That linear concept of upselling essentially freezes that customer in time.
If you are engaged in the complex selling activities which characterize Internet of Things (IoT) manufacturing, software and engineering environments, nothing is ever frozen in time. The context of these environments is never linear, although it may be sequential. The ecosystem can be controlled and stabilized, however there always is risk.
Consequently, dynamic change is the norm. As a result, robust IoT systems and design thinking remain proactively focused on what should happen, what might happen and what can happen.
Does that sound at all transactional, to you?
Unfortunately, transactional upselling is self-serving, isn’t it? The seller remains frozen in a sales timeline due to linear sales mindset.
As a result, sales people focus on a specific transactional post-sale outcome: upselling the customer and increasing the value of the contract. Period.
Consider that this linear mindset creates singular, disconnected customer experiences.
From the perspective of the sales person, it makes perfect sense that the next logical step is to convince the buyer to purchase add-ons or upgrades to existing products and services.
However, take a translational walk around to the client side of the business table, please.
Now ask yourself the real question the buyer is asking themselves. How does buying more stuff from this sales person and this company get me more obligated to transacting business with them? Will I regret my decision to make subsequent purchases?
Not only do transactional upselling activities negatively impact the loyalty of the customer. Also, they do not diminish customer defection.
Overall, ponder the business value of that old school selling tactic, from the customer’s perspective.
In conducting business with clients, one discrete transaction at a time, buyers eventually arrive at a predictable conclusion. Eventually, they perceive your products and services as a commodity. As a result, you make it easy for the buyer to replace your products and services with competitors’ commodity offerings.
After all, consider whether customers only hear from your organization when it is supposed to be the “right” time for another round of transactional upselling activities. Those upselling activities typically start out as repeat orders on existing business, followed with trying to sell an add-on product or service.
Not only do transactional upselling activities contribute to price-based decision making. Also, your organization is perceived as offering a specific product or service for a specific use. You limit your ability to sell these same products and services into multiple departments, locations and divisions.
That commodity perception by buyers keeps you fighting to retain your own place on clients’ vendors lists. Hmmm. Consider the possibility that you are more loyal to your customers than they are to you.
Translational selling strategy eliminates transactional upselling activities from your industrial Internet of Things sales playbook.
Let’s face it. You are complex selling, engineering and collaborating in the age of digital connectivity. Clients are counting on you to connect the selling dots.
How does what you sell help them execute their business strategy? There is nothing linear or transactional in that question.
As a result, all complex selling activities, pre- and post-sale, must address how your products and services return value to your clients’ deliverables. When you start thinking, selling and engineering in response to big-picture issues, you translate the line of business value of your offerings to your client’s organization.
Consequently, translational selling strategy creates translational value for your clients. That is a Big Idea, folks. Executing a translational selling strategy drives customer loyalty and increases customer retention.
Why? Because when it comes to upselling and cross selling, your loyal and retained customer can’t think of anyone else they’d rather do business with than you. Translational selling embeds your products, services and solutions into long-term relationships with customers.
Consequently, isn’t it time to cease transactional upselling activities and take a Big Picture, translational perspective? Your clients will loyally appreciate the difference you bring to their business tables.
Babette Ten Haken is a catalyst, corporate strategist and facilitator. She writes, speaks, consults and coaches about how cross-functional team collaboration revolutionizes the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) value chain for customer loyalty, customer success and customer retention. Her One Millimeter Mindset™ programs draw from her background as a scientist, sales professional, enterprise-level facilitator, Six Sigma Green Belt and certified DFSS Voice of the Customer practitioner. Babette’s playbook of technical / non-technical collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. Visit the Free Resources section of her website for more tools.
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