Successful Upselling

By Lynn McCullough Director of Meetings & Association Management, CMA Association Management | October 28, 2008

More often than not, your meeting planner clients will come to you with a set budget for their event-with set parameters for what they want in terms of food and beverage, decor and logistics. While it is good when clients know what they want, it is also good to suggest ways to enhance their event so that they look even better-and equally as important, these enhancements can improve a facility's bottom line. That is where upselling comes in.

What is Upselling?

In the simplest terms, we are all familiar with upselling: extended warranties on appliance purchases, "supersized" meals at fast food outlets, software additions for computers, blush to go with that foundation at the cosmetic counter, a fancy bowl and fish food for that cute goldfish, and much more.

Upselling is a procedure designed to get more money at the point of sale. By offering your clients an upgraded product or related item at the time they are making their first purchase, you will find they are more receptive if you explain the added benefits of the ancillary product. It may be something they haven't considered, but with savvy salesmanship, upselling is easier to accomplish than a "cold" sale. You will find that clients with whom you are already doing business appreciate your thoughtfulness in offering them an added benefit they didn't know about. Upselling can include:

Limitless Possibilities

Of course, the hospitality industry is more sophisticated than a fast-food outlet with a myriad of opportunities for upselling. One of the most effective methods is bundling products and services. Depending on how many rooms are blocked, for example, if your hotel has a spa, you might offer a 20 percent discount on its services. You will still make a good profit if the services would have gone unused, and it will make the delegates feel like VIPs.

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