Before we get into the secrets, let’s first define cross-selling.
What is Cross-Selling?
The basic cross-selling definition is “to sell a different product or service to an existing customer.” In other words, cross-selling encourages a buyer to order additional products or services in addition to the primary product or service they had originally intended to buy.
Now, while that seems pretty self-explanatory, let’s dig into it a little deeper and find out some of the spectacular secrets it takes to make a successful cross-selling technique.
1. Gather Detailed Customer Profiles
It’s likely that you already have a pretty good idea about your customers’ demographics. Age, gender, and income level are all the fundamentals. But, in addition to those details, you must build onto them.
Detailed customer profiles will help you better identify the top products or services for each unique need and interest. These profiles should include organizational or family roles, individual goals, needs and wants, and pain points.
2. Map Products to Your Customer Base
Once you really know your customers, take a hard look at the products and services in your catalog or portfolio. Which of those does your customer already own? Where is the white space or gap?
Figure out what your customer is still missing and build a roadmap for your customer service or sales reps to follow. This will get your reps better positioned in their cross-selling campaigns so they can reach their targeted end goal faster.
3. Present Tailored Recommendations
The trick to not making the customer feel like you are just chasing another dollar is to present tailored recommendations that offer an incentive to buy items that either better meets their needs, or add value to the product they are already buying. This act makes the customer feel like they are actually being listened to and cared about. Improving customer retention and loyalty are additional, lucrative benefits.
4. Pitch at the Most Receptive Time in the Ordering Process
When not done at the right moment, the chance to cross-sell is lost. Usually, the time to pitch is right after a final product or service is selected. That’s because your customer is more familiar with their purchase and are more ready to accept add-ons.
Another good time to propose another item is during the check-out process because the motivation to finish the buying process is strong and customers are now comfortable with the price they are about to spend.
5. Never Sell to an Angry Customer
If you want to make an angry customer even angrier and give your brand a bad name, trying to make a cross sale is a good way to do it. The purpose of a customer’s phone call, after all, is to garner support, not to buy something. Instead, relate to their concerns, create a sense of understanding, solve the problem the best you can, and offer a kind gesture for good measure.
6. Use Words That Work
Words are powerful. Here is a list of powerful marketing words that can boost sales:
- Off (as in 50% off)
- Best Seller
- Exclusive Access
- Remember (For example, “Remember, your points expire soon!”)
- Thank You
- Their name
Words can also have the effect of diminishing sales. They are:
- Guaranteed (Saying it is just asking for trouble)
7. Offer Special Discounts
There are many different ways to offer your customers a better price for spending more. For example, give 10% off if the total spend amount is greater than $200 or take 15% off of 3 or more items. Another example is to give free shipping if the total exceeds a certain amount. Or, propose a bundle of three items together for less money than the sum of all three items sold separately.
One important thing to keep in mind is to make sure the customer’s cross-sold order does not increase the original cost by more than 25%. If it does, there’s a good chance your buyer will be turned off and is likely to abandon the entire order.
8. Give Something to Care About Other Than Price
While product cost is an important factor when your customer is considering an additional purchase, it’s not the only one. How can another item or service give added value? Will the additional item bring something powerful or unique to the purchase? If so, that’s what you should highlight during your cross-sell.
9. Show a Range of Products, but Don’t Overload
Too many choices given to a customer can lead to confusion. Yes, you want to pick a variety of related items to promote, but it’s better to give a few solid choices rather than too many far-fetched ones. To maintain a narrow focal point, be sure the products you offer satisfy a specific need for your customer’s current order.
10. Only Cross-Sell or Upsell Items That Will Sell
Upselling, or offering an upgraded version of the product, is a natural companion to cross-selling, but don’t waste your time trying to cross-sell or upsell the wrong items. Examples of cross-selling and upselling that actually work are:
- Natural bundling of items that go together
- Products, services, or upgrades that are half the price or less than the original product or service, and add features the customer wants—keeping in mind that increasing the price by more than 25% may cause the customer to walk away from the sale
- Small purchases, such as accessories
11. Don’t Reverse the Cross-Sell
Customers won’t buy a bigger or more expensive item as an addition to their original, smaller purchase. If the proposed item is more than half the price of the original product, don’t waste your, and your customer’s time.
12. Keep It Short
If you’re throwing purchase suggestions out there, make sure you’re not adding more steps or time to the checkout process than necessary. Your customer doesn’t want to sit on the phone forever and will lose patience pretty quickly. Keep it short. Keep it simple.
13. Be a Trusted Advisor
Listen. Focus on your customers’ best interests. Position yourself to be their trusted advisor rather than a simple product pusher. If a customer says no, move on. When a customer feels assured that you are there for them, they are more likely to come back again and again for your help and services.
With these secrets in your back pocket, you can expect sales to increase dramatically and customer satisfaction rates to be on the rise.