contact lists, calling listsSo, you’re about to close some deals – you’re preparing to send a sales engagement email message to recipients in your sales-ready contacts list or set up a meeting with qualified prospects from your calling list. But, wait one second. Wouldn’t it be better if you could increase the potential sales value of those pending transactions? There could be a similar item with a better price tag in stock; or you could sweeten the deal by throwing in some extras for a small added charge.

Since you’re prospective buyers have basically already given their nod of approval, they’ll most probably say “yes” to an even more attractive offer, even for a higher price tag. In fact, studies have shown that they’ll go for your “up-sell” about 25% of the time – that is, if you’ve planned and prepared your up-sell offer properly. And, if they say “no,” you still have the original deal to push through – a classic win-win situation.

Up-selling and cross-selling are two ways of enhancing the revenue potential of sales deals before being closed. Up-selling replaces the initial item being offered with something identical but which costs higher than the original item. It can also refer to increasing the quantity of the item being purchased before closing the deal. Cross-selling, on the other hand, involves adding one or more related items as part of the deal. Both of these methods are extremely helpful because each enables improving the deal’s sales value without significantly incurring additional costs in the process.

Here are eight tips you can apply in your own B2B marketing campaign when attempting to up-sell or cross-sell to individuals in your marketing-qualified calling list or sales contacts list:

1. Ensure your offer is related. The key to successful up-selling/cross-selling is to find related items that buyers typically go for. Create a list of items that customers normally buy as enhancements or replacements to their original choices.

2. Prioritize high-margin items. From the list of potential items to be included in your up-sell/cross-sell offers, focus on those which have higher markups (net of price and cost) as these tend to give higher profitability.

3. Incentivize and encourage. The main stumbling block in up-selling and cross-selling is convincing the folks in your sales contacts list or walk-in buyers to hand over more than what they had originally expected and planned for. But with the right benefit statement, this challenge can easily be overcome.

4. Embed your offer in your message. A smooth transition from the original deal’s closing to the new offer is another key factor in up-selling/cross-selling. Make sure to avoid jumping out unexpectedly at your prospects. As such, embed your offers in your message as naturally as possible.

5. Include the time element. When communicating your up-sell or cross-sell offer, you have to make sure that you cover the time element as well. Tell your prospects when your offer expires and let them know the best time to make their decision.

6. Know the right opportunity. Keep in mind that prospective buyers turn down up-sell offers 75% of the time. Know your prospects and the situation better in order to determine which opportunities are worth taking.

7. Expand your bundle. Oftentimes, the list of items for up-selling/cross-selling may extend to other product lines that tend to be superficially unrelated to the initial deal. To avoid missing out on these items, you have to make a careful study of purchasing behavior among existing customers.

8. Go easy on the choices. As a direct warning to #7, there’s also a need to balance the number of add-on items included in the cross-sell bundle. Don’t offer too many supplementary or complementary options that can overwhelm your prospects.