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How to Upsell Over the Phone

“Our inside sales team is missing their add-on sales quota. I’ve tried everything from extra incentives to threats, but nothing is working. Any suggestions?”

As in most things with sales, the problem isn’t for lack of wanting or trying, but in execution. I’m sure your team would want to earn those extra incentives and try everything possible to avoid having their job security “threatened.”

For everybody to get what they want (you having a team hitting their numbers and getting those bonuses), we need to solve the real problem.

In the case of add-on sales (up-selling), the success or failure rate lies within the salesperson’s questions.

Here’s an example of what I mean:


What’s the number one answer you give when a rental car person asks the following question:

“Would you like to add the extra car insurance to your rental? It covers blah, blah, blah?”

I’ll bet its one of these:

  • “No”
  • “No Thanks”
  • “My Car Insurance Already Covers That”

Now what would happen if the add-on sales questions went like this instead:


Car Rental Salesperson: “Mr. Prospect, may I ask how much your deductible is on your car insurance?”

Prospect: “$500”

Car Rental Salesperson: “Wow. That’s a lot. Did you know that 1 out of every _____ rental cars are in minor accidents, and the average damage is $______?”

Prospect: “No, I didn’t.”

Car Rental Salesperson: Mr. Prospect, which would you be more upset about:

  1. If you had the extra coverage from us and not in a fender bender; or
  2. You were in a fender bender and had to pay the $500 deductible out of your pocket?

Prospect: “If I had to pay the $500 deductible out of my pocket!”

Car Rental Person: “Is it ok then to go ahead and add the coverage to your rental?”

Prospect: “Sure, go ahead.”

Now, would EVERY prospect add-on the extra car insurance? No.

But which sales process do you think would yield more add-on sales?

If you aren’t getting the answers you want, it might be as simple as asking your sales questions differently.

– Michael Pedone

Founder of SalesBuzz.com. Online Sales Training Programs that Engage – Live Online Workshops for B2B Inside Sales Teams.

Need Help Improving Your Sales Teams Phone Skills?

Let’s talk! Schedule a one-on-one consultation with Michael Pedone to learn if his online sales training program is a good fit for your team.

sales training


Find Out More About Our Program
  • How to Warm Up and Close Cold Leads
  • Eliminate “No, Thanks,” “Not Interested,” & “We’re All Set” Responses
  • Neutralize Gatekeepers & Get Voicemails Returned
  • Ask Engaging Questions Instead of Probing
  • Improve your Qualifying Skills
  • Give Stellar Presentations & Handle Objections
  • Close Follow-up Calls and Get Targeted Referrals
  • How to Set & Achieve Your Toughest Sales Goals
  • Improve Your Time Management Skills
Duration: 1 hour per week for 8 weeks Where: Online @ your desk, conference room or home Presenters: Michael Pedone