“Do you want to large that?” A marketing & sales lesson from McDonald’s

Author: Dan The Marketeer
Date: July 1, 2019

Today I want to talk about a very successful strategy that can be applied to any business, in any industry and any niche. It’s a strategy that is often used by many big businesses, but only a few of the smaller ones.

It’s a huge missed opportunity that, if applied to your business, will help generate a greater ROI on any customer you’ve paid to promote and acquire.

The strategy is called Up-selling.

“Do you want to large that?”

If the term Up-selling doesn’t mean anything to you, here’s a popular example that you’re likely to be aware of and which I always use to teach this strategy to my clients.

Imagine if you went into McDonald’s and ordered a small Big Mac meal. So you’ve taken yourself to McDonald's, with every attention to purchase, make your decision and go to order. You’re already committed and ready to hand over your hard earned money in exchange.

You wait for the cashier to confirm the cost so you can hand over the money, but that don’t do that, yet. They instead turn round and ask if you want to large the meal, for a small additional cost. In exchange for a small amount of money more, you can get a larger meal.

And there’s a good chance that you will accept that offer. Not always, but a lot of time people do. It’s positioned in a way that it sounds like an amazing deal, so it’s hard to resist.

Not just fast-food

Up-selling is a model that doesn’t just work for McDonald's or the fast food industry. Here’s a few other successful examples that either I’ve run myself or my clients have:

Initial product: Event Ticket

Up-sell: Book delivered in advance of the event

Initial product: Webinar Signup

Up-sell: Access to instant online training before the webinar

Initial product: A Book

Up-sell: Online training modules

Initial product: A tent

Up-sell: Camping essentials

Initial product: A book

Up-sell: More books

Why It Works

So just why does this strategy work?

You already have the customer there, committed — meaning they’re more likely to say yes. You’ve already done the hard yards getting the person to your store and business, and they’ve already committed to making a purchase. All you’re doing is asking if they want some more.

There is also a high conversion rate for customers taking your first up sell. At least 1/3 will take your offer, depending on a number of factors such as price, relevance etc.

It allows you to maximise your initial ROI selling to the customer in the first place — you’ve already paid to acquire them through your marketing.Why sell to 1,000 new people when you can sell more to the 100 customers who are just buying?

The downsides

There are however two downsides to this strategy:

  1. Firstly, the more up-sells you have the more annoyed your customers will get which may impact their long term relationship with you. The first or second up-sell is fine, but the further you go they may become tired of it. This depends on how good your up sells are though, and also your target audience and their expectations.
  2. Secondly, not all up sells work which can be frustrating if you took a long time putting them together. But you need to realise that, as with everything in sales & marketing, not everything works the first time. Test different up sells with different products and see which works the best.

It’s also important to note that your up sell MUST be of some relevance to the initial product you sold. For example, if you’re selling a tent, it makes sense to sell other camping related equipment live a stove or tools. If you’re selling a book on real estate, up sell to other education products on real estate. You get the point.

Get started

If you have doubts that this strategy works or not, I have but one thing to say to you — if it didn’t work, do you think big businesses like McDonald’s would pay their thousands of cashiers worldwide to try to up sell dozens of times each day?

But as always, it’s not just a simple case of copying and pasting the strategy into your business and niche. You need to work to make it fit to your target audience and what you sell. And at first it might not work well for you, but test and optimise a few times and you’ll start to see great results.

Get started today by thinking what other products or services do you have, that you can offer after a customer purchases from you? Chances are you already have other things that you can offer and if not, it’s definitely worth while putting this together!

A Gift For You

As a thank you for reading today I want to offer you free copies of our guides.

Helping our clients fill their events and webinars, or supporting them to do so themselves, via Facebook Ads is something we do 365 days a year.

How do we do this?  

Through our done for you and done with you services that you can learn more about here.

Whilst you’re here, I’d like to invite you to learn how The Marketeer continually filled the UK’s market-leading portfolio builder and property educator webinars and events over the last 24 months.

Sell more. Inspire more. Change more lives.

Take care,


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