Up Sell Best Practices

By Bob Rippel, Chief Learning Officer of RJ Learning Group and active TMSA member. For more information, visit www.RJLearningGroup.com.

As we all know, in Q4 the transportation industry shifts into high gear. There’s more pressure on you and your customers to meet decreased transit times, manage small delivery windows and react to quickly changing customer demands. Due to this additional focus on specific transportation requirements, your customers are more willing to consider service upgrades or options that they usually would not. This is a prime opportunity for the customer service team to leverage the relationships they’ve built to identify "Up Sell" opportunities. All it takes is a question or two to open the conversation, to assist the customer in meeting their Q4 goals and their customers’ requirements. Follow these Best Practices to increase revenue and customer retention during Q4.

Leverage Trust and Credibility
Focus on those customers where you’ve built trust and credibility over the prior year. This is essential if you’re going to ask for more business, or an upgrade of service. Identify those customers that you’ve helped out of a tight spot in the past, or where you’ve simply been consistent in meeting their expectations. HINT: Sometimes customers need to be reminded of all the times you’ve met or beat their service requirements, and not the one time you did not!

Focus on Your Strengths
Identify and focus on the unique value you bring to your customers. Try to determine WHY a customer buys from you, and not just WHAT. Is it your ability to deliver consistently a tough to reach beyond point, or do they enjoy the simplicity of your track and trace tool? Whatever it may be, understanding of the value you bring to your customers will assist you in identifying and suggesting Up Sell opportunities.

Ask Some Questions
Ask questions to find out more about their operation (“Can you tell me where we fit into your supply chain?”)
Ask questions specific to Q4 (“Do you foresee any issues in meeting your customers inventory requirements?”)
It’s really that simple. Often, your customers aren’t aware of the upgraded services your organization provides because nobody’s ever told them. All it takes is one question to start the conversation.

Suggest Alternatives
Leverage your relationship with the customer and knowledge of their business to suggest alternatives that may help them to be successful during Q4. Provide reasons why it may be a good idea to upgrade their current service levels, or let you handle more of their business during this busy time. Be competent, confident and suggest alternatives that help your customer to meet their business goals and objectives, and those of their customers.

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