by Mark Barber | Business Development Manager, 10COM Web Development
As a freelancer or agency professional, you’re probably primed to believe that bigger is better. The problem is, most projects don’t start out as expansive, highly lucrative jobs. So if you’re overlooking little leads, you could be missing out on major opportunities.
You may have noticed that you encounter quite a few small leads. Though clients’ goals would be better served by much larger projects, most clients simply don’t realize how much work should be invested into a fully fleshed-out marketing strategy—not until an industrious partner helps them understand.
It’s your job to convince leads that making more lofty investments will enhance the value they receive. However, if you lack skills and expertise in upselling and cross-selling, you could be stuck inching your way toward success.
At 10COM Web Development, we’ve mastered the subtle art of persuading clients to see the merit of bigger projects. We’ve outlined our most successful upselling techniques and coupled it with big-picture strategies you can employ within your organization, as well as ways to leverage leads from the Wix Marketplace into fruitful partnerships.
7 time-tested upselling strategies
When it comes to upselling and cross-selling, gimmicks and attempts to razzle-dazzle clients will inevitably fail. No one likes to feel as if they’re being tricked, so don’t rely on charm. Instead follow 10COM’s 7-tiered approach to value-added upselling, a strategy we’ve developed through years of trial and error.
Adjust your mindset
Listen to the client
Sell needed solutions
Know your numbers
Add value as a bundle
Follow up with leads
1. Adjust your mindset
When coaching sales representatives, we start by tweaking the way they approach so-called “small tasks”.
There are no small tasks—only growth opportunities.
That being the case, when it comes to leads generated through the Wix Marketplace, we take the information clients provide in the project brief with a grain of salt. We encourage you to do the same. As long as we have a client’s contact details, we can open up a meaningful conversation, make a connection through that dialogue, discover the client’s deeper needs, and generate tailored solutions.
If you can stop thinking of small tasks as dead ends and start approaching them as exciting challenges, you’ve already made progress.
2. Listen to the client
Inexperienced salespeople tend to dominate the conversation. On the other hand, successful representatives let clients do the talking. Think of it like a patient-doctor relationship. You wouldn’t expect a physician to walk into the exam room and immediately begin prescribing medication without first listening to the patient’s symptoms. So why would it be logical for a sales representative to begin spouting off solutions before hearing about a client’s needs?
The more a lead opens up, the more information they will expose about their pain points, thus presenting opportunities for solutions that salespeople can capitalize on. Encourage your sales team to let clients steer the conversation. They’ll discover far more upselling openings by staying quiet than they would by blathering unnecessarily.
3. Sell needed solutions
Salespeople get a bad reputation for being pushy and lacking empathy. Ineffective sales staff will indiscriminately push products and services, whether they fit a client’s needs or not. This is the “used car salesman” trope and it’s a stigma that representatives must actively work against in order to upsell without coming across unfeeling.
At 10COM, we never attempt to upsell or cross-sell when it’s not an appropriate solution. If we lose a lead’s trust, then we’ve damaged that relationship forever. Don’t be pushy in hopes of making an immediate sale when it could cost you a long-term relationship. Keep your eye on the prize.
You never know how a client’s needs might develop over time. Perhaps they aren’t a good candidate for upselling at the moment, but they could be in the near future.
4. Know your numbers
Every organization has goals and quotas that they hope to meet. At 10COM, we have monthly, weekly, and daily sales goals that help keep our team motivated. There’s wiggle room within any pricing model and there’s always room for improvement in a sales pitch. Keep a tally of exactly how much room exists in each of those instances.
If you find that you’re having trouble meeting your goals on a consistent basis, don’t be afraid to fine-tune your approach, pitch, and pricing until you develop a system that captures the hearts and minds of clients. Check your sales numbers regularly. If they’re lackluster, it may be time to reassess your approach once more.
5. Limit options
Though it might seem that the more variety you can offer a client the more likely they are to invest in a bigger project, the truth is it’s overwhelming. Giving a lead too many options sends them into sensory overload. It may even cause you to lose out on the sale entirely. At a certain point, leads simply stop listening to a pitch and shut down.
To keep the sales process as streamlined as possible, keep your package options limited to a maximum of 3. This way clients will still feel that they have a choice, but they won’t feel bogged down with too much information.
6. Add value as a bundle
Clients love a good bundle. It’s worth thinking about which services you provide can be packaged together for added value. The great thing about bundled services is they give clients the perception of a bargain while earning you more revenue in the process—essentially, the ultimate upsell.
7. Follow up with leads
Remember that forging relationships is a long game. Maintaining a solid relationship gives you the opportunity to sell a client on bigger projects in the future.
Unfortunately, far too many people (freelancers in particular) either never follow up with clients or follow up far too aggressively. Strike the right balance here. Reach out professionally and congenially, but without desperation.
