Upselling is a great way to boost the coffers, but one which most people – both seller and customer – loathe. So how do you make it a seamless process?
Physiotherapist and pilates instructor Becky Dyer has built a successful business by specialising her offering, enabling her to own the space and add value to clients at various stages of their health.
“I was the Telstra key account manager, so I did that while I was pregnant with our first baby, and then I decided that I really wanted to go back into physio hands-on. I found a local place to just go in and do some sports physio again because that was my forte, working with athletes,” explains Becky.
“Then I ended up working at [Sydney’s] North Shore Private Hospital treating pregnant and postnatal ladies: that's what I found my passion was. I'm really good at treating backs and pelvises, and that's perfect for when you're pregnant.”
By turning her focus away from the already well-serviced sports physiotherapy space towards pre- and post-natal services, Becky found a unique and well-connected community within which to provide her services.
However, such a focus meant her clients had a well-defined ‘sales cycle’, meaning she had to think creatively about how to retain them for the benefit of the business, as well as their own health and wellbeing. Her answer was to combine physiotherapy with pilates, which she says is something virtually no other physiotherapist offers.
“It's a really interwoven relationship, and it's great because it works both ways,” Becky says.
“I've worked in physio practices that didn't have classes, pilates classes. I always thought ‘What am I going to do for this patient when they leave me? If they're not going to do their own exercises, they're not going to stay well’.
“It works the other way, too. I have also just worked at a place where I did just teach exercise classes, and I wanted to get my hands on them and I couldn't, so this works really hand-in-hand. Sometimes I'll get a patient that's come for their back or their pelvis issues, and then they'll segue into doing classes. Then they don't really need to come see me that much, maybe just every once in a while when they've done something really crazy in the garden or something, or lifted a kid in a weird way.”
As well as differentiating herself from other physiotherapy practices in her area, specialising in this manner has enabled Becky to upsell and retain her clients longer-term, which of course expands the revenue stream of the business.
“That's why I love it because I don't feel like I'm upselling at all. I'm just helping them ... and it makes me feel good that I'm just not leaving them hanging out in the breeze after I've done a few cracks and manipulations or whatever and said bye.”
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.