How to Up-Sell and Cross-Sell

Everyday we get cross-sold and u-sold

Are you making the most of every up-sell and cross-sell opportunity to help you and your company navigate through these turbulent times?

The sixth member of our household, our dog Brody, was officially told off yesterday by a horse-rider who was spooked by Brody’s barking and sudden appearance at the gate.

The poor rider came off the saddle and was thankfully unhurt. Time for a “Beware of the Dog” sign in case of further incidents, at least then we’re warning of the potential danger.

Now Brody is a loveable beast but at almost a metre high on her hind legs, can be quite menacing to any person entering the premises. That evening I searched the internet for a suitable sign and came across a great company specialising in house signs of all designs, shapes and sizes.

I chose a classic “Beware of the Dog” sign and popped this in my shopping cart. Happy with my purchase and eager to get the job done so I could watch the rugby on the TV, although being an English supporter I wish I hadn’t bothered.

Up popped a message “Buy another sign and get a £5 discount”. I thought why not that’s a good deal so I had a look at a similar sign which read “Beware of the Children” which I thought was hilarious.

About to click the “buy now” button and up popped another message. “For an additional £2.99 you can have this sign is polished brass”. Mmm I thought that would look nice at the front gate.

It happens all the time. I’d been up-sold, then I’d been casually cross-sold. And I loved every minute of it as I hadn’t the first idea about house signs – I’d never bought one in my life so I welcomed the advice they gave me.

Everyday we’re bombarded with up-selling and cross-selling. Today it happened to me 3 more times

In Asda, I was wafted with a fresh baked bread smell as I walked past the bakers section. I picked up a fresh loaf. I’m sure they ooze smells into the atmosphere to boost the pungency. Clever supermarkets.

At Amazon, I was told that people who bought this book just like me, also bought this book and if you buy the two together, you can save £2.99. Bargain.

Even when I took my free membership of the Youth Hostel Association this morning on the phone, the guy encouraged me to process a Gift Aid application. Just so if I was to renew my membership next year, I’d get some valuable reliefs. Not only a brilliant up-sell but a great trial close as well. Top man.

Are you making the most of every up-sell and cross-sell opportunity to help you and your company navigate through these turbulent times?

How come up-selling and cross-selling works

Built into all human DNA is the need to make careful decisions and when we buy things, we are wary of making the right verdict. Some people take a long time to decide and weigh the options carefully first. And that’s a good thing too.

I talk about a negotiation tactic called Nibbling, which involves getting to a final agreement on the negotiation, shaking hands and walking out the door…but just before you leave you ask for one further concession. Because the deal has been done, decisions made, people breathe a sigh of relief and will easily give into one more demand. It works too.

The same theory works when we cross-sell and up-sell. The big decision has been made. In other words, they like your company, you and the product and they want to buy so adding something else is not a huge extra decision to make.

After all, our job as salespeople, is to serve the customer. It comes from the Norwegian word Selje – to serve – so we should be proud to serve them. We know about our products and services and should be able to share our expertise with our customers.

By the way, everyone within an organisation who comes into contact with customers is a salesperson during turbulent times. That’s a fact and one weapon to help you navigate through these turbulent times and keep your job at the same time.

What stops us cross-selling and up-selling?

Our mindset that’s what prevents us. For years I’ve been observing customer service people, sales people and the one thing that prevents them cross-selling and up-selling is this fear that the customer might say no. This is highly understandable.

This is why websites are excellent at cross-selling and up-selling. A website doesn’t have feelings you see.

A really effective way of getting around this mindset is to use affirmations. Write on separate pieces of card the following positive statements:

  • Serving customers is good and healthy
  • Customers want to hear about our products and services
  • Customers want my expertise
  • Customers are allowed to say no and that’s OK by me
  • Place these cards somewhere where you can see them easily and look at them once every day for 21 days. 21 days is when habits form and mindsets change. Go on give it a go. It works.

Its 3 weeks later and I want to cross-sell and up-sell but what’s the difference?

Not a lot really as it doesn’t really matter but for the detailed people out there here’s the difference.

Cross-selling is where you suggest additional products that complement the one the customer wants to buy, so my extra sign for a £5 discount is a cross-sell. Another example is where your customer is busy saving for their annual holiday using a monthly savings account and you suggest travel insurance. One complements the other.

