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How to Smoothly Upsell Your Pro AV and Digital Signage Customers

July 01, 2017

How to Smoothly Upsell Your Pro AV and Digital Signage Customers

Most value-added resellers know that selling pro AV and digital signage is not just about getting customers to buy hardware and services—it's very much about relationship building and managing expectations.

In order to push the envelope toward increased sales, VARs must be able to deftly master the art of the upsell in a sales environment that increasingly views upselling as a strategic necessity rather than a nice extra.

No matter what the vertical, opportunities to upsell are becoming more prevalent as businesses look to pro AV and digital signage as necessary sales and marketing tools.

The good news is that customers anticipate increasing expenditures on pro AV and digital signage this year by 40%-56%, according to a recent industry-wide survey.

Communication, credibility, and planning will be key factors that drive upselling in the pro AV space.

Here's a look at a few tips on how to turn a small sale into a smooth upsell:

Try a Scripted Approach

It's been said that battles are won before they are fought, and so it goes with sales. Scripting a sales pitch may seem contradictory if the actual intention is a smooth delivery, but VARs that ad-lib an upsell risk being perceived by their customers as unconvincing and unpersuasive. The customer is already sold on a particular pro AV or digital signage product, so taking the time to script a compelling upsell prior to signing off on the deal?rather than as an afterthought? makes a huge difference with respect to customer confidence in a VAR’s expertise and professionalism.

Keep Upsell Recommendations Limited

Typically, customers will approach VARs with some sort of proposal that indicates budgetary limitations, timelines, and project scope. The customer wants to solve problem X with product Y. Try to avoid offering customers too many irrelevant upsell choices that will only confuse them and cause them to back away from the upsell. Match key upsell items to the original pro AV product requested, and then highlight the primary features to the customer.

Justify Financial Benefits to the Customer

Most pushback from customers concerns financial cost versus benefits. VARs seeking a smooth upsell should be prepared to outline any potential financial benefits to the customer, whether immediate or future. Key considerations to highlight may include:

  • Proven ROI statistics
  • Ease of system expansion, upgradeability, and integration
  • Cost per unit for upsell versus original item
  • Reliable 24/7 technical support
  • Savings recouped from energy efficiency or higher resale value


The biggest stumbling block to a smooth upsell will likely be timing. As a VAR, should you introduce a product or service while a customer is still in "shop around" mode? The best time to suggest an upgrade or upsell is right after the customer has decided on a product and while they are still in "buy" mode. This is the moment when scripting, product research, and customer service all tie together to produce a smooth upsell. The customer has already committed to the pro AV purchase, so there is little risk of losing the sale. By not rushing the transaction, the VAR comes across as a Pro AV expert without being perceived as pushy?all upside for future business!

What cross selling and upselling strategies have worked for you?