That is the big question in business. On a daily, monthly, and annual basis, we ask how can we grow our sales? My two MENG Blend posts will focus on four ways to sell more to your existing customers with last week’s Part 1 covering planned and impulse purchases. Today’s Part 2 will cover up-selling and cross-selling. We will save the topic of attracting new customers for another day.
Up-selling – The opportunity to sell a better solution.
Up-selling occurs when you introduce a customer to a better version of their planned purchase and you move them up to a higher value purchase. An example of this is moving a customer up to the luxury model of a car vs. the base model. For your customer, the up-sell solution and sales approach need to offer value and a better choice — but at a higher price.
Is your team trained on how to do this and do they apply this approach daily? Up-selling is a skill to learn, and it can be taught.
Successful up-selling often comes from an appeal to the emotions, self-image, or senses to move a customer from the planned purchase to an up-sell alternative. Letting your customer see, touch, and experience the up-sell alternative will help you engage your customer in envisioning the purchase and use of this new option. Getting a customer to sit in the luxury model car helps them experience and envision themselves with that choice. Just showing a brochure with different car models would be much less effective. Does your sales team help customers envision the difference the better product will deliver?
Does your team know your customers well enough to suggest the relevant up-sell products that will resonate? Presenting an alternative that is not relevant or does not offer more of what your customers value will indicate you do not understand or value your customer’s needs.
Up-selling works when executed well as it is seen as a win-win. A recent survey of hospitality businesses by Caterer and Hotelkeeper magazine showed that 87% found that up-selling was either a “fairly effective” or “very effective” part of their business strategy and did not turn customers off.
Cross-selling – The opportunity to enhance the experience.
“Would you like fries with that?” is one of the most well-known and effective cross-selling questions. Does your team ask the right questions when closing a sale to add to the size of the purchase? Cross-selling is getting your customer to add related products or services that will enhance their experience with their planned purchase. If you are selling a fishing rod and reel, you will want to cross-sell fishing line, bait, fishing tools, etc.
Effective cross-selling requires a solid understanding of your customer’s needs. Why are they buying your product? How and where will they use it? Research on a customer’s purchase decision criteria, product use, or at least an analysis of buying patterns will help identify what items to cross-sell with each other. Even capturing insights from customer conversations can help provide insights.
Are your cross-sell suggestions relevant and do they add value to the use of the planned purchase? A well-chosen recommendation can result in a sale or at least a belief that you are working to provide value to them and just not sell them more.
Two ways to help close a cross-sell include: offering three choices at different price points. With choices at different prices, customers can chose a solution that is most right for them.
If the middle solution is on target for your customer’s needs, it will often be chosen. The second approach is to communicate that there is a rational need to make the choice today — communicating a short-term sale price or limited inventory can create a sense of urgency to close the sale rather than having it deferred to another day.
Training your team to anticipate and execute cross-selling is a good way to sell more every day. Providing your team with research insights on what to cross-sell with different products will make them even more effective.
All leading to the future sell.
If you develop and practice each of these selling techniques in your business, you will not only increase your likelihood of selling more on each transaction but also create one more selling opportunity — the future sell — based on the good will and trust that you gain from your customers by understanding and satisfying their needs. Good selling!