Upselling tends to have a bad rap due to the way sleazy sales people approach it. However, if you do it right, you can increase your sales without tarnishing your brand. In fact, there is a company that gets 40% of its revenue from upselling alone.

Most importantly, upselling can help you create better relationships with your client base and improve customer loyalty.

Upselling vs. Cross-Selling

So, what’s upselling? 

Upselling is a sales technique that involves encouraging customers to spend more by purchasing the upgraded or a more expensive version of the product they were originally interested in.

An example of an upsell is when SaaS companies suggest that you upgrade your current plan to a higher one.

The upgraded plan can offer more features, add more users, and even include training on the product’s use.

On the other hand, cross-selling involves selling an additional offer to an existing customer, a product that is related to their current purchase. 

An example of a cross-sell is when you buy a smartphone online, and the e-commerce store suggests that you get a screen protector for the phone, too.

You can use both sales approaches to improve your business revenue. After all, the two sales techniques increase customer retention.

However, here’s the catch.

If you want upsells to work, you should provide customers with something that genuinely adds value to them. In other words, you don’t have to be pushy about it. 

But how do you upsell without overwhelming your clients?

4 Creative Ways to Upsell Without Being Pushy

Simply put, when you’re upselling, you need to be customer-oriented. Here’s how.

Pitch Solutions, Not Products

Let’s face it. The reason customers care about your product is that it helps them solve a specific problem. And that’s also why they pay for it.


If you’d like to upsell or even cross-sell a product to your clients, make sure it addresses a specific pain point. That means you should understand the various problems your clients undergo first.

Let’s take Lumen5, the video creation app, for example.

Their starter plan allows you to create up to 10 videos per month of 720p video resolution. However, most businesses will find the next business plan more appealing. 

It has better features, including the 1080 video resolution, custom styles and colours, 15 videos per month, and 15 million stock photos and videos.

Lumen5 knows their clients are looking to create high-quality videos, which is why their advanced pricing plans have features that offer more benefits to customers.

Therefore, before you start encouraging your customers to buy an improved version of an existing product, or even a different one altogether, focus on the benefits it will deliver rather than the product itself.

You can conduct a quick survey through email or social media to get to know some of the common problems your existing clients face. Next, find out which of your products solves those problems and pitch them the benefits that a specific product you offer provides.

If none of your products solves that problem, it’s time to improve your offering and add relevant features that your clients will like, then tell them about it.

Focus on User Experience, Not Just Revenue

Do your upsells improve your customers’ experience, or is their only focus to bring you more revenue?

As you ask customers to consider another one of your products, preferably related to the current one, ensure it caters to their needs and makes their experience better. Of course, your ultimate goal is to generate revenue, but what’s the point if your users don’t have a great experience with what they purchased?

Canva does this pretty well. 

Their Pro plan has a feature that allows businesses to create a brand kit to upload their logos and fonts to customise their designs. This feature provides users with a better experience as far as branding is concerned.

Besides, this feature has over 420,000 free templates for users to use and customise to their needs. In other words, it saves people time and makes designing a whole lot easier.

You can do the same thing. Just look at the various plans for your business and establish how the offer can make life easier for your clients. That way, you won’t have to push them to purchase the product.

Keep It Simple

Have you ever subscribed to an email list and got bombarded with offers left, right, and centre until you got fed up and opted out? You’re not alone. Many customers experience this problem, and it simply sucks.

The worst part?

Most offers require you to watch a long video or read an endless sales page before you decide whether to make a purchase.

Well, people are busy, and they probably receive dozens of emails a day, upselling them something. You don’t want your email to be one of those that get ignored or tossed into the bin.

The solution?

Keep your offers simple, really. Make your email subject lines short and memorable. In the email body, you should keep things pretty much straightforward by highlighting the product’s top benefits to the user and how purchasing it will improve their lives.

Also, stick to one offer at a time or, if you like, one offer per email. That way, you won’t overwhelm (or annoy) your subscribers.

You also want to avoid sending one email after the other pushing your upsells. Instead, upsell in one email and inform or inspire in the next.

Connect Before Upselling

Before you start selling more value to your clientele, you need to take the time to understand what they want. 

Earlier in your business-customer relationship, set aside time to get some feedback on what the customer wants to gain from your offer. You can use social media or email to get this feedback. While at it, get to know both their immediate goals and their bigger, long-term plans.

Having a profound grasp of the customer’s priorities is vital for building trust right out of the gate. 

If you know the customer’s values and bigger plans, then you can quickly know the areas where your services or products can come in down the line.

The Final Take

Upselling and cross-selling are powerful methods to increase your sales revenue. Follow the above tips, and chances are, your clients will start enjoying your offers rather than avoiding them.