The Dubious Marketing Tactic That Flat Out Works!

I wasn’t in the market for biscotti, chocolate or wine. I bought all three. All this happened in a span of one hour.

I hopped into the coffee shop in need of an afternoon jolt. I intended to buy only a coffee. Before I had a chance to order, I spotted a golden biscotti staring at me. I had to buy it. I enjoyed every bit of it with my coffee.

Before heading home I walked around the neighborhood. My twisted logic decided a ten-minute walk would “pay” for my decadence. I passed a liquor store. “I’m out of wine. Let me pick up a few bottles.”

On the way out, I noticed something unusual. They had 85% dark chocolate on sale. It took me by surprise. I never saw this at a liquor store. As a chocolate lover, I couldn’t resist. I bought a bar.

In less than one hour I made three unplanned purchases.

This is why I always discount the statement:

“I’m not in the market for …” 

 I wasn’t in the market for the biscotti, wine or chocolate. Seeing them triggered a buying impulse.  Of course, I failed to realize while it was happening. It was only on reflection that I put the pieces together.

Please Don’t Sell Me

Sometimes the statement I’m not in the market really means please don’t tempt me. It reminds me of the days I lived in New York City. I’d pass buildings with signs stating:

“No Menus” 

What that really says is:

“We order too much pizza and Chinese food. Leave us alone”

Just because someone tells you they’re not interested, doesn’t mean they’re not going to buy.

The First Purchase Sets The Stage

In my example above. I went on a mini buying spree. Yielding to the addictive Biscotti put me in a buyers mood. It made me susceptible to more buying.

We all experience this at times. We buy one thing and then we add onto it.

Marketers and sales people do this through upsells. First, they lure you in with their initial low price offer. The act of buying creates a rush of feel-good chemicals. It makes you more inclined to accept the next offer. When I had my walkway and steps done, I added other small projects. I would never have chosen to do these other add-ons unless without the first project.

Is It Ethical?

It’s often a tough question to answer. Sometimes it feels sleazy. Other times it feels natural. Here’s the general rule I go by.

If your upsell is something they would expect to be part of the initial sale, then yes, it’s kind of sleazy. Imagine buying a course on marketing. Then, the seller offers you an upsell. He says that first course you bought won’t work without the upsell. That happens a lot in the online world.

Here’s an ethical way to use the upsell. Sell your course and include everything they need to make it work. As an upsell, offer a consultation or personal coaching. That’s not something a reasonable person would expect in the initial product.


You might also like …