Tobacconist University
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Upsell, Upsell, Upsell !!!

Upselling is a sales technique whereby the seller induces the customer to purchase additional or more profitable items.   For a retail tobacconist, upselling can be the difference between success and failure.  Competing with the internet, mail order, and discount warehouses is extremely difficult, but an additional $50 a day in upsells will yield an extra $18,000 a year and this pays a lot of bills! 

While the sales techniques and culture will vary with retail tobacconists, we all have a similar pool of resources to upsell, which includes: lighters, cutters, humidification packs, other cigars, etc...  Retail tobacconist upselling can occur in the humidor as well as at the point-of-sale (POS).  Upselling big items like lighters, cases, humidors, and others cigars is great, but POS items can add up to big business over the course of the year and these are our last opportunity to add value to the customers' retail experience.  Yes, that's correct, upselling adds value!  In a luxury business like ours, there is no post purchase remorse for having purchased more luxury.  Tobacconists are selling pleasure, relaxation and taste, and our customers always want more of those things. 

Ultimately, customers who have been prompted to purchase an extra cigar, cutter, or lighter will come back and express their satisfaction at having bought that extra product.  Often the upsell is the tactic which introduces the customer to the new cigar or product they didn't know they wanted.  Upselling will help your customers discover new things, give them a "bonus" feeling, and make their purchase more exciting.  So, don't be afraid to ask.  You have to ask!

-Have you seen this?
-Have you tried this new cigar?
-Do you need a cutter with that?
-Would you like a humidification pouch?

And don't be afraid to suggest a new product:

-If you like that cigar, then you will love this one...
-I know you love that cigar, but I think this one will be a great follow up to it...
-This just came in and all of the Tobacconists are going crazy for it...

Upselling is crucial to our businesses and we must train, practice, and reinforce the process.  Train your tobacconists to upsell, give them incentives, and create a culture of upselling in your stores and your customers will thank you for it!  And your business will prosper more because of it!