How not to upsell a customer.

Upselling existing customers is a required core competency in any Sales organization.  Below is an email I received from my Account Representative at a large software as a service company which I think highlights how not to upsell.upselling

“Hi Ashish,

As your account executive, I’m writing to tell you that August is my last month at ***** as I’m taking a 1 year leave of absence to travel the world. I’m telling you this because my departure could benefit your company. If you’ve ever thought about increasing your use of ***** by adding **** or upgrading to a higher ****, now is a great time to explore this option with me. With August being my last month, I’m highly motivated to seek the best possible deal from my management on your behalf. Since my management team evaluates on a case-by-case basis when offering discounts and other incentives, the best next step would be for us to have a quick discussion about your account to see what I might be able to offer. Please let me know if this is worth discussing.

Regardless of whether you’re interested in my offer, I wish you all the best with **** and your business as a whole and I look forward to my return around this time in 2011.”

Following were some of my thoughts when I read the above.

  • There is no mention of the new Account Representative that the account will be transitioning to.
  • The departure is spun as a positive and will benefit my company. That was an interesting twist.
  • Now that the account rep is leaving they are highly motivated to get me the best possible deal.  And previously they were not?
  • Yes I get it. The primary focus is to have a great last month of bookings before the 1 year world vacation.
  • There is no personalization as to why I should upgrade?  What value will be provided?  The only argument is cost based.  “You can get a discount, so spend more” is the rationale.

All one can do is shake their head and move on.  Which I have. I am no longer a customer of the above mentioned service.

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One Response

  1. Hey Ashish,

    That is probably the most outrageous e-mail I have seen as well. It’s insincere. While asking for your business he is also dismissive of his own offer. Another thing that made me cringe is how he is looking forward to his own return!

    -Asif

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