“Do you want fries with that?”

The title of this post is a common line that we might not consider much when we are at the McDonald’s checkout. Yet, as we know very well, it is a carefully scripted line worth millions in extra revenue. You might want to ask yourself how you can create the same effect for your business.

Creating an effective upselling strategy can be regarded as a mix of understanding the sales process, good manners, and effective implementation. In this article we will try to handle all three. In particular, we will focus on how you can replicate and learn from McDonald’s, so you can grow to a higher level.


Understand the sales process

To get more money from your existing customers, you might want to spend a few hours in front of a whiteboard or a blank piece of paper drawing up how your customers, visitors, and prospects experience you. Do they go through a certain funnel? Have you identified one goal you want to achieve at each step of the funnel?

Once you understand the sales process, you might also want to ask what your customers are thinking as they move from one part of the business to the next. Do they have any particular concerns, worries, or needs which you can better address? Are they unsure about what they need and would they appreciate a little further guidance?


Good manners

If you want to be effective in upselling to your customers, stop thinking of sales for one moment and try to think of what your customers need and when they would appreciate having that need satisfied. This can make it possible for you to not only find good opportunities to sell, but also to find strategic points to offer something for free, which can make it easier to close a sale later.

For instance giving someone a bottle of water can seem like a neutral gesture. However, if you put it in the context of extreme heat or a marathon run, it can almost be bad manners not to give away water. The same mentality can be applied to how you plan your upselling funnel. When would it be the most appreciated? Or ideally, when would it not even be considered a sale?

Effective implementation

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Once you have identified and broken down the opportunities in your sales process and used good manners to find opportunities, your next challenge is putting it all together. A lot can be learned from the checkout funnels of Amazon as well as Go Daddy. Both try to think of not only selling, but informing the customers as they check out. That way they might be perceived as telling more than selling.

Offline you might like to break down the sales funnels in scripts and checklists much like Subway breaks down the ordering process into specific questions. This might be dull and mundane but repeatable means predictable. For a systemized franchise, that means less risk and higher potential earnings.



In order to create an effective upselling system, you should first learn your sales process in detail before considering when it would show good manners to make a pitch. When you have it all together, it is time to implement it effectively. In that regard, you might want to study how successful companies like Subway, Go Daddy or Amazon have done it.


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