Down-selling is the sales technique of offering a more budget-friendly or convenient alternative to the product or service initially pitched to the customer. It involves understanding and narrowing a customer’s expectations and matching them with a solution that best fulfills their current needs and desires.

It is usually used when a customer shows a clear inclination towards refusing the current offer. 

Why down-selling is important

Down-selling—though not as celebrated a sales technique as up-selling—is still an effective strategy on two counts:

  1. It gets your foot in the door and as a result, another chance to do business with the same customer in the future. Studies have shown that the probability of doing business with an existing business is much higher than that of acquiring a new customer. 
  2. It helps you build trust with the customer as it shows you acting in your customers’ best interests.

More importantly, for a CS professional, down-selling is not just a sales tactic, but a way to help customers reach their goals by realizing the right value in your offerings.

Best practices 

  1. Don’t introduce down-sells too soon: Doing this can confuse potential customers or may cause them to be suspicious of your initial offer. Offer down-sells only after you have clearly understood your customers’ goals, pain points, and business goals. 
  2. Consider creating value-based packages: This can help you serve your customers’ needs by bundling features or functionalities instead of slashing prices for existing (or initial) offerings.

Related terms

Move your customer onboarding onto the fast lane