Account Expansion: How to Upsell Unsuccessful Customers

Getting your customers to buy more from you is awesome.

Remember, you’re in business here and getting customers you’ve already spent money to acquire and serve to then expand their relationship with you – giving you more revenue – just seems like a super-efficient way to grow.

And it is.

But if you think for one minute you’re going to build a sustainable growth engine off the backs of unsuccessful customers, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Stop trying to upsell unsuccessful customers.

Unsuccessful customers don’t need – or want – to buy more of your stuff.

Obviously, right? Maybe… let’s explore this together.

Trying to upsell unsuccessful customers can have a lot of results, but none will involve you actually making the sale (without excessive concessions, undue pressure, and other things that don’t actually help the situation long-term).

Rather, by trying to sell more stuff to an unsuccessful customer, you’ll see results that range from simply pissing off the customer since you clearly don’t care about them, to causing them to ignore you in the future because you just don’t get it, or even causing them to churn or not renew because you’re so out of touch with reality.

No matter how you slice it, it’s a pretty big negative impact that’s 100% avoidable.

All that negativity and you didn’t even get the upsell. Nice work!

So take the customers that are not successful out of the contact list for Expansion (until they’re successful again); you weren’t gonna get the sale anyway, and now the damage will be avoided.

Now, if a customer is unsuccessful and you know it, don’t try to upsell them. Cool. Got it.

But that doesn’t mean you should simply ignore them!

Now you need to intervene to get them back on the path toward success.

Remember, expansion is simply part of the customer’s journey toward success. The longer they stay, the more they evolve and grow, the more their relationship with you will grow and expand, too.

About Lincoln Murphy

I invented Customer Success. I focus primarily on Customer Engagement. Learn more about me here.