Upselling and Cross-Selling For Happiness and Profit

upsellingUpselling and its sister cross-selling do NOT have to be dirty words any more. Get rid of those images of sleazy, slimy pitch people selling us stuff we don’t need or want.

Instead, picture your organization using upselling and cross-selling intelligently and judiciously to bring you closer to your customers. That way you can use these valuable techniques to bring you more revenue, better retention and lower churn.

How are upselling and cross-selling different?

Upselling is a strategy to sell a more expensive version of a product that the customer already has (or is buying), or to add extra features, upgrades or add-ons to that product. Cross-selling is the art of suggesting additional, complementary items to someone who has already decided on a purchase.

These popular sales techniques help drive more sales from already converted customers, which are proven to be easier sales to make. According to a book on Customer Loyalty by Jill Griffin, “The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5 to 20%. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70%.”

How can any smart business person pass up such amazing business tools?

6 quick and easy upselling and cross-selling techniques

  1. Limit the number of upsell and cross-sell recommendations—More choices or options can generate confusion and overwhelm customers. Successful upsells/cross-sells begin with a solution to their problems. Not more confusion and questions. Therefore, it is a wise idea to keep things simple. When it comes to offering cross-selling recommendations, for example, don’t offer 24 different possibilities. Stick with just a few, well-targeted recommendations to maximize your shot at a successful sale.
  2. Know your customers— Comprehensive audience research is critical to successful upselling and cross-selling. Make sure you know your customers and that youunderstand their wants, needs, and preferences. Amazon is a terrific example of a company that effectively upsells and cross-sells based on knowledge of customers and their past orders.
  3. Try bundling—Bundling encourages both upselling and cross-selling. Therefore, it’s always a smart idea to package items together into bundles. For example, a company can sell WordPress templates, plugins, and logos all together in bundles as opposed to separately as standalone items. The chances that a consumer will purchase all three of these items increases dramatically if he or she can do so with one single purchase, as opposed to three separate purchases. This, in turn, boosts your company’s revenue.
  4. Remember the rule of 25com suggests that, “As a general rule of thumb, you should never try to upsell or cross sell items that are more than 25 percent of the original order.” For example, if a car buyer comes in to buy a Hyundai, no car dealer would try to upsell the buyer to a Ferrari.
  5. Offer upsells and cross-sells that make sense—If you’ve ever been on a site searching for a new throw pillow, only to see a suggestion for an outdoor furniture set, then you know the frustration that buyers often feel. Hubspot says that, “The truth is, it’s hard enough to get those buyers all the way to the finish line as it is. You can’t throw them off course with a suggestion from out of left field. In fact, the suggestion of an upsell or cross-sell that does fit the original purchase could still derail a purchase. Your suggestion has to fit the buyer’s exact needs at the very moment he or she plans to buy. Otherwise, you could lose it all.”
  6. Keep it open and honest—We already know buyers can be wary. If they feel at any point that something’s not quite right, they’ll bolt, without buying anything. The more honest and transparent your site is during the purchase process, the more likely those buyers will hang around to finish the purchase. So, make sure you tell them what they’re buying and how much it costs.
  7. Know when and how to upsell and cross-sell—There are lots of techniques, but the right ones to use, depends on your business and your customers. For example, you can try upsell or cross sell:
    • In the app
    • In the shopping cart
    • In your customer support interactions (By offering an upsell/cross-sell that can help solve your customer’s support issue, you can help them, and your business, win.)
    • After a customer success milestone (like when they finish a course or celebrate an anniversary)

The biggest benefits to upselling and cross-selling

When done right, upselling and cross-selling builds deeper customer relationships. Sales guru Jeffrey Gitomer puts upselling into perspective when he describes it as helping your customers win. Tell them how they win. When they win, you win. Simply show them how an upsell or cross-sell will help them win…and you deliver more value. That cements relationships.

These techniques help your business grow faster. Why? Because it’s easier to sell to a current customer than to a new one. That shouldn’t surprise you. Upsells are an easy win for growing your bottom line and accelerating your path to profit.

Another benefit is that upsells and cross-sells increase customer lifetime value (CLV). Each upsell or cross-sell can increase the lifetime value of your loyal customers, paying off for many years down the line.

Need a little help with your upselling and cross-selling sales efforts? Just give us a shout! Solamar has the customer loyalty experts to help you keep customers happy and make more money.

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