Upselling is a sales technique that encourages customers to purchase an upgraded or more premium version of the product or service that they are looking to buy. In other words, it encourages customers to buy a higher-end version of a product than that they intended to.

The classic example of upselling can be found in the automobile trade. Anybody who’s ever purchased a base-spec car will have almost certainly had the salesperson attempt to sell the next best model to them, or the high-end luxury model that comes with self-parking and heated massage seats—has anybody ever used those?

Still, with upselling increasing revenues by 10-30% on average, it’s easy to see why it has become such a common sales strategy. 

Side note: Upselling shouldn’t be confused with cross-selling, a technique that aims to sell customers additional products or services that complement the product that is being or has already been purchased. 

Upselling Explained:

Upselling FAQs

What is upselling? 

Upselling is a sales technique where a seller encourages the customer to purchase a more expensive, upgraded, or premium version of the product or service they are considering or have already bought.

How is upselling different from cross-selling? 

Upselling involves suggesting a higher-end product or service, while cross-selling involves recommending complementary or related products. For example, upselling might involve suggesting a higher-tier software plan, whereas cross-selling could involve recommending an additional feature or tool.

Does upselling carry any risks? 

Upselling can be seen as an aggressive sales tactic. Depending on the buyer, this could be off-putting and potentially push the buyer away. If you’re going to rely on upselling, it’s important to strike a balance between the sale and the customer’s experience.