Dear Jon Letters...






A series for clients and colleagues who are seeking support, asking for advice, and hoping to reignite their passion for hospitality.

Dear Jon:

My Sales Manager tells us to "up-sell" but I feel pushy when I do. Do you have any suggestions?  –L.P., Atlanta


Dear L.P.:

I understand the reluctance you’re feeling. “Up-selling” is, indeed, an unsettling term and nobody appreciates being pushed to buy extra things. Let me try to reframe how you think about the sales process.


As a catering salesperson, it is your business responsibility to create revenue for your company. In order to meet your sales goals, you need to maximize revenue per guest whenever appropriate. The good news is that there are creative ways to do this that won’t feel like your focus is only on increasing check averages. I suggest you think about ways to give clients the best possible event. What will “WOW!” their guests? Is it a specialty cocktail the color of their corporate logo? Is it a late-night snack as guests are leaving? Is it a customized dessert inspired by the bride and groom’s favorite vacation destination? Whatever you suggest, you should collaborate with clients on ways to enhance their guests’ experience.


Try to start suggesting special items or additional services as early as possible in the planning stage. Long before the contract is on the table or the proposal has been sent, you’re setting a tone that says you and your company want to create the best possible event. By working with the client on incorporating these enhancements into their plans, you’ll avoid suddenly pitching add-ons. You’ll feel less like a sleazy, “up-selling,” shark but you’ll still be maximizing revenue and creating unforgettable experiences for your clients. 


Good luck and please let us know how this perspective works for you!


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Write a comment

Comments: 2
  • #1

    Tom Walter (Friday, 08 August 2014 16:59)

    Very well stated, Jon.

  • #2

    Purchase Custom Paper Online (Friday, 09 June 2017 05:12)

    There are imaginative approaches to do this that won't sense like your stress is just on increasing check midpoints. I recommend you consider approaches to give customers.