Everyone knows about up-selling, where you bring a customer into the fold with a basic product or service then sell them an upgrade later. But what about the opposite? Does down-selling deliver any marketing benefit? After all, most of the time marketing is about persuading people to buy more, not less.
If you put your consumer head on – which is what all good marketers do before making a decision – you realise the answer is yes. Depending on the situation it’s entirely possible for less to mean more in a customer context.
Is it ever OK to offer less, not more?
Imagine you sell DIY digital marketing support. Ninety percent of your customers don’t know their marketing arse from their elbow when they sign up. At this juncture they need service A, the all-singing, all-dancing version that holds their hand every step of the way and comes with a price tag to match.
Over time some of them will learn the ropes, needing less help and support from you, at which point they’d appreciate being shifted over to a lower cost service. OK, you reduce your immediate revenue. But if marketers have got it right, the loyalty and trust you build as a result should mean you’re onto a lucrative longer-term winner.
When do you down-sell in this scenario? Assuming there’s no way of telling when someone reaches the right level of expertise, just ask. It’ll impress the hell out of them. If they’re not ready, ask again in three or six months’ time – it’s a genuine customer-facing reason to reach out and get in touch.
Down-selling copywriting services
I’m often asked to check site content and give feedback. If a site or page only needs editing rather than rewriting or re-creating from scratch, I charge less because it takes less time. The goodwill down-selling generates for my business is priceless and hopefully my customers feel they’ve found someone honest and straightforward to work with… which, of course, they have!
Does down-selling fit your business model?
Does down-selling suit any aspect of your business model? If so, give it a whirl. And be transparent about it. The very fact that you down-sell to the benefit of your customers makes an excellent USP in a world where up-selling and fast profit are usually given priority.