Would You Like Fries
By John Boe
While you may not
have recognized it, the last time you ordered from a fast food
restaurant or went to the post office, there is a good chance you
experienced some form of cross-selling or up selling. Cross-selling
and up selling are well-established and highly effective marketing
practices utilized by a wide variety of industries.
cross-selling? It is a proactive, ongoing sales process designed to
provide your customers with a full spectrum of your company's
products and services. The good news is, cross-selling is one of the
most profitable and least risky endeavors a sales rep can undertake.
My first exposure
to cross selling was as a teenager in high school working part-time
at McDonalds during summer vacation. Looking back on my brief tenure
selling hamburgers, I can still hear my manager's daily refrain; be
polite, keep the counter clean and always, always ask if they would
like fries with their meal.
A couple of years
later while attending college, I took a part-time job selling shoes
at the mall. I was paid an hourly wage to sell the shoes but I
received a commission whenever I cross sold any accessory items such
as shoe polish, socks or purses. This was my first taste of
commission and as a starving college student, I took to cross-
selling and up selling like a duck to water.
salespeople might suggest that customers are irritated by cross
selling and perceive it as an aggressive sales technique.
Interestingly enough, consumer research indicates that the reverse
is true. The majority of consumers surveyed actually preferred a
full range of products and services and appreciate the convenience
that is provided through a comprehensive cross-selling approach. Top
producing salespeople understand the power of cross-selling and
recognize it as a critical component for promoting both customer
retention and revenue growth.
two of the key elements that make cross-selling and up selling work
are trust and convenience. Your customers already possess a degree
of trust in your company and this can be converted into additional
sales that are not directly related to their existing products.
The best place to
introduce your customer to the concept of cross-selling is during
your initial needs analysis meeting. Unfortunately, many salespeople
fail to take the time to conduct a thorough needs analysis and as a
result, do not uncover potential products and