What is cross selling?



A pharmacist offering a bottle of water when you go to a pharmacy for your medication. The delicious candy waving at you right at counter while you’re paying at the convenience store. These are examples of cross selling.

Cross selling is selling a whole other product or service to a customer, while upselling, focuses on the original purchase.
Cross selling might be risky and even disrupt your relationship with the client. It is important make sure your cross sale generates value to your customer. Your cross sale must make sense to the customer. If you have sold executive leadership courses to a client, it may make sense to offer top-leadership team-building retreats. But you wouldn’t try to offer the same client smoke detectors and fire hydrants.

Sounds great. But how do you do it?
As usual, first, get to know your customer as much as possible.
Be patient.

Wait till you can “make him an offer he can’t resist” which means wait until the customer has the actual need. Communicate with your customer, ask your peers if they have any information on the company.
Wait till you show results on your first project, you will establish your credibility.
Introduce the new product little by little. Use email to “bait” your customer, maybe present a feature in one email, another one at a later email, and when the customer is “hooked”, you go for the actual presentation.

During this time, you can carefully craft a good relationship with your customer. This will make it more likely for the customer to hear your proposal and will give you enough time to create the best, most personalized offer.
Consider your customer’s needs.
Look at your customer’s interactions and “clicks” on your site. You can sell more based on those interests.
Bundle packages or services. Buying one item may reveal the future need for another.
Offer promotions.

The greatest advantage here is that it won’t feel like you are targeting them, but more like sending information on your special sale.
Cross selling will work better when the seller has the right mindset and establishes a rapport with the customer. This implies that the seller is thinking of cross selling opportunities since the beginning, even though they do not try to cross sell immediately. In this scenario, a seller will be able to explore the customer’s larger scope and learn about more needs the company might have where the seller may offer value. The right mindset will make successful cross selling, even when the client was only interested in one solution.

Apple is a great example of successful cross selling. One that was even thought from the conception of the product. Think about going to buy an iPad. It is a nice, practical, useful five-hundred-dollar device, but your experience will be even better if you get that nice one-hundred-dollar apple pencil, not the one you have, but the new one that recharges on the side of the iPad. And how about a twenty-dollar cover to protect your five-hundred-dollar purchase? A small price to pay for safety. And since it is a new model, the port gives you more functionality and faster charging, but you’ll need a new fifty-dollar set of cables to connect all the other gadgets you used to connect. But don’t worry, the one-hundred-fifty-dollar AirPods are wireless. By the time you check out, your $500.00 dollar purchase escalated to $820.00. Still, you leave with a smile, now you can get the most of your brand-new, latest-gen, cutting-edge iPad.

I am a Mexican wine enthusiast. Some years ago I started buying wine from Baja California from an online store. They have excellent wines and every month I would come back to buy a few bottles. I was very happy with their wine selection, the tasting notes, the pairing recommendations on the site. The sommelier in charge of sales noticed the kind of wines I was buying (as he tells it) and thought it would be a good idea to offer me a membership to their wine club and emailed me. I think they must have some software to help them identify potential clients for their wine club. I was thrilled. The membership included 3 bottles of wine, invitations to free tastings, free delivery on all my orders, the opportunity to meet other Mexican wine enthusiasts and even meet and greets with oenologists and winemakers. More than ten years later, I still pay my monthly membership, I still buy all my wines from them and I am still grateful I was offered the membership.

The company used the right tools to identify a customer – who had never seen the ad for the membership on their site, btw – offered an appealing service by using the information on me they already had – they offered the silver, not the gold, membership, and finally obtained more business from a customer and keep getting it after more than ten years.

Cross selling is a great sales tool, if used right, it will boost your sales. It can help you make the most of a relationship with a customer.

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