You won’t be able to implement these upselling techniques overnight, but if you make a concerted effort to utilize them in your operations, you’ll soon notice clients begin to respond more positively to your upselling and cross-selling efforts.
How 10COM leverages small leads into fruitful partnerships
At 10COM, we utilize all the techniques listed above each and every day. Although our upselling tactics go beyond individual strategies, they’re a systematic methodology that affects the way we approach every lead.
We’re always thinking big
Our first upselling strategy had to do with mindset. We truly put that advice to practice. Small tasks don’t lose our interest. On the contrary, we love the opportunity to find out if those leads can benefit from additional services.
In terms of concrete upselling examples, we recently closed a logo design lead on web design, content writing, a press release, and ongoing marketing services. When we say eliminate that “small task” designation from your thinking, it’s because that’s only a jumping-off point—where you steer the ship is entirely up to you.
The bottom line is, we don’t allow ourselves to be discouraged by projects that are supposed to be “small”. We make an effort to rise to every occasion, and many times, it pays off.
We build bonds with clients
Beyond giving ourselves room to think big, we also make it a priority to build genuine relationships with clients. This goes back to providing services that are truly valuable as opposed to upselling for the sake of earning more money. We want to over deliver, to exceed expectations, to leave clients in awe of their experience.
When we leave satisfied customers in our wake, we generate a great deal of additional business organically—in the form of repeat clients and referrals.
As we all know, there’s no substitute for word-of-mouth advertising. The stronger our reputation becomes, the higher our business soars as a result.
One of the ways we ensure our relationships with clients remain favorable (and that we have the opportunity to upsell them on larger projects in the future) is by setting and managing their expectations. We’re honest about what we can control and upfront about what we can’t. In turn, this boosts client satisfaction overall.
Because our clients feel they can trust us, they're far more comfortable investing in bigger projects with 10COM whenever the proper opportunity presents itself—and we make sure the opportunity presents itself as soon as possible.
Wayne Gretzky famously said you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. We’re just not in the business of squandering chances, so if we feel that a client could benefit from a solution that we provide, we make sure to present it.
The worst thing they can say is no. Because we’re careful to only offer clients relevant solutions, we know they won’t feel pushed or confused by our suggestions for additional services.
There’s no magic formula for upselling clients, but one thing is for certain: if you aren’t offering upgrade options, you’ll certainly never make the sale. At 10COM, we don’t get pushy and we don’t offer services that are totally out of left field, but we always pose value-added opportunities to clients in need.
Upselling clients is more art than science. At 10COM, we’re proud to have achieved some success at this tricky business and we hope our methods can prove helpful for you as well.
The impact of the Wix Marketplace on our upselling techniques
At 10COM, we’re huge proponents for approaching every lead with an open and excited attitude. And that’s especially true when leads come from the Wix Marketplace.
When gathering leads on this platform, you never know who you might encounter next. We’ve consistently had the opportunity to work with celebrities, reality TV stars, athletes, global brands, and small businesses alike on all types of projects thanks to our partnership with Wix over the years.
In fact, our steady growth as an agency (and our ability to give back to the community) is largely due to the Wix Marketplace. Plus, we’re proud to have helped our clients earn well over $200 million in sales to date.
If you’re still not convinced that it’s worthwhile to invest time trying to upsell small projects such as logo design leads on the Wix Marketplace, a cursory glance at some of our most recent numbers should clear up any lingering doubt.
In the last two weeks of sales closed for “small tasks”, 43.8% of our clients upgraded by purchasing additional service with us.
In the last two months, 52% of leads for small tasks upgraded with additional services.
Data doesn’t lie. Overwhelmingly positive statistics like that should put to rest any question about how lucrative it can be to upsell on the Wix Marketplace.
This is not to say that every single “small task” lead you encounter will be a perfect fit for upselling, but a large portion are bound to be. So as long as you approach clients with a desire to communicate, and a genuine interest in solving their problems, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to upsell to a significantly larger project than originally specified.
If you’ve been struggling to achieve the sort of growth you desire, or to convince leads that it’s a good idea to take on larger projects than initially intended, then it might be time to reframe your approach from the ground up. Take the time to follow our 7 upselling techniques. Attempt to implement some organizational changes, starting with your overall mindset. And watch as even the smallest leads you encounter on the Wix Marketplace begin responding more positively to your suggestions for bigger projects.
You can’t click your heels together or wave a wand to magically become more adept at upselling and cross-selling. But if you’re willing to put in the work and to adopt these tactics, you’re bound to enjoy more fulfilling and long-lasting partnerships with clients from here on out.
Mark Barber is the Business Development Manager of 10COM Web Development, a multi-award winning web design and digital marketing agency located in Chicago, Illinois. Mark's passion to help local businesses grow and gain a competitive advantage led him to embark on a career in digital marketing. He creates successful marketing strategies for media groups, government agencies, and businesses across a variety of industries. He's dedicated to building high-performing sales teams and brands—from concept to profitability.