Increase Revenue by 266% with Effective Upsells and Cross-Sells

How would you feel if I told you that you were losing hundreds or thousands of dollars per week without realizing it? Surely you'd want to know where that money was going and how you could get it back, right?

Well, there's a high likelihood that you are losing ​that money. I know because I was. In fact, based on my calculations, I left over $100k on the table before I learned how to effectively use upsells and cross-sells. I won't make that mistake again and neither should you.

upsells and cross-sells

The Beauty of Upsells and Cross-Sells

Think about how much time, effort, and money you put into acquiring one new client. You're asking for referrals, religiously posting on social media, creating amazing content on your blog, maybe even advertising on Facebook. All that work pays off when you land a paying customer, but don't stop there.

As a business owner, you have to maximize every single sale you make. Don't settle for the obvious sale. Go deeper.​

This is where upsells and cross-sells come into play. Both can help you multiply your earnings per sale by 100, 200, or even 266% (like they have done for me). Interested? Let's begin with the basics:

​What is an Upsell?

​By definition, upselling happens when a seller offers the customer additional items, upgrades, or add-ons in an attempt to make a more profitable sale.

For example, if you've ever bought a Macbook computer, or any other Apple product, you were likely offered Apple Care to protect your new piece of technology. This premium add-on improves the value of your new purchase (i.e. you no longer have to worry about "what ifs" that could damage your computer), while simultaneously increasing the profit Apple earns.

​What's a Cross-Sell?

Cross-selling is slightly different than upselling in that a cross-sell is a complimentary offer that satisfies similar but different needs.

​Staying with our Apple example, a cross-sell could happen if you were offered a special deal on an Apple TV after you purchased your Macbook.

Owning an Apple TV doesn't directly improve your Macbook purchase, but the two are related. They both provide entertainment. They're both Apple products. They sync together in many ways. If you want a Macbook, you might love Apple TV too, or so the thinking goes.

You're Leaving Money on the Table

Think about your sale process now. Are you offering upsells and cross-sells? 

​Most personal trainers don't. They get a prospect in the door, work hard to sell him on a package of personal training sessions, then hope that he buys more sessions in the future. There isn't an upsell or cross-sell in sight.

Don't make this mistake any longer. I'm going to share with you the 3 upselling and cross-selling tactics I have used to increase my revenue per sale by 266%. Put these into practice TODAY!

3 Highly Effective Tactics to Increase Your Revenue Per Sale Today 

You'll notice that I use these strategies for my online fitness business, but they can be applied to in-person personal training, group fitness, nutrition coaching, or any other health and wellness business you operate.

1. The "No Brainer" Cross-Sell

Think of easy and obvious additions that correlate with your program

One of my most popular programs is called The 10 in 4 Challenge. It's an automated 4-week weight-loss program for women that focuses heavily on diet, hydration, planning, and accountability. The sales price of this program varies, but typically clients buy in for about $100.

Women who join are looking for one thing: They want to lose weight. And, what's the equation that most people see as the path to weight-loss?

​Weight-loss = Healthy Eating + Regular Exercise

Since my program focuses mostly on helping women clean up their diet, there is an obvious cross-selling opportunity here: I can help them improve their exercise.

To do this, I offer what I call a "No Brainer" cross-sell.​

As soon as they have completed their purchase for the 10 in 4 Challenge, they are offered a full at-home exercise program that includes resistance training, cardio exercise, plus core conditioning.

​Can you guess what the duration of this exercise program is? Yeah, it's 4 weeks long... a perfect compliment to the 4-week weight-loss challenge they are about to begin!

The price on this cross-sell product varies between $17-47 and over 65% of customers take it. This is pure incremental revenue that I was leaving on the table for far too long.

Question For You:

Thinking about your most popular product or service, what "No Brainer" cross-sell can you offer that will easily increase your revenue per sale?

2. Premium "Are You Really Serious?" Upsell​

A "No Brainer" cross-sell is quick and easy incremental revenue that you should definitely be implementing. However, those sales are usually pretty small in dollar value. I want to make BIG sales, don't you?

