How to “Up-Sell”

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Your client bought a financial plan. They have invested $1.2 million using your recommendation. The client also needs a life insurance policy. One option is to move the term product to permanent. You contact the client asking for an appointment and he puts you off, saying that he will think about it.

A 45-year-old business owner just started a 401k plan with you. She is a business owner and the single mother of two young kids. You have tried to meet to talk about disability insurance, but no luck. She is always too busy.

A late 50-year-old couple have been your clients for a decade. They are coming up to retirement age and really need long-term care insurance. You have pitched it before without luck. Don’t they know it’s for their own good? A LTC need is more than 50% likely for those over 65 and will be too costly if they have to pay out of pocket. They just don’t know what is good for them.

The 72% rule

The good news is that your existing clients are easier to sell than any new relationship. In fact, you probably did a great job of engaging them in the first place. Research has shown that your chances of closing business with an existing client is 72%. Most of the income you make from any one client will be ensuing sales, not from the initial solution.

After a few years many clients will say, “Whatever you think I should do, is okay with me.” But that assumes you have been in constant contact with them on the phone or face-to-face every three months. If you call to pitch a product like 99% of advisors do, you will get a stall. But if you up-sell effectively, your closing ratio will increase to at least 72%.