I’ve noticed a disturbing trend recently. It’s upsetting, uncomfortable and down right uncalled for. Yes, that’s right – the awkward upsell.
I’m behind a lady who is asked by the cashier if she found everything she was looking for (little late to ask that if she’s ready to pay now) and if she’s interested in chocolate coins or lip balm, their “special feature” today (FYI – “special feature” doesn’t mean it’s on sale, it usually just means they have too many of something and want to get rid of it. Applies to restaurants too). The cashier recited her script and sounded like she was saying it because management told her to.
I’m up next. I have laundry detergent, some scrub brushes and paper towels (I’m a clean guy). Without missing a beat, the cashier goes into her messaging, “everything found OK? Want some chocolate and lip stuff?” Did she look at what I bought? Obviously not.
What do you think the impression I had leaving the store? Do you think I left that store thinking, “Wow, thank goodness she highlighted those chocolate coins. Obviously with all my cleaning supplies, I had a hankering for some sweet cocoa?” Not so much. Just a feeling of sadness for the cashier for being forced to mime that crap.
I’m a fan of the upsell. Obviously, I named my blog after it. But the ultimate upsell is good customer service, not a script you tell everyone so no one feels special.
How it should go – “Doing some cleaning? Did you notice we have window cleaner on special until tomorrow?” It’s relatable to what I’m already buying. It doesn’t seem out of place. It’s conversational and engaging, not forced.
People want to talk to and buy from people, not zombies droning on with pre-rehearsed babble they have to tell everyone…especially when customers have heard it twice already from the two interactions ahead of them.
Treat a person like a person, not a number with an opportunity for a sale.
Oh, and no lip balm. Thanks.