For many, upselling is a dirty word. If you want happy guests and an increased bottom line this has to change.

Welcome to another addition of hospitality property school.

Today we are going to talk about upselling.



In the minds of many, upselling is a dirty word.

Well, it doesn’t have to be.

In fact, it can help you make your customers happier.

Upselling will make your guests more satisfied and make your business more profitable.

I’ve heard many employees and owners say they feel uncomfortable trying to Upsell

A properly trained employee can add apparent value to a room sale that the customer is already willing to make, increasing their stays worth as well as increasing your bottom line.

This benefits everyone.


First of all, I should explain the difference between Upselling and Cross-selling.

Upselling is a strategy to sell a more expensive version of something the customer already has. For example, going from a standard room to a mini suite.

Cross-selling is a strategy to sell products that are different but possibly related. For example, if your property has a swimming pool you might offer your guests swimming goggles or swimming caps.


Here are few reasons stop thinking of Upsell or cross-selling as dirty words.

  • If done correctly, Upselling can build a deeper relationship with your guests by helping your guests win. What I mean is, if you can make your customer feel like an Upsell is a win for them, you both can win.

For example, the couple is checking into your property and your front-desk employee says “would you like me to make a dinner reservation in our restaurant for you? With your room rate, you qualify for our dinner special saving you $20.00 off the normal price.”


Quite often, guests will hear they’re saving $20.00 and jump at the opportunity.

This is a win for the guests were saving $20.00 and when for you as they might not have taken advantage of your restaurant.


It is easier to Upsell to returning guests than to new guests.


According to the book “Marketing Metrics”

The probability of selling to a new guest is 5-20%. The probability of selling to an existing guest is 60-70%.

With returning guests, there is a trust factor and for that reason, Upselling is easier


Upselling increases your guest’s lifetime value.


Each upsell can increase the lifetime value of your loyal guests, paying off for many years down the line.


When was the last time you went into a McDonalds and not been offered fries or a drink to go with your burger or last time you bought an electrical appliance and not been told the benefits of an extended warranty?

Maybe now you can see the benefit of learning and then teach your employees to upsell. It is a vital skill that you can learn by approaching each sale smartly, making use of various upsell techniques, and laying the groundwork for repeat business.

All employees should practice their pitches on each other. Practice makes perfect and it will not take long for you and your employees will be able to read your guest and know what to upsell.

If a couple is getting away for the weekend, you could offer “couple spa treatments” or “candlelight dinner”. If it’s a family, you could offer them “a family package to the zoo” or “passes to the local swimming pool”.


You can set these kinds of opportunities up by cross-promoting with other businesses.


Plan for objections

It is important to train your staff to see and handle different situations. Is the objection real or just a guest’s way of saying and I need more time or information?

Script out objections you have received for your particular offers, how they’re handled and then discuss how they could be handled better.


2 great rules to follow

  • Never sell to an extremely frustrated or angry customer.
  • Always show compassion and understand your guest’s perspective


Guide and support

I have stressed many times in the past how important training is and when it comes to upselling, don’t assume because you’ve told people how to do something they will be able to just go out and deliver it consistently. You have to observe how your staff handle the upselling conversation and give them feedback and because it’s mutually beneficial to have employees critique and share ideas with each other.

All feedback should be positive with options.



Upselling is not a dirty word and if you and your employees are well versed in what you have to offer will make your guests happier and increase your profits.


That is our time for today.


To find out more about upselling and techniques that work, check out our training tutorials at


I would like to hear what you upsell at your property. If you would like to share or have any questions or feedback you can leave them in the comments section of the show notes at:


That’s it for this session of hospitality property school. We appreciate your comments and if you have topic ideas, feel free to reach out to us on

Facebook at

Twitter at

Or email at


So, as always, let’s work together to put heads in your beds.

Until next time, have a fun day.



Hospitality Property SchoolFor listeners of the Hospitality Property School Podcast

we are offering an additional savings of

25% off the


“The Guide to Operating an Independent Hotel or Bed & Breakfast”

Training Tutorials

This offer will end without prior notice so act now by visiting …

Music Credit:

Sun Spark


Improve Your Business & Increase Your Bottom Line!
Get Your Free
“Customer Service for Independent Hotels or Bed & Breakfasts” Studies


Hospitality Property School is a division of Keystone HDC