Salespeople know, more than most, that even the best laid plans rarely go as expected. While up-selling is the dream of everyone in the sales profession, more often than not, you’re stuck down-selling. “It's the art of strategically presenting prospects on their way out the door with financially viable alternatives that keep them interested,” says Jay Fuchs, writing for HubSpot. It may not be what you were hoping for, but down-selling is better than walking away empty-handed.
Down-selling doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to immediately offer your prospect the cheapest alternative. Instead, consider which features of your product or service seemed most important to the prospect. Take that information and suggest an option that still has many of the features they wanted, but at a cheaper price.
The quality of the least expensive product or service you offer is probably far below that of what you initially suggested to the prospect, right? If you automatically offer the prospect the least expensive product or service you offer, it’ll seem like a poor alternative and as though you’re engaged in a last ditch effort to make money on them. Don’t run the risk of leaving a bad impression with any prospect. Make a calculated suggestion of a less expensive product or service that they will likely be tempted by.
There’s one big benefit to down-selling that most salespeople overlook in the moment: brand loyalty. How? You’re showing that you still care about helping your prospects solve the problem that had them meet with you in the first place. This also proves that you put money second; that your primary concern in your profession is helping others. “And,” says Fuchs, “if they get a lot out of your lower-priced product or service, there's a good chance they will remain loyal and ultimately upgrade to a higher-priced option.”