Upselling is a vital function of many firm’s growth strategy after the initial sale. Whether executed by a company’s Account Managers or by the business’s service team it as an essential, tried and true part of expanding business within existing accounts.
Downselling is something altogether different as it involves intentionally selling less to a prospect than they originally intended to buy on the front end of the sale.
This is not a fallback strategy for when the prospect decides not to make the larger purchase but rather a pre-planned method for slowing down the sales process and suggesting a smaller purchase first instead of the larger purchase the prospect was originally interested in.
Trust is a critical part of the buying/selling process and we all get that. Now more than ever buyers are looking to do business with someone they like and trust. The Downselling strategy is an effective way to supercharge the trust process.
Here is an example of how it works:
Buyer: "We are looking forward to hearing your proposal for the XYZ power system for our factory. As we discussed our current equipment is old and breaking down far too frequently."
Seller: "Thanks again for the opportunity to propose a solution, we can absolutely provide the XYZ as well as a comprehensive ongoing service plan but…... could I make a suggestion?"
Buyer: "Of course"
Seller: "My suggestion is that we take a step back here and have our technicians bring in our state-of-the-art load testing equipment for a thorough evaluation of your current equipment.
The testing process is very inexpensive compared to the cost of a new XYZ power system and often we find the existing equipment can be retrofitted with a less expensive upgrade at a fraction of the price.
Either way you will have valuable information in advance of the XYZ power system purchase regardless of who you choose to eventually buy from. Should you decide to work with us, we will deduct the price of the evaluation from our system pricing. What do you think?"
So, how would you feel if you were the buyer? Would you trust this supplier more or less? Would you be more likely to purchase the XYZ power system from them or did they just screw themselves out of a larger deal?
We have been using this strategy with clients across multiple industries for many years and the answer is, if you do this for the right reasons, you will sell more. In most cases, a LOT more.
There has to be a legitimate business reason for employing this strategy and there has to be value for the client in taking a step back to purchase something smaller from you initially. This isn’t a trick or manipulation but a sincere way to allow a client to “get to know you” through an initially smaller purchase that will allow them to eventually buy the larger item with a higher level of confidence in you and your business.
We have given Downselling a name: The Monkeys Paw. It is named after the small, ball like knot that is on the end of the thin rope that is thrown down to the dockhand when a large ship has pulled up to the pier. This small rope is attached to the much larger and heavier mooring line and allows the dockhand to safely pull the heavier line down to the pier.
If you have questions or would like to learn more about this technique, please drop me a line. Until then, good selling!