Golden opportunities


Are you making the most of your golden opportunities?

It’s time to cross-sell and up-sell your way to sales success

If you can offer any products to your customers that are related to the products they are already buying, you are cross-selling – like fries with a burger order. Up-selling is the act of offering a higher-priced product than the one currently being considered, on the basis of its stronger feature set, greater benefits or better cost/value ratio.

Not surprisingly, two of the key elements that make cross-selling and up-selling successful are trust and convenience. Your customers already possess a degree of trust in your company, and this can be converted into a deeper purchasing commitment on their part. Don’t be shy with this. When your customer is already buying, you’ll be providing extra value by informing them of related products and services which can make their purchase even better. Cross-selling and up-selling are a salesperson’s greatest opportunities. Here’s how to be a master:

Let it be part of the flow

You don’t have to go into a sales situation with a cross-selling or up-selling agenda, but if you know your product lines, know how they fit together, work together and complement one another, you will be in a position to cross-sell or up-sell when the opportunity arises. And to the alert salesperson, they arise a lot more regularly than you may think because the customer is already in a buying frame of mind.

If you’re selling one product, adding one that works with it and enhances it makes great sense and to gain the extra sale you might simply have to mention that the other products or services are available. Similarly, showing the much bigger benefits to be reaped from a slightly bigger commitment may convince your customer to shell out more than they originally intended to.

Stay relevant

Don’t overload customers with loads of cross-selling or up-selling suggestions because chances are you will blow it. There is a reason that waiters suggest a desert or coffee option after a meal; asking you to read the entire menu again to make another choice when you’re already full is much more likely to result in no sale. Think of the best cross-selling or up-selling options and focus on those – but be sure to stay relevant. Offering a range of accessories to enhance that new product or a more expensive product altogether may increase the overall sale; trying to tack on the sale of unrelated products will probably not.

Use your ‘expert’ recommendations

One way to make cross-selling or up-selling easier is to roll out recommendations made by experts. There is a reason that restaurants have ‘Chef’s Recommendations’ or specials; if the chef thinks it’s good, it must be awesome, right? There is a reason why drug companies get doctors to endorse products and sports companies get sportspeople to do the same.

How about this: when you buy a book at, the site automatically lists other books purchased by people who bought the same book you just ordered, saying: “People who bought this book also bought…”

Always focus on a solution to a need

Cross-selling and up-selling is most effective when you consider how it will assist the customer. Remember that the goal here is to try to extract even more revenue from a customer who has already committed to giving you some, and for many salespeople doing anything to rock that boat would be madness. The truth, however, is that if you have established a customer need and excited them about your solution to that need, suggesting an even better, quicker, smarter solution might be your real key to the treasure chest.

It’s all about the timing

Cross-selling and up-selling can occur at different times, and you will need to understand that to really maximise your chances. Sometimes you want to get to a customer while they are trying your product out. For example if they are evaluating a low-end version of your product and are disappointed in the lack of features or performance, show them what you have in a higher-priced model. Other items are more appropriately offered once the initial buying decision has been made, such as an extended warranty.



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