Best practices for cross-selling & upselling
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Best Practices for Cross-Selling & Upselling

From a consumer standpoint, cross-selling and upselling often seem like sleazy tactics to pad sales with unnecessary items to increase the value of the sale. But experienced customer service representatives and sales agents in experienced inbound call centers know that upselling and cross-selling are more than just methods of making a more profitable sale. Anticipating the needs of your customers can strengthen the relationship and build trust with your customer. Follow these tips for successfully using cross-selling and upselling to satisfy customers while building revenue.

What is the difference cross-selling between upselling?

Let us first specify the difference between cross-selling and upselling, as they are very different techniques that should be used appropriately.

Cross-selling is encouraging the purchase of an item that compliments the primary purchase. An example would be encouraging a customer to purchase a recliner in addition to couch, to complete the set. An upsell is encouraging add-ons or upgrades that would make the initial purchase more expensive. An example of an upsell would be encouraging the customer to purchase a more expensive sectional couch rather than the basic couch in which they’ve showed interest.

Know how to encourage an upsell or cross-sell

It’s important to read your customer during the selling process to know the appropriate time and technique to propose an upsell or cross-sell. Here are some tips to help you know when and how to do it:

 

  • It must make sense

 

The items you suggest during a cross-sell or upsell must make sense, meaning they must be related to the primary purchase. Offering an expensive TV to a customer who is shopping for patio furniture will sound the alarms in their minds, and could compromise the entire sale altogether.

 

  • It must meet their needs in the moment

 

Timing is everything. You must be strategic about when you offer additional products or services by keeping the needs of the consumer in mind.

For example, a cross-sale may work best when the customer already has a specific item in mind, but that item could be enhanced by another product. Convincing the consumer that their overall experience would benefit from an additional purchase may help solve their problem or meet their needs best.

An upsell may work best on consumers who have a specific need in mind, but not a specific product. This provides the opportunity for the customer service representative or sales agent to suggest higher-quality items than those in which the consumer has shown interest, successfully encouraging an upsell.

 

  • It must be honest

 

Customers are already skeptical of salespeople, so any gimmicks may send them running. Be honest, open, and sincere in your recommendations. Do not make false promises about a product that they could easily dispute or find evidence against. Believe in what you sell, and selling it will come naturally.

 

  • Be up front about costs

 

This will affirm your confidence in the recommendation and make your customer believe that you have their best interests in mind. This can also help you assess their mindset, and can help you adjust your suggestions based on any reactions to prices they have. Doing this throughout the process rather at the end could make the difference between successful cross-selling and upselling and unsuccessful attempts, because waiting until the end when they are caught off-guard by the price and already mentally checked out of the selling process likely means its too late for any other suggestions.

Han Butler

As Chief Revenue Officer, Han specializes in developing clear, unique and compelling value propositions which disruptively differentiate products and brands in cluttered markets. Han has a passion for working with people on creating value and opportunity, both in companies and communities. Nothing is more rewarding than working with a group of fun and talented individuals to create something greater than we could accomplish individually.

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