It’s well known in just about every industry that one of the biggest keys to increasing revenue is effective selling. This includes upselling and cross-selling. When done effectively, upselling and cross-selling can increase both your revenue and your customer satisfaction. Many entrepreneurs and small business owners fail to use upselling and cross-selling effectively. This happens either because they lack the knowledge about how to sell without offending their customers or because they don’t understand how upselling and cross-selling can actually make their customers happier and give them a better experience.
First, What Do Upselling and Cross-Selling Mean?
Upselling and cross-selling both refer to sales methods that encourage customers to spend more money than they plan to. This description may sound manipulative, but when you or your salespeople suggestively upsell and cross-sell and don’t railroad people into making purchases they don’t want, both techniques can actually enhance your customers’ experience. The term “upselling” refers to encouraging a customer to purchase a more expensive product or to buy add-ons or upgrades for the product they already plan to purchase. The term “cross-selling” refers to encouraging the customer to purchase additional similar items. Even if customers don’t make any additional purchases, simply by suggesting additional products or services, you’re letting your customer know about other things your business offers that he or she might want to buy in the future.
So When Should You Upsell?
When done in a non-aggressive manner, you can upsell on just about any item you have. Good restaurant servers and bartenders do this all the time. They ask you if you want appetizers, desserts, salads, soups or high-end drinks instead of those made with rail alcohol. You don’t have to say yes to any or all of these suggestions, but by making the suggestion, the waitperson is more likely to sell more items. Additionally, suggestive selling can remind customers of things they wanted but may have forgotten. If you love Grey Goose vodka but ordered “a martini,” you would have gotten a drink made with well vodka instead of what you really wanted. Keep this in mind when you upsell your own products. You don’t have to push, but by suggesting a higher-end product or a specific add-on, you might actually be doing your customers a favor by helping them get exactly what they want.
When Should You Cross-Sell?
Like upselling, you can also effectively cross-sell just about anytime you have a customer making a purchase. Ask questions like “Do you know we also have this product?” or “Have you ever thought about using these two products together?” as you inform your customer about additional options. Cross-selling can help you inform your customers about products or services that you offer that they may not know about. Sometimes this translates into an additional sale and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it can create more business for you in the future if the customer returns for that product or refers a friend.
Both upselling and cross-selling work effectively to increase your revenue. You want to employ these methods as frequently as possible as long as you don’t make the customer feel as though you’re pushing him or her into buying. Selling suggestively provides the key to making these methods work. Suggesting rather than pushing gets the customer thinking about additional or higher-end products or services, but they won’t walk away after the sale feeling like they regret their purchases.
About the Author
Jeff Owen is an avid blogger and business event planner. He enjoys sharing his insights on various business blogs. Find out more aboutÂ Calgary event plannersÂ and how they can help your business.