Effective October 1, 2021, EnerBank USA ("EnerBank") merged with and into Regions Bank. Learn more here

EnerBank Blog

Upselling Is a Dirty Word… Or Is It?

Posted September 14, 2015 by EnerBank USA


The term upsell has become a word that may allude to unscrupulous salespeople trying to boost their commission check without taking customers’ actual needs into account.

Unfortunately, because of the practices of a few, upselling is no longer viewed favorably. But, when used with the proper motivation, upselling can be a technique that helps both the salesperson and the customer.

When it comes to selling Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, there are situations in which customers ought to be informed of other upgrade opportunities. For example, there are higher energy efficiency and indoor air quality solutions that can save the customer money in the long run and create a healthier environment. In such situations, it is important to understand effective upselling techniques.

Techniques for a Positive Upselling Experience

● Sell Yourself; Be Amiable

Don’t worry about selling the product until you have successfully “sold yourself.” Get to know one another. Relationships drive sales and referrals. So, build rapport and be friendly.

As Larry Kirchhoff, owner of All Star Mechanical said, set a bar of standard and then climb over that bar:

“When I leave somebody’s house, I want them to feel like they got more than what they paid for.”

● Know the Customer & What Drives His or Her Decisions

Is your customer concerned about the environment? Are other appliances in his or her home “green?” Is your customer interested in paying less on his or her electric, gas or oil bill? Is price a large factor when it comes to purchases or is home comfort more important?

These are all questions you, as the salesperson, will want to ask while getting to know your customer. This knowledge will help you better understand what he or she is looking for and what features and benefits are most important.

● Educate the Customer & Sell a Solution

Educate the customer on the energy-saving potential of different products. For example, help him or her recognize these savings with an energy calculator that utilizes information about the home and region to get reliable calculations.

You should also educate the customer on current fluctuations in energy related costs. Report if the costs will be rising soon or falling. Again, perform an analysis showing the customer the cost/benefit of doing the project or maintaining the status quo.

● Know Your Stuff

Know what federal, state, local and utility tax credits, rebates, or other incentive programs are available that can save your customer money. By keeping up-to-date, you’ll be viewed as the expert, and your customers will be more apt to trust you and inclined to proceed with the project.

Additionally, you should be familiar with the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio), AFUE (Average Fuel Utilization Efficiency), and HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) ratings, and be ready to discuss them with customers in terms they can understand.

● Present More than One Option

Give your customers several solutions based on your assessment of their needs and wants.  Present “good—better—best” options and let them decide which one they prefer. Make sure they understand the differences in the solutions you offered. This will ensure their satisfaction and minimize buyer’s remorse after the new HVAC system, for example, is installed.


Upselling does not have to have a negative connotation. It can be a positive experience for both the salesperson and the customer.