Issue #56 How to upsell without being annoying

I confess. 

I don’t like upselling. I’ve always thought of it as nickel and diming. But then two things happened simultaneously, and BAM, like a lightning bolt straight into my brain…

I got it. 

Even better… It wasn’t an actual lightning bolt, so I survived and can now share my experience with you.  

More in a second first, some updates:

🩺 Do you convince or prescribe when you sell? Prescription is much more powerful; read more in our blog here (we’ll talk more about this in the next issue too).

💊 On the topic of prescriptions, don’t miss this post by Jennifer Gillman. She tells her sobering story and makes a compelling case for making some of those health appointments you’ve been putting off… Read more here!

🥳 Who are your best clients? This is an interesting question and one that we’ve been thinking through as we read the Pumpkin Plan. Where to start, with Life Time Value.

It was a dark and stormy night

(seriously, no lightning, though).

I was driving along the Garden State Parkway on my way to Atlantic City for the Angel Capital Association conference, listening to Dot Com Secrets by Russell Brunson.  

He was talking about upselling, always having another level to sell to – which kept bumping against my nickel and diming fatigue.

Tell me the price and let me pay it already. Don’t keep charging me for more stuff.  

Finally, I arrived at Harrah’s in Atlantic City.

It was around midnight, and I parked halfway back to New York and made my way Ikea style through the casino to the front desk.  

As I was checking in, I saw that in addition to my room, I was going to pay:

  • a $26 resort fee.
  • $20 per person to use the pool (optional)
  • $8 a night for (lousy) wifi.
  • $10 to park in what felt like the middle of nowhere in an empty garage.

My nickel-and-diming hackles were at attention. I asked what the resort fee was for, and he told me that it was to provide access to the casino.  

What, then, is the room fee for?

And this is where the safe lightning bolt struck my neocortex.

Harrah’s was nickel and diming. They hide the total price of the service, and before they ever provide me with any value, they tack on fees.

And I must pay these fees for full use of the facilities.

I didn’t have a choice.

Brunson, instead, talked about delivering ridiculous value so that your customers demand more. They want the next step in the journey because they are so happy with the first one.  

Upselling delivers exceptional value at each level so that customers happily want to buy to the next level.

If you don’t offer value and can’t get what they paid for without buying more, you are ripping people off. 

So don’t be a Harrah’s, and don’t rip people off. Instead, provide value and upsell to new levels of valuable service.

Upselling is a service. Upselling is providing ever greater depth, expertise, and resources. 

This makes you and your customers happy. 

How do you provide value? 

What is value anyway?

In the last report, I asked this question and gave you that great video from Steve Jobs. I promised more on value and what it is…

Well, here is (we think) the answer. 

We’ve given a lot of thought to what value is and came across a great definition coined by Mark Boundy. This transformed our approach to sales and marketing while also becoming a cornerstone of the Irresistible Sales and Marketing Masterclass.

I explain it here (I’d love your comments):

Introducing Trends

One of the most valuable MSP ownership skills is recognizing trends in the market. I do a lot of thinking about these, so I thought I’d share here some of what I find.

This week I was struck by the interest in Sober Bars. I’d never thought about it before…

But notice how there was a big runup of interest, then the pandemic hit, and now it is back. 

Interesting, right?

Have you ever been to a sober bar? Ever thought of opening one? There is even a course on the topic (you can find it here, we know nothing about it and have never taken it, but if you do, let us know how it goes!)

Have something to say about this? Join the discussion here.


What we are reading, using, and trying out.

DotCom Secrets by Russell Brunson – great thoughts on funnel creation, definitely worth reading.

Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz – thoughts on focusing on your best customers. It’s great thinking (as is most of what Michalowicz does).

Mural – one of my favorites for virtual whiteboards and process mapping: if you ever need a shared whiteboard or virtual post-its that you can vote on this is the place to go, very cool.

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