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This article was originally published as part of Canadian Business’s 7 ways to build a small business series. Visit Canadian Business for the full series.

When David Neinstein opened Barque, a Toronto barbecue restaurant, five years ago, he offered a fixed-price special to large groups on Sunday evenings. Diners would get an appetizer, salads, various barbecue dishes and dessert for $39 each.

On a traditionally slow night, the offer was popular. “They spent a bit more and got more food,” Neinstein explains. About a year ago, Barque began offering the fixed-price menu every night. Then, earlier this year, Neinstein decided to try extending the option to every patron, not just those in big groups.

Read: Tap new client pools to make your mark

The upshot? The average amount each customer spends has gone up approximately $9, or about 20%, Neinstein says, and his kitchen staff has found it easier to prepare meals. “It’s a win-win.”

While some consumers balk at blatant upselling, savvy entrepreneurs understand how to persuade clients to spend more in ways that leave everyone satisfied.

“Forcing [customers] to buy goods they don’t want will just get them angry,” observes Jeffrey Skurka, who owns an upscale men’s clothier, Classica Imports, in Toronto. He encourages his sales floor staff to offer clients merchandise that complements their core purchase—for example, showing how socks and a belt would go with a new shirt—without coming on too strong.

Yet there’s as much science as art in the upsell.

Read the full article at Canadian Business.

Read the rest of the 7 ways to build a small business series.

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Originally published on Advisor.ca
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