5 Tips for Training Your Staff on Suggestive Selling


Suggestive selling is an excellent business approach that allows an array of organizations to expand into new markets, attract more customers, and grow their business operations. 

It’s an effective sales technique that helps educate your employees on approaching and prompting existing customers to include additional, typically discounted, items to the items they have already purchased. 

Two terms are generally used interchangeably with this sales technique – add-on selling and upselling. This technique aims to sell more items by persuading consumers to buy more. If it’s done right, this sales technique has the potential to increase your business profits. 

Because the benefits are so great, it pays to train your staff on this sales technique and the right approach to recommending complementary products. With that in mind, here are five useful tips on training your employees on this type of selling.

Educate Your Staff About Your Products

It’s hard to suggest related items to customers if your staff isn’t well aware of the products you have in store. Choose selected members of your staff that will learn detailed descriptions of all items, old and new. These chosen members should have at least one unique selling point per product. It will make it easier for them to give item suggestions to your customers.

It’s essential to educate your team members on price-points so that they can adjust their selling suggestions according to the customer’s budget. The more they are educated on the inventory, the easier it gets to convince customers to buy more. 

Use your point of sale systems and inventory management to ensure your staff is introduced to accurate stock level reports. Here’s a fact for you – over 80% of customers are likely to make a purchase following selling suggestions from experts. Aside from selling more, this sales approach also improves your staff members’ knowledge and expertise and turns them into product experts.

Build a Relationship with Customers

Knowing your products is just one side of the coin. You need to build a relationship with your customers before you can recommend more items with each purchase. Modern consumers are used to a customer-centric approach. 

In other words, they prefer brands that aspire to trustworthiness and loyalty. Therefore, they are far more likely to accept your selling suggestions if they can put their trust in your business. You can achieve this by taking a genuine interest in the customer. Encourage your staff to befriend your customers and engage in positive dialogue and open conversations. 

People are more likely to buy more if they feel good and relaxed about their newly made purchasing decisions. It’s essential to make your selling suggestions naturally rather than to give away the notion that you are chasing a sale. 

If you make it sound friendly, your customers are more likely to accept your suggestions. Besides selling more, you can enhance the customer experience by encouraging a more authentic interaction with your consumers.

Encourage Your Employees to Take Initiative

No one can tell you what to do precisely to suggest items with success – it’s all a matter of how much you put effort into it. One way to do it is to train your employees to use all available data you have on your target audience and inventory knowledge to make appropriate proposals on their own.

It should come naturally to them, as a part of their daily obligations and duties. Even though this sales technique typically includes recommending lower priced items, there may be some situations when your employees should use their initiative to recommend a product with a higher price. 

Your staff should be able to recognize such a situation and act on it accordingly. The best example of such an initiative is offering an expensive item when it’s discounted. Aside from a chance to sell more, the customer gets a chance to make a saving too.

Personalize Suggestive Sales

Since we’ve already mentioned how important it is to make the customer feel appreciated, personalization is one of the best ways to deliver an improved customer experience and a better retail experience. It’s something that can’t be forced. 

Therefore, you should listen to customers to gather valuable insights into personalizing your suggestive selling approach. Knowing the minds of your consumers makes it much easier to sell more items to them. It will give you some idea of customizing entire groups of products to make them fit together according to your customers’ preferences.

Create a Loyalty Program

Combining your sales techniques with a loyalty program is probably the best way to make sure your sales go sky-high. Reward your customers who spend more and come back regularly. That’s the best way to create a consumer base of loyal customers that you can continuously engage with via various new deals, discounts, promotions, etc. 

A loyalty program is also an excellent way to use your existing customers for marketing your products to wider audiences as nothing speaks better about a business than word of mouth. People will listen to others. Create a loyalty program and notify your customers each time you have a discount or an attractive promotion and invite them to check your offer out.


These tips should help you train your staff on approaching suggestive selling and making the most out of it. Include such education in all your training sessions and inform your staff on the importance of taking such an approach. 

It’s a continuous process and requires some time and effort. Start slow and work your way up. Train your staff on how to engage customers and recommend products that will make a change in their everyday lives, and you will start seeing real results.

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