Bruce Fox Blog

Would You Like Some Breadsticks With That?

Posted by Kristina Hublar on Feb 20, 2018 9:01:00 AM

Estimated Read Time: 6.5 minutes

Would You Like Some Breadsticks With That?


I worked at a pizza place for many years; it paid for a poor college kid’s ramen noodle diet and I’m thankful.  

Working there was busy, frantic, loud, and smelled of pizza – I loved it.

That chain pizza place wasn’t my first job, but it certainly taught me quite a bit and prepared me for my future jobs.

Everyone Should Do Some Sort of Customer Service At Least Once In Their Life

Someone once said that every person should work in customer service in some capacity at least once in their life so they can understand what it’s like being on the other side of the phone or counter - I can’t help but agree. Sales and customer service can be hard. I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve been cursed at over something I didn’t do or could help. 

I’ve dealt with all sorts of characters, but for one unhappy customer there were usually 3 happy ones. So, to me, by constantly striving to make everyone’s night a little better, it tended to be a decent recipe for a good time for everyone. Now, that could mean anything from great customer service to looking at the many deals we had and making the order as cheap as possible.

Everyone loves a good deal, right?

But what’s also good is offering those extras, like a soda, breadsticks, or another pizza for only $6 more. Although everyone knows it’s an upsell, it also could be a great opportunity for reminding those people that would honestly want or need it.

You see, that’s where the upselling becomes more useful. I can’t even begin on how many times I asked if people would like a 2 liter or some breadsticks with the order and people say, “Oh yea! We do need that.” I even would get a thank you from time to time.

When taking phone calls and in-shop sales, it becomes second nature to offer these upsells. Some saw it as more profit, which is true, but I saw it as an opportunity and friendly reminder.

Don’t Forget To Upsell

So, how the heck does that tie into the promotions and incentives industry? Just read on and stop being so impatient; although, I’m pretty sure many are already seeing the connection and where this is going. 

Yes, pizza is different from pens, custom awards, P-O-P displays, and shot glasses, and I will be the first to say that not all products should be sold equally.

However, there is one common issue I’ve found across the board in sales.

Salespeople forget to upsell.

It’s natural for places like burger joints and pizza places, but why not in our world? It should be natural to try to sell branded coasters with branded glasses, right? Or what about selling custom packaging to put the custom award in? How about branded pens with stationary?

They seem like no-brainer connections, don’t they?

With that in mind, when was the last time you even tried to upsell?

Yes, an excuse can be that you’re terrified you’ll scare off your client or seem too pushy. That’s fair. But that’s when knowledge, experience, and a relationship come into play. It’s all about delivery when trying to upsell.

Let’s try a possible scenario.

You and your client are talking about a summer outdoor tradeshow coming up and they want promo items. You will show options and discuss ideas; as well as you will get a good sense of the situation. If their budget is only enough for those funky sunglasses, then trying to tack on more might not be wise. However, if you see an opportunity, then why not offer the idea of mini portable fans, too?

If you see a logical or creative connection that can boost your client’s event, ROI, or goals, wouldn’t it look better on you? Besides, all they can do is say no, right?

Before you discount the ravings of a blogger, consider how often you’ve added that soda, cookie, fries, warranty, or upgraded the order for only a few bucks more. Remember that you’ve fallen for that “upsell trick” too because you saw the value.

And that’s what you’re here for, that’s what ASI, PPAI, and other organizations have been drilling into all of our heads lately, to have an added value to stand out.

Upsells Are Good for You

At every job I’ve ever worked at, even a digital marketing agency, we talked about upsell opportunities. And why do you think we did? Because upsells are typically easy money; at least easier than selling a whole new line or program.

That’s why so many fast food chains have gone to this technique. So, why not take a lesson from these successful sales giants?

Upselling 101

Have a few ideas prepared but always be ready to throw out a few different ones as the conversation evolves.

This concept is not new at all. So, rather than having to force something all new on your client, pick up the habit to offer a logical connection to what you are selling.

Think about what makes sense for their culture, goals, and current program. Find a creative or logical addition that will only assist with what they want to do. It should be a “Well, duh, why didn’t we think of that” moment, rather than a “What the heck are you talking about? That makes no sense and no connection to this whatsoever” moment, unless you have an awesome concept that can really make the plan pop. Then be prepared to have to fight for your concept.

If you cultivate your upsell techniques, then you are sure to start seeing more on your bottom line!

Think Outside of the Physical Upsell

Another way to upsell is more than just the physical upsells I’ve been talking about, such as adding drinkware to a Drinkwell order or adding hats to a t-shirt order. No, I’m talking about turning one order into many more.

If you know your client is going to be reordering the same products over and over for the next few years, why not talk about an ongoing program? You can pitch them a personal website that they can go online and reorder products that can do quick releases.

It’s more money in your pocket, less effort, and easy for your clients. All you have to do is keep tabs and help refresh the program when necessary. Win -win!

So, are you going to get into the habit offering to add breadsticks with a pizza? If you give it a try and keep at it, you are sure to see an uptick in sales.

Get more sales tips, ideas, and industry thoughts by reading our blog. Get 9 sales tools and resources here. Or, get ideas of upselling opportunities with Bruce Fox by starting a conversation here.

Happy upselling!

 Photo Credit:

Bruce Fox Marketing Specialist Kristina Hublar is your friendly neighborhood Marketing Specialist at Bruce Fox, Inc., which means she is the person behind the keyboard for the social media, emails, website, and other marketing efforts. She’s new to Bruce Fox, but is an Indiana native. In her spare time, you’ll find her plotting her next road trip, bobbing along to music while crafting, spending time with loved ones, or with her nose in a book. 

Tags: Sales tools for distributors, Challenges faced by distributors