Sell Smart to Increase Your Profits (Part 2: Downselling)

Don’t worry about your money - this won’t cost a cent! Best of all, it takes hardly any time to get going. Last time we talked about the wonders of up-selling and how it can create an overnight success in your business.


Now let’s dive into the other variation of upselling: downselling.

Increase the average transaction value and your profits of your business.

With upselling, the customer identifies that they want a certain product, and your aim is to encourage them to buy the more expensive option like the ‘super-sizing’ upsells that happen at McDonald’s.

Downselling happens BEFORE the sale occurs. Once the salesperson identifies the customer’s needs, they recommend the highest priced option to the customer (assuming, of course, that this product is a match to their needs).

It’s then up to the customer to either decide that they want the most expensive option, or to downgrade themselves to a lower priced option.

The Top 3 ‘Downsell’ Techniques:

1.      For simple, low cost products: If someone walks into a grocery store and asks for Panadol, simply offer them the largest size. You might just give it to them, or you could say...


“Here you go! This 100 pack offers the best value for money.”


Simple, isn’t it! You’re doing the customer a favor by offering them a bargain AND you’re maximizing your average transaction value as well.


2.      Using comparison charts: The easiest way to downsell is to create a comparison chart which you can either use as an internal document or use it to show your customers so they can compare options.


A great example of this is car manufacturers. They list all of the prices and specifications of their vehicles, typically starting from base model and going right up to the most advanced model.


3.      Using a Needs Analysis Questionnaire: Another important tool to help you down-sell is the Needs Analysis.


It’s a fact-finding tool that helps you uncover information about the customer’s needs. This information can then be used to make the right recommendation based around those needs.


For example, you could ask

  • What do you want the product to do for you... and why is this important to you?

  • What features are important to you... and why?

  • What have you seen so far?


What You Can Do Today:

  • Educate and excite your team about the importance of down-selling

  • Create a product/service comparison sheet – give buyers an instant snapshot of how various options compare

  • Develop a Needs Analysis questionnaire – this will help you to ask the questions to uncover customer’s needs and determine which product is best for them

  • Start learning dialogue techniques to encourage customers saying ‘Yes’