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How To Make More Sales – OTO & UPSELL

Posted on : 14-11-2012 | By : stargaterich | In : Internet_Marketing

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What is supposed to be a controlled shopping budget spending spree capped at up to a hundred dollars turned up as a buying frenzy that cost over four hundred dollars.

Well that is what happened when I visited a shopping center in Hat Yai , a bustling city in southern Thailand many years ago.

You see, the sales staffs in the departmental store were excellent in terms of ability to apply psychology tactics to influence customers to spend as much as they could afford.

First they introduce you to something that you had in mind, something that you want to buy. Next after you paid for the goods, they introduce you to another product that is somewhat related to what you have just purchased.

They offered discount of up to 45% with the condition that you have to purchase it on that same day using the receipt for the earlier product you bought and through the sales staff that service you earlier on.

If you walk away from the offer they quickly make a soft passing gesture that you have to pay the full price when you come to get it later. Somehow, it seems like a sweet deal that is hard to dismiss.

Well,  I started with tee shirt, then got myself a belt, leather shoes and finally a perfume. It started with just one item that I had in mind initially and later realized I walked out from the departmental store with several bags of items.

There were no pressuring tactics though and interesting I felt good even though I spend beyond my planned budget. Now this power selling at its best isn’t it?

The tactics the staffs used were very effective  and many years later it has come to be known as OTO (one time offer) or upsells strategy.

What  Is OTO &  UPSELL?

‘OTO’ stands for One Time Offer and basically it serves the same objective as that of upsell.  Both strategies serve to ‘motivate’ or rather to get  a customer to buy ‘addons’  to their purchase.

For instance if customer purchase product ‘A’, this method will try to get them to purchase product ‘B’ which is usually a strong complement to product ‘A’.  What is the difference between the two?  It all boils down to timing.

An OTO is  a proposition or recommendation  to a  customer right after he has purchase a product to consider another product, an add-on which is only made available once when he purchase something.  In other words you provide a one time offer deal for a customer who has already make payment for a product.

An UPSELL  involve recommending something else to someone who is in buying mood, offering something before the customer made up his mind to purchase it.

For instance,  a customer might be interested in product ‘A’. An upsell might involve you trying to convince him or her to upgrade to product ‘B’ instead. (A product which has both the features of ‘A’ and ‘B’ )

 Which One To Consider

Which of the above described selling tactics are more effective and provide greater sales?  It all depends on the type of business, the products, services as well as the  type of customers.

An up sell is very easy to implement.  There are just a few steps to follow through.  It is very important for you to make sure the product you recommend complement the main product which the customer is interested in.

This method is very effective if the upsell product or service makes it easier for the customer to use the main product or enhance it.  You must have the interest of the customer at the core of your marketing strategy. You should propose something only provided it bring value to the customer.

For instance, you could recommend a power drill over a hammer and a set of nails which a customer ask for initially simply because all  he want is to  hang a picture frame on a concrete harden wall.  A power drill cuts the amount of time he need to spend on getting  the nails properly into the concrete wall.

A one time offer is more effective for online business whereby you can make the customer feel as if they will loose out big time if they don’t buy the additional complementary product at a special offer price. If they give it a pass, they will never be able to purchase it ever, not even with higher price.


You can make more online sales and boost your profits  by using a combination of one time offer and upsell tactics. There is no hard and fast rules as to which method you should focus to give you the best results . It all depends on the cost of the product as well as the nature of the product and the customer expectations.

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