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How to Appropriately Cross-Sell

By: Katie Myers Tuesday January 17, 2017 comments Tags: cross-selling, upsell, sales, conversation

There is a fine art to cross-selling. Cross-selling is the practice of positioning additional products and/or services to your customers or clients that directly relate to their purchase. Upselling, on the other hand, involves the presentation of upgrading options to your customer that may include a more, expansive, or more intense version. While you often see the terms used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. A poorly timed or irrelevant cross-sell can shatter the trust between you and your client.

Cross-selling is a conversation between you and your customer. It offers additional products or services that can enhance their lives in some way. This gives an in-depth awareness of your offerings and provides additional items or services that they may need.

Cross-selling isn’t as straightforward as an upsell. It takes planning, integrity, and an understanding of your customer’s needs. Here are five important aspects to effective cross-selling:

  1. Segmentation

It’s important to segment your customers into demographic groups by characteristics like location, gender, age, and previous purchases. You can then further break down your segments. You have insight into your customer/client that you may not be aware of. This is about more than email tracking and sales funnels. Every customer and client wants to feel important.

  1. Relevancy

Your cross-selling strategy needs to be relevant. One way to do this is to write down which products or services your customers and clients frequently purchase together. Look at related products or services they’ve considered, and offer them up as a cross-sell option with a bundled lower price. Here’s a pro-tip: Cross-selling works best when you have a high-priced offering and offer lower costs accessories or services.

This works in landscaping, coffee shops, retail, and more. Combine two things that will help your client with their needs. Please note: This is not the place to unload your inventory. It’s easy to tell when you want to help a customer and when you’re trying to free up shelf space. The cross-sell needs to be about them, not you.

  1. Timing

Be careful about attempting to cross-sell at the time of purchase. You run the risk of cornering your client and making them think all you want is their money. If you are in a service driven client business, consider waiting until your client is satisfied before cross-selling an additional service. You need to know more about the client than their purchase history. You have to know the client’s goals and assist with their needs.

When you’re speaking with your customer/client, timing is everything. A cross-sell needs to come from the desire to identify problems and create solutions.

  1. Provide the Maximum Value

You must provide value to your customer/client. Remember that tip from above about not using a cross-sell to unload overstock? Ensure that the add-on services, accessories, etc. that you offer will enrich their lives.

  1. Cross-selling isn’t for every client

Make sure the clients you cross-sell to genuinely wants to continue a relationship with your company. Tailor your cross-selling plan to each client, if possible.

Remember that a cross-sell is not an upsell, and that it should be tailored to everyone. Every product, service, accessory, video, and correspondence reflects you and your personal, emotional investment in a potential customer or client’s needs.

Katie Myers

About the Author: Katie Myers