Some people just love buying things, especially when they're really motivated to make positive changes in their lives (ahem, like losing weight and getting in shape). So, for those people, it's important to have a premium offer waiting.

The "Are You Really Serious?" upsell is a product or service that is significantly more expensive than the original one they purchased. It comes with tremendous value that they won't get with their original purchase, therefore the price tag is justified. You are literally asking them, "Are you really serious about getting results? If so, how can you say 'No' to this ____?"

I have used many such upsells to dramatically increase my revenue per sale. Here's my recent DNA Testing program:​

DNA testing

This typical sales price for this program is $500, a far cry from the $100 people pay to join my 10 in 4 Challenge. Will people buy this as often as they do the "No Brainer" cross-sell? No way, and that's okay.

Your "Are You Really Serious?" upsell might convert only 5-10% of customers because of the high price​, but it plants a seed that you have much more to offer. This is powerful. Everyone wants to be on the "inside"; clients all want to be treated like a VIP. Simply showing this offer will trigger the thought, "Maybe there's something more I will need to buy in the future?"

The "Are You Really Serious?" upsell will generate high-dollar sales for you in the moment, plus it will set the stage for them down the road.

Question For You:

What's the highest priced product or service you offer? Can you position this as an upsell to the item that you sell most commonly?​

3. "You Know It Works" Upsell​

Many sales you make are going to appear to be one-time only. For example, you might sell a "Summer Bikini Body Boot Camp" that runs for 8 weeks before summer. People buy it, do it, then they're done.

This is the case for my 10 in 4 Challenge. When I first started it, clients would join for 4 weeks and that would be the end. I had nothing else to offer that was specifically designed for them. Do you?

The "You Know It Works" upsell is a continuation product or program. ​Instead of being a one-time sale, this upsell offers your clients ongoing service in exchange for recurring revenue (a.k.a. the lifeblood of any successful business).

Here's one example of this type of continuation upsell that I use in my business:​

Team Training

This Team Training program offers similar elements to the 10 in 4 Challenge that clients just completed. This is very intentional—my clients are comfortable with the program they just participated in and they saw results. They want more!

However, this upsell is a monthly membership program, meaning that clients get ongoing support at a price of about $100/month.​

This is a win-win. My clients are ecstatic with their success (i.e. "You Know It Works"), but they also know that they can easily fall back into old habits if they don't have the right ongoing support. I provide that support and earn recurring revenue to do so.

While the dollar value of your "You Know It Works"​ upsell doesn't appear to be as lucrative as the "Are You Really Serious?" upsell, that is not true.

Here, we're strictly thinking about the long-term value of a customer. Once they purchase the "You Know It Works" upsell, they could be paying you monthly fees for years to come! You'll have to test out your own continuation upsell to see what the average customer value turns out to be. For me, it's in the neighbourhood of $1000. Not bad if you ask me!

As with the "Are You Really Serious?" upsell, you may find that a relatively small percentage of your clients choose this continuation program when they first hear about it. Again, just remember that you're planting seeds.

Can you imagine a client saying "No" to this upsell, trying to do things on her own, experiencing frustration, then coming back to sign up after realizing she needs your ongoing help? Yeah, me too. It happens all the time.

Question For You:

What product or program do you have that is based on recurring client payments? If you don't have one, get brainstorming! If you do have one, how can you use it as an upsell that is offered to clients as soon as they've experienced success?

​Concluding Thoughts

Most personal trainers have a very broken business model. They sell a very small range of services, not even thinking about upsells or cross-sells that could completely change the financial position of their business. Again, I know because I was once there!

I know that it can be overwhelming to implement all 3 of these strategies at the same time. I recommend you begin with the "No Brainer" cross-sell because, well, it's a no-brainer! You might have to test a few offers, but once you have an effective set of upsells and cross-sells in place, it will feel like you're printing money. Go make it happen!

What will be your first upsell/cross-sell? Let us know in the comments and share the riches of this knowledge!​

About the author

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Dave Smith

Dave Smith was chosen as Canada's Top Fitness Professional for his innovative online fitness coaching found at Make Your Body Work. He now teaches other fitness professionals how to build their own profitable online businesses. Learn more at the Online Trainers Federation.