“Would you like fries with that?”

How many times a week do we experience the subtle nudge of upselling or cross-selling? Upselling occurs when the consumer is presented with an opportunity to take advantage of more ‘value-added’ services. Cross-selling happens when the consumer is presented with the opportunity to purchase something else to go with what he or she wants. Let’s look at this from the financial institution’s perspective.

Upselling

For upselling, the intrinsic notion of increased value is present. A borrower is obtaining an auto loan, and the loan officer offers Guaranteed Asset Protection(GAP). This simple notion takes only a few seconds, but it introduces the borrower to a service they may not know they need or want. How do you do that in a subtle way? It’s as simple as asking, “Do you have something in place to protect you in the event of an accident and the insurance payout is less than what you owe on the loan?” Did you get that? By asking this question, you are helping the borrower realize he or she could be caught short in this situation, and you are helping them purchase peace of mind in the form of GAP protection.

We experience these tactics so often, I bet we don’t even recognize them when they occur. Several years ago, my husband and I were at a fast food restaurant. Instead of asking the usual, “Would you like to super-size your meal?”—a question we were already prepared to answer—our cashier asked, “How hungry are you today?” She proceeded to mention we could ‘super-size’ the meal for a few dollars more, which we did! She planted the concept that we were hungrier than we thought, and we needed that super-sized meal. In an instant, she was no longer the fast-food cashier; she was a consultant. A consultant, you ask? Absolutely! According to consulting.com, she became a consultant the moment she engaged in the business of giving expert advice in a specific field. She knew her business (fast food), and she knew how to guide the consumer by asking how hungry we were that day. With her gentle guidance, we realized we were hungrier than we thought, and she increased the sale.

 

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