Why Upselling Can Cost You Business
Listen to Your Clients, Treat Them Like They Matter
I had a weird experience recently and I think other people who sell their services can learn a great deal from it.
Several months ago I met someone on clubhouse that was offering free manifestation/healing sessions. I joined in for a couple of them. I really liked the person leading the sessions, and I wanted to give back.
He was doing this for free for every single day for twenty-one days. So I signed up to have a one-on-one session with him and paid $175 for 90 minutes, which is more than I’ve paid for most practitioners I see regularly. While it’s more money than my therapist, massage therapist, or my chiropractors charge, I assumed that for that price I would receive a full ninety-minute life changing healing/manifestation session.
I was wrong.
Please Don’t Upsell A Client During a Paid Session
The first thirty minutes was a webinar about the techniques he used. While it was helpful, I know that he offers the same webinar for free and it was also a salesy power-point presentation.
While I understand the benefit of this, if you’re trying to sell yourself or your coaching practice, paying $175 for this is not a good idea.
After the power point, the healing/manifestation session itself took about thirty minutes.
But for the remainder of the time he tried to hard-sell me.
Hard Selling Doesn’t Work
He explained he was giving a fifty percent off deal to join his six-month mastermind class and I had forty-eight hours to sign up. I politely told him I’d think about it, but he refused to let it go at that. The more I said no, the harder he pushed until his exchange became aggressive. He wasn’t listening to me and even asked me extremely inappropriate questions, trying to get his way; like “how much money do you have?”
Before he pushed me so hard (to the point of bullying) I considered joining his mastermind group, maybe next year. I am the kind of person who usually thinks about things, weighing options, before I jump. I do jump, just not immediately. I even tried to explain this to him at one point, but he would hear none of it.
His response was, “I’ve had hundreds of these calls and I know the minute you hang up, I’ll never hear from you again. I need you to commit right now.”
No Means No
This is not how you get clients. Never tell people you expect them to behave the way “all the other people” have negatively behaved.I could immediately have told him why he lost all those sales. Pushing too much = pushing someone away.
I remained nice and calm, saying no, over and over and over again, but he refused to respect my wishes.
My $175 Lesson
At the end of the manifestation/healing session, I had felt calm and open and vulnerable. But after fifteen minutes of him trying to push me into something I didn’t want to do, I felt abused, unheard, and violated.
Contrast this with a chiropractor I saw about a month ago. After our second visit he went into his hard-sell informing me I needed to come in two times a week for two months. He offered me a package deal. I declined. He respected my choice and never pushed. Smiling he said, “well, I’m always here if you need me.” And guess what? I’ve made several appointments.
Maybe my reaction was more intense that someone who hasn’t had a background full of trauma. I couldn’t function for the rest of the day. Unable to work, I took a four-hour nap. Abuse causes me to pass-out. For days after I reeled from the way he had treated me.
Maybe part of this was my fault but not in a victim blaming way. I could have asked more questions prior to booking the session.
I didn’t realize this manifestation session was not something that I could purchase piecemeal. The person offering it told me during the session that his services are not to be used to solve problems. However, this is what he did in his clubhouse sessions and there was no information stating this when I signed up and paid for the session.
I’m solution oriented. Faced with a problem, I look for a solution, which obviously means I’m not a good fit for his process. But why didn’t he state this up front?
If you are trying to sell something, your services or even a used car, there are certain ways to do it. If you’re a used car salesperson I would say honesty is number one. I’m using used-car-sales as an example because I bought my van used last year and the salesperson was duplicitous and lied to me.
Listen to Your Customers/Clients
If you’re selling something you have to listen to people and meet them where they’re at.
If they say they’re not ready and you try to push them and they agree, that’s a bullying tactic. No one wants to be bullied into anything and they will only resent you later.
I recommend reading Chris Voss’s book Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on it. It’s not a book for sales people specifically, but I have seen people talk about how it worked for them in sales. Chris Voss uses empathy. Empathy is underrated.
I felt much more empathy from the chiropractor when I said no because he didn’t keep pushing.
There was zero empathy from the manifestation guy who tried to shove his own agenda on me.
Later that day he provided an emotionally manipulative apology.
“sorry for being pushy today, i just knew i could help u that’s all”
That’s not an apology!
When I responded: “It was too much, especially for someone with a trauma background.”
He said, “what’s a trauma background?”
If someone says no, they’re not the right fit for whatever you’re selling. Move on. Pressuring people is not the way to get business. So please, don’t do it and respect someone’s no.
The book I recommend above uses an affiliate link, which won’t add any costs to you, however you are under no obligation to use it.