cross-selling, upselling

Upselling and Cross-Selling Techniques That Won’t Backfire

When your customer is ready to purchase, you can often increase the amount of that sale with upselling and cross-selling techniques. Upselling involves suggesting elements such as an increased quantity of a product, a longer service contract or a more comprehensive suite of services. Cross-selling involves suggesting other products or services, or other uses of existing products and services, that could result in more sales. Upselling, cross-selling and similar processes can be somewhat tricky to implement, so take care to do them right and avoid aggravating or losing your customer.

  • Listen and respond – When interacting with customers, listen carefully to what they’re saying—what their problems are, what they want to accomplish and what they expect from your products and services. Once you understand their position, offer thoughtful upsell or cross-sell options. Avoid trying to upsell or cross-sell before you know what the customer needs.
  • Make sure the timing is right – Plant subtle suggestions for upsell and cross-sell options early, but in person, make the actual offer late in the sales process, usually right before the buying decision is made. In online contexts, provide upsell and cross-sell offers when customers click on “order” buttons or enter their shopping carts.
  • Upsell, cross-sell the correct products – Cross-sell and upsell products and services that enhance what the customer is already going to buy. A home improvement store might cross-sell decorative molding to someone buying wallpaper or clean-up supplies to a customer buying paint. A website hosting company might upsell longer hosting terms or improved site management tools. A heating and cooling contractor might suggest a plumbing or home energy inspection.
  • Don’t put extras in the shopping cart – When your customer is ready to check out and purchase from your site, don’t add items they didn’t ask for to their shopping cart. Warranties, extended download periods and other extras might bring you more revenue for little effort, but the result may be customer anger and an abandoned sale.

Are you using upselling, cross-selling and related marketing techniques to their best effect?

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