» The Opportunity Cost of Not Asking for the Upsell

This article was written by WeddingWire Education Guru Alan Berg, CSP. Alan has over 20 years experience in wedding related sales and marketing, and is an author, business consultant, a member of the National Speakers Association, and the wedding & event industry’s only Certified Speaking Professional®. Learn more at alanberg.com.

Are you getting the most profit from each wedding or event? I gave a presentation recently on closing sales and how none of us should sell a client something they neither want nor need. That doesn’t mean we don’t sell them things they didn’t come in for. Most couples don’t know how to shop for what you do, so they don’t always know what’s available.

The Opportunity Cost of Not Asking for the UpsellDiscover the interest

Part of your job in the sales process is to ask good questions to find out if your client is interested in hearing more about some of the things you do, but they haven’t asked you about. That’s called the discovery phase. If they’re not interested, move on. If they are then show them how those things can enhance their event, and then see if they’re interested in adding them. In other words, go for the close.

What if they don’t buy them today?

For most wedding and event professionals there is a gap between when you make the sale and the event date. Therefore there’s plenty of time to revisit some of the upsell opportunities with your client. But do you? Is the sale done and complete the first time, or do you call, email or bring up the other items during subsequent meetings? If not, why not?

What’s the opportunity cost?

If you’re not asking for the upsell with your client (I’m talking about upsell items that will legitimately benefit them), both you and the client lose. They lose the chance to enhance their wedding or event (and of course they can decline them) and you lose the revenue. The revenue you lose is called the “opportunity cost,” or more appropriately the “opportunity lost.” Over the course of a year this can add up to a lot of revenue. Just imagine an extra $50, $100, $200 or more, in profit from each event. What would that mean to you?

Give yourself a grade

I was consulting with a DJ recently, a single-op (it’s only him, no other staff) and I asked him to grade his ability to upsell. Without hesitation he gave himself a “C.” I thanked him for his honesty and then suggested that, for his most popular dates – Saturdays during wedding season – that he only offer one package which includes all of his options (photo booth, uplighting, monograms, etc.). His clients can have any or all of what he offers for one, fixed price. That price can reflect a discount over the a-la-carte prices, to show them the value (and not everyone is going to want every thing he does, anyway).

As a single-op DJ they’re always hiring him, not his company. If he’s doing the right marketing, and if they really connect with him personally, then he should be able to fill his calendar that way. He’d also be eliminating the opportunity cost and maximizing his revenue.

Are you leaving inventory on the shelf each weekend? Are your customers missing out because you fail to ask for those other upsells later? Very often those things are considered a different budget. Very often they’ll get a family member to pay for them. However, if you don’t ask, you’ll never get it. So, what grade would you give yourself? I hope after reading this you’ll try to improve your grade and your bottom line.