Extending Upselling and Cross-Selling Efforts (2,414 words)
She continues, "If you are evaluating people on effort, then it generally makes sense to make it part of base pay. If your intent is to reward them for results, then you have to give them more leeway to achieve results. Then it may make more sense to give commission."
Lillian Vernon's upselling program is designed to generate maximum sales. In fact, reps are trained to make an upsell offer on every call. Explains Berg, "The only time we don't upsell is during peak holiday weeks, and that's only for a half-hour here or there during spikes."
Kislik offers a different point of view: "The rep should have some discretion. When reps feel forced, there may be some sort of backlash. If they have discretion, they're usually more committed to the program."
She says that there are times when reps sense that an upsell is not the best move, for example, if the customer happens to be buying that chic black dress for a funeral, not a cocktail party.
Hochberg says that although an upsell attempt is made with every call, "We don't jam it down the customers' throats. If the customer makes any objection, the reps are trained to back off."
Berg explains, "We don't look at it as a cold sell. It's really a customer service. If a customer orders a toy that needs batteries, if we tell them so and offer them batteries for $2.99, that's a service."
"The trick is knowing when to approach a customer with an upsell," Kislik says. She suggests that some apparent objections, such as when a customer claims to have a tight budget, can be overcome.
"We all buy stuff that's over our budgets sometimes if it's something we really want," she says.
RightPoint's Faulkner advises, "In a call center, you're not trying to push hard-core sales messages. You want to be subtle. You only want to make offers that fit."