Going for the Upsell: The Step-by-Step Guide to Convincing Your Clients to Buy More

by Lis 5 Minutes

As the owner of a service business, you’re always looking for new ways to convince clients to purchase from you. However, getting people to say ‘yes’ more than once can sometimes be a struggle. When you finally land a new client, you don’t want to let them slip away as a one-time buyer.

Upselling to your clients can be a great way to convince them to come back for more. When you upsell to a customer or client, you’re letting them know what complementary products or services you offer, which gives them an idea of what they might want to come back for later. Implementing an upselling strategy can also help you create repeat customers, saving you time, money, and resources since you don’t need to constantly attract new leads.

In this article, we’ll explain what upselling looks like and how you can implement it into your sales strategy. Let’s take a look!

Why You Should Consider Upselling as a Strategy

Upselling is a common sales strategy used to convince customers to make larger purchases or to buy additional items. Through upselling, you can get an individual who is already interested in the services you’re offering to make a larger buy. This can then result in more business for you.

There are many ways a service business can upsell to clients and customers. Whether through upgrades, add-ons, or larger packages, an upsell is a way to entice customers to purchase a more advanced version of the same item. It is important to note that upselling is not the same as cross-selling, where a company tries to get a customer to purchase an additional but separate item.

Upselling can be beneficial for both customers and the company. While the customers receive a better service more equipped to solve their problems, the company gets added profit and a more invested audience. In order to see the most benefits from an upsell, however, you need to make sure you’re doing it correctly.

How to Convince Your Clients to Buy More (In 5 Steps)

Step 1: Wait for an Initial Purchase

When trying to convince people to make larger purchases, many companies believe that pushing more items and offers at customers until they break out their credit cards is the right way to go. While this logic makes some sense, it can also be an irritating tactic to customers who believe they already know what they want.

The best way to upsell a customer is to wait until they’ve made their first purchase. Allowing them to buy a service they believe will solve their problems can get them invested in your business and shows them what you can provide. Waiting until the sale is made before you upsell prevents you from pushing them away before they’re hooked.

Therefore, you’ll want to give your customer some time to get familiar with the service they’ve selected and identify any needs that haven’t been fulfilled. Depending on the service you’re offering, this stage could take a few days or a couple of weeks.

Step 2: Know Your Service Families

Before you approach your customer to try and upsell, you’ll need to know which of your products and services complement one another. Identifying your ‘product families’ early on can make it easier for you to upsell clients, and ensures the process runs as smoothly as possible.

A product family is a group of services that are typically sold together. For example, a copywriter may offer two separate services for writing web copy and blog posts. Since many people might hire a copywriter to write for both their website and their blog, those services are members of the same family.

To identify your service families, consider what services past customers have purchased together (or one after the other). Knowing what your audience is looking for when they come to you can help you identify what future customers may need.

Step 3: Consider Your Clients’ Needs

When preparing to upsell a client, you want to identify what needs haven’t been fulfilled by their original purchase. If they have not purchased all the services you offer, there are likely still some gaps you can fill in.

Consider where the customer’s original purchase fits within its service family. In the copywriting example from the previous step, a client who only purchased web copy initially may still need someone to write for their blog. Identifying this need can give you a better idea of what service you should try to upsell.

You may need to do some specific research about each client before you reach out to them with another offer. Take a look at the areas where they may need improvement, and identify the services you can offer to give them the help they need.

Step 4: Offer an Add-On

When you’re upselling, you don’t want the customer to feel like their original purchase was a mistake. Even if it didn’t solve all of their problems, you want to work with them to customize their plan, so they get all the services and support they actually need. Offering an upsell as a small and inexpensive add-on to their original plan can make your customer feel like they’re getting an improved service, not that they wasted their money on the first purchase.

If you’re trying to push a sale that is too large or doesn’t connect with the customer’s original purchase, it can feel like you’re trying to squeeze as much money as possible from them. This can be a quick turn off, and may even lose you a customer. However, approaching an upsell as an add-on to the original service can prove that you care about the customer’s needs and you’re looking to improve their experience.

Add-ons should be determined based on the needs of the client. Consider what small additions to your service plans you could make that would better help your client achieve their goals and run a more successful business of their own.

Step 5: Contact the Client

Now that you’ve properly planned for your upsell, you’re ready to talk to the customer. The most important step in upselling is to approach the customer appropriately, and in a positive and helpful manner. Showing that you’re looking to help them and not just make another sale can make all the difference in getting them to say ‘yes’ once again.

The way you contact your customer will depend on what you’re offering and the price point of the upsell. If you’re looking for a large add-on, you’ll want to contact the client directly and with a personalized message. However, for smaller additions, you can use customer messaging tools to target customers who have already purchased from you.

Be sure to consistently follow up with your clients, whether or not they initially go for your upsell. Frequently checking in to ensure their needs are met can help you create happy long-term customers and clients.


Upselling can feel intimidating at first. When you’re trying to convince someone who has already purchased from you to buy even more, you may fear you’ll push them away completely. However, approaching the upsell in a positive and helpful manner can be beneficial to both you and the customer.

Let’s recap the five steps you should follow when going for the upsell:

  1. Wait for a customer or client to make their initial purchase and start using it.
  2. Identify your service families to know which products or services complement one another.
  3. Understand the needs your customer may still have, based on their initial purchase.
  4. Position your upsells as add-ons to the original plan, offering additional services for a lower price.
  5. Follow up with your customer in a helpful and consistent manner.

How do you think upselling will benefit your service business? Let us know in the comments section below!

Image Source: Pexels.

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by Lis
Lis is part of the WordCandy writing team. She has clocked some serious mileage as a freelancer over the years, and loves sharing her expertise here on the Bidsketch blog.