Upselling, A Good or Bad Thing?

Good Afternoon,

For the last several weeks, I have been traveling the country setting up the merchandising for the Bostik NeverSeal™ and Reflection™ pre-mixed urethane grout at our new retail partner, Floor & Decor Outlets of America (

As part of the set-up, we are providing the stores with extensive product knowledge training as well as valuable information on how to properly up-sell a customer to this higher performing tile grout. As I conducted the training and answered questions, I got to wondering what customers must think when a salesperson tries to sell them a product that appears (on the surface) to be a far more expensive option than traditional offerings. I think the answer to this question depends on how well the sales person is at upselling and communicating the value proposition.

As I pondered the question, I did what most people do these days when faced with a question: I turned to Google. What I found was a slew of websites dedicated to the art of upselling and one such site caught my attention. wikiHOW, It is worth the read.

For years, prior to my involvement in the retail profession, I thought upselling was nothing more than a slick salesperson out to get my money. Now I know it was nothing more than poor upselling skills. Upselling is not about spending more money; it is about setting customer expectations and saving the customer money over the life cycle of the item. The challenge is that most upgrades do cost more than similar options and proper upselling skills are rare.

The advent of the internet and sites like Google has helped to inform consumers, but as we say in retail, “the war is in the store.” Retailers could significantly improve their financial performance while providing better service and products to their customers if more of their associates practiced a few simple methods from the wikiHOW site. Consumers, on the other hand, could improve their satisfaction of purchases if they did a little more research and understood the value proposition of the products they are buying and spent a little quality time with the sales associate investigating different options

The bottom line here, Upselling is a good thing for all involved: the retailer, the customer, and the manufacturer. However, proper upselling takes practice for both the consumer and the associate.


(originally posted on