Your Guide to Upselling: How to Extend Client Relationships

What if you could double your freelance income without the constant struggle of networking and trying to find new clients?

Upselling is the best way to make more money from the clients you already have. Here’s what you need to know: 

What is an Upsell? 

You hit the drive-through at McDonald’s for a burger and a vanilla shake and they ask, “Would you like fries with that?” That is upselling in a nutshell. It may seem like a super small amount, but due to the vast customer base of McDonald’s, it’s a billion dollar strategy. McDonald’s is using another clever strategy here, too: creating a high-value offer with a low-barrier to entry.

The customer is already in what Kerwin Rae calls “Buying Frame.” They’re already committed, so they are more likely to say yes to the offer.

Here are three keys to a successful upsell:

1. Add Value. 

The key to this strategy is to be helpful, not pushy. McDonald’s may be out for their bottom line, but it comes across as helpful. After all, fries with your burger and shake is delicious. Thanks for the suggestion McDonald’s. 

So, ask yourself what you can offer clients to make it easy for them to say yes, and then what can you offer them to create more value. The “more value” becomes your upsell. 

2. Know Your Clients.

To choose the right offers and the right pricing structure, you need to really know your clients. What are their goals? What would truly help make their lives easier? Evaluate why your current clients work with you and how you can offer them more. 

Once you have some ideas, think about how you can structure your upsell to create different tiers. As your first tier, it’s good to have a basic “no frills” option for those just starting to work with you. The second tier could be your “best deal” offer; something that is a great offer for your client, but also best leverages your time and talent for the price. For a third tier, you can offer a deluxe package. It could include services from the first two tiers but add on some bells and whistles for an all-out package. Check out how some of Fiverr’s top pros do it for inspiration. 

3. Sell the Benefits.

Whatever tiers or upsells you choose to create, be sure to stress the value and benefits of each. What is each tier of service going to do for the client? Explain the value. 

Maybe you have a client that loves your web design services, but could use some support and maintenance. You can explain how much time they can save by not having to worry about maintaining the work you submit. 

Or maybe you make beautiful graphics and could offer to post them to social media, explaining how much more engagement the client can get with regular updates. 

Believe it or not, your clients are happy to offer you more money for the value, and you can put a stop to the feast or famine freelance life. 

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