Is your cross-selling strategy a little lackluster? Here’s how you can get it working like magic.
You have happy customers. You also offer numerous products or services they could benefit from. Most, however, aren’t even aware of the possibilities. And that, friends, is where your cross-selling strategy is lacking.
Mind you, this isn’t an excuse to push every random product or service at your customers in the hope that they’ll spend more money with you. Cross-selling is a sales technique, yes. But it’s also not just about sales.
Done well, cross-selling gives your customers the option of making additional purchases that they can use and work in conjunction with what they already have. Here’s an example.
You go out and buy a coffee maker. Once you’ve decided on the product, the salesperson mentions to you that they also sell filters and coffee beans. These are complementary products that go along with your coffee maker. It makes sense to cross-sell these items, since it helps the customer. They’re getting a coffee maker, so they’ll need filters and they’ll need beans. The salesperson just gave them a one-stop deal.
A good cross-selling strategy makes the most of these connections. It doesn’t matter what the product or service is. Are you selling gym memberships? Wouldn’t a personal training session go well with that? Selling commercial real estate? How about a facility management contract to help with upkeep?
Now then, how can you improve your cross-selling strategy? It’s actually pretty easy.
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It’s time to upgrade your cross-selling strategy
First, it’s beneficial to review the difference between upselling and cross-selling. Upselling is when you suggest that someone buy the bigger version of something. Think about a trip to your favorite drive-through. You may have been asked something like, “Would you like to make that a large for just 50 cents more?” Or going back to the gym membership example, it might be pushing the premium membership vs. the regular membership.
Upselling is also a great way to boost your revenue and potentially give customers more of what they want, but it doesn’t add value in the same way cross-selling does. Upselling is more of something they already have or want. Cross-selling is adding on something that will make what they have even better. They both have their place. As far as your cross-selling strategy, though, how can we get it off the ground?
1. Know your audience. This is always a good starting point in any sales strategy. Your cross-selling strategy has a much better chance of success if you know who you’re working with. Can you cross-sell an unlimited ski pass to someone buying a timeshare condo in Colorado? Perhaps, yes. Can you cross-sell an unlimited ski pass to someone buying a timeshare condo in Florida? Probably not.
2. Listen to your audience. It’s no secret that active listening is an important skill in the sales industry. Active listening can also be the secret to success with your cross-selling strategy. After enough calls, you’ll start to hear some of the same things again and again. That’s your opportunity to build a helpful cross-sell into the conversation.
3. Pair items or services long before you get on a sales call. You don’t want to get stuck thinking about what two or three things would go well together. Have a few at the ready to suggest. This is the classic “burger and fries” technique.
4. Don’t overdo it. This tip goes well with pairing items and services, as it helps narrow down options and keeps your prospect from getting overwhelmed. This tip is also about the way you approach the conversation. When it comes to cross-selling, try your first pairing. If they say no, move on to a second option if it seems appropriate. After that? It’s probably time to let it go. Even the best cross-selling strategy has to acknowledge that sometimes your customer just doesn’t want to add anything else to their purchase or deal.
5. Offer a discount. Discounts might not be an option, but if they are, a little percentage off that extra product or service might be just what you need to successfully cross-sell. The benefit for your prospect is clear, of course. They get something useful for less than they would have to pay normally. But for you, it could mean the difference between hitting your numbers or not. And remember, you have a much greater ROI when you sell to existing clients.
These changes aren’t huge, necessarily, but they can make a huge difference in your sales and in customer satisfaction.
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