How to Increase Sales through Cross-Selling and Upselling

When companies want to grow their business, they often look to acquire new customers. Fortunately, there are easier and more cost-effective ways to increase revenue. Two of the best ways are through cross-selling and upselling to current customers.

salesFirst, here is a brief explanation of each of these methods: Cross-selling means selling a different product or service to an existing customer. For example, if you own a hair salon, you can offer anyone who comes in for a haircut during a particular time period a discount on a bottle of shampoo. Upselling is when you offer a higher level of service, or more valuable product, to a current customer. An airline who upgrades a passenger to first-class for a discounted price would be an example.

If you believe that cross-selling or upselling could be an effective means of revenue growth, it is important that you have a clearly defined strategy before you begin. Here are some of the best strategies to ensure that you have the best possible chance of convincing customers they need something more – or better – from you!

  1. Start with your very best customers. Your most loyal, satisfied customers are the most likely to consider an additional, or upgraded, product. Since you likely have the best relationship with these customers, it will be easier to approach them, as well.
  2. Do your research. Knowing what your current customers need is the best way to put those products or services in front of them. For this reason, you should have periodic conversations with current clients to understand their pain points. What do they need to make their life easier or solve a problem?
  3. Offer a trial. If you aren’t sure whether or not a customer would be interested in a product or service, offer a free trial. Do you think a customer would benefit from your 24-hour tech support? Offer that service for a limited period of time. If they like it, chances are they will pay to keep it.
  4. Incentivize your sales team. Take a product or service you are trying to cross-sell or upsell and offer a sales bonus for every closed sale. This is a great way to get your sales team to push a particular product.
  5. Cross-selling and upselling are effective and profitable ways to increase sales revenue and can be accomplished through outbound calling. Outsourcing these tasks will free up your salespeople so that they can concentrate on customers and prospects who require more attention. Remember, you are cross-selling and upselling to customers who know your company and trust your brand.

As is the case with most things, when it comes to cross-selling and upselling, moderation is the key. It also is important that if you make an exclusive offer to select clients, it really is exclusive.

Finally, remember that these methods work best when the product you are offering really is making their life easier or solving a problem. If you are cross-selling or upselling random products or services just to see if you can get a bite, you will defeat the whole purpose. You might even lose some loyal customers in the process.

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