Up-selling is fun. This is where you have a really good knowledge of your product or service and you suggest an upgrade to make the product better. Getting my sign in polished brass was an up-sell.

Another example happened to me the other day. Renewing my Private Medical Insurance with BUPA, the clever person on the phone suggest I upgrade to the better product because it covered up to 20 of the new fangled cancer drugs which I’d heard about in the press. Now, if anything dreadful happened to you Mr Archer, you would want access to these wouldn’t you. Sucker punched me that did and a cute little “yes tag” at the end. I must say I was most impressed with BUPA on the phone – proud that their product is at the most expensive end of the market. Good training I imagine.

Ok I understand the difference but how do I do it?

This part needs a little bit of preparation. Firstly up-selling

You’ve simply got to know your product or service really well and especially what it can do for your customer. Think of their WIIFM – what’s in it for me – so you can match each feature to a particular benefit for your customer. Then simply suggest the upgrade with a good reason why this would benefit them and wait for their reaction. Remember customers are allowed to say no and that’s OK.

If you want to get clever you could ask them a question or two to find out a little more about their needs. McDonalds don’t do this when they ask if you want to Supersize that burger purely because the drive-thru is not the best time to ask questions. But imagine if they asked “How hungry are you feeling today?” “Ravenous” you reply. “Wow so you’d like to supersize that wouldn’t you?”

Now that would be smart.

Make a list of all the features of your product or service. Next to this list jot down the benefits to customers of adding these features, practise these links in front of the mirror so you can describe them clearly and just ask the next customer. Remember to go quiet after you’ve asked. And remember its OK for them to say no.

Next some cross selling ideas for you

Cross-selling requires a little bit more preparation which you can do on a large piece of paper and this is a really cool thing to do.

The trick to cross-selling is to know how each of your products link together, how they complement each other and the words you can use to create this association.

Take your large piece of paper and draw a grid

Each letter represents a product or service you have available. Go to product A first in the vertical column. Run along to the empty box where A meets B and write in this box how product B complements product A. For example if product A was a mortgage loan and product B was a life assurance plan you could write down links such as:

  • “Pays off your loan in the event of your untimely death”
  • “Helps you sleep at night knowing that your family can live in the home if you died without the mortgage hanging over their head”
  • “Costs very little to ensure your mortgage is repaid on your early death”

Then move onto where A meets C. Product C could be Permanent Health Insurance. Here your associations could be:

  • “Which makes sure you can keep up your monthly mortgage payments if you’re off work for a long period through illness.”
  • “Ideal to protect your mortgage payments which will stop you being re-possessed”

Go through the whole grid system and write down all the associations. Some won’t link together and that’s quite normal but most can and will. Practise the words you want to use. Say them confidently and enthusiastically and you’ll be surprised how many customers will say yes. And remember they are allowed to say no – that’s OK.

In most circumstances you have the opportunity to ask a few questions to find out the customer’s needs before you launch into your link statements. However, we’ve found people who are new to cross-selling should do small things first, get confident and achieve some success, then move onto asking questions afterwards.

What are your next steps?

  1. Sort out your beliefs when it comes to cross-selling. Set up some affirmations on card and look at them everyday for 21 days.
  2. Familiarise yourself with the features of each product and the benefits customers have adding each feature.
  3. Draw your product matrix on a large piece of paper and stick to your wall somewhere so you can glance at it when you want to.
  4. Then just ask your customers to take the additional product or to upgrade what they’ve already purchased in their minds.
  5. And remember customers are allowed to say no.

Just don’t bug them continuously if they do say “no”. Our job is to serve them and if they don’t want it, then we should accept this as others will want to buy the additional feature or extra product.

And did I buy the “Beware of the Children” sign? No, Claire wouldn’t let me, she thought it gave the wrong signal about our kids – shame that as you did get a £5 discount if you bought two together and for £2.99 extra that polished brass would look nice on the wall…and there was the free delivery…

Next Post

What Is Chattel Mortgage?

Have you ever heard of the chattel mortgage? Do you know how it works? If the answer is no, then let’s know few basics and how it works and how can you avail it. A Chattel mortgage is a type of loan agreement under which any movable personal property of […]