Good – Better – Best

May 27, 2010

Up-selling is a little different than cross-selling. Cross-selling is about increasing your overall sale-mostly by selling add-ons. Up-selling is about boosting the total dollar amount of the individual item.

One way to up-sell is to show a customer the next level up from what he’s interested in. That’s a solid technique.

But, I prefer giving more choices, like the “Good-Better-Best” approach.

Here’s how it works: You present your customer with three levels of a product or service. Given a choice of good, better or best, most people will gravitate to the middle choice and you’ll increase your sales.

Let’s use a steakhouse analogy. Our waiter suggests three cuts of steak: a strip, a filet, and a porterhouse (both a strip and filet). Let’s say, for example, the strip is the least expensive and the porterhouse the most.

Personal preference will sway some sales one way or another. But, putting that aside, the overall results will tend to look like a bell curve with more people choosing the mid-priced steak.

Some customers will want the biggest and best just because it’s the biggest and best, (porterhouse). And some will be satisfied with the lower-end choice because it better-fits their preferences or their budgets (strip).

But in most situations, more sales will fall in the middle (a filet)-unless the prices are way out of line. (I apologize if my steak analogy is flawed. Although I love a good steak, my budget favors burgers!)

What if you give prospects more than three choices? Sometimes that works. But there’s a danger in giving too many choices, too.

One business school field study indicated that given too many choices, many people wouldn’t buy anything at all. There’s a certain level of “analysis paralysis” with too many choices. I find three levels to be the safest bet.

So, what if I have only two levels of products? Given just two choices, in most situations, more than half of buyers will choose the lower-end choice. (Again, assuming pricing is in line).

Salesmanship aside, with two choices, most people will spend less. But, that’s preferable to giving only one option. In that case, there really are still two choices: to buy or not buy, and I don’t think I need to expound on the downside of that.