McDonalds use the techniques extremely well when they ask you “Do you want fries with that?” 



If just 10% of customers accept the upsell you can sell a lot of extra product in a day.  With large companies like McDonalds it can result in £millions additional income a year worldwide.


I advocate upselling … but recently have seen downselling .. which I don’t advocate.


So what is downselling?


Downselling is where you fail to respond to the customer’s needs and often leads to the lose of a sale. 


Take for example an incident I saw last week.  Waiting in an English country pub to pay my bill I saw a classic example of downselling and a customer that became increasingly unhappy. 


The guy in front of me ordered two coffees and wanted to pay on a credit card. The coffee came to £4.60 and the barman said that there was £5 minimum order for credit card payments.  The customer said that he had already paid over £50 for a meal and just wanted to finish with a coffee. Apparently he had no cash so the credit card was his only option.


The barman suggested the customer increase his order … the customer said forget it and walked away very unhappy.


A few minutes later the unhappy customer came back and cancelled a table he had booked for the following weekend.


Of course we all have a choice regarding what form of payment we accept.  But is does make sense to display a notice if there is a minimum charge and be a bit flexible when the occasion arises.


There is a cost to the minimum charge scenario.  You lose the customer who tells all their friends what poor service they had. 


Checking a local foodie website I also found the customer had made an adverse comment on there .. so now thousands of people know about it!


 Of course you and I wouldn't ever make such a basic mistake as turning a good customer into a detractor .. or would we?  It might just be worthwhile standing back and looking at your processes.  Look for bottlenecks and problems .. but look at it from the customers' perspective.  If you don't find any get a friend or "mystery shopper" to test your process and challenge them to find problems.  If they find any, it could save you £thousands ….. and your reputation.   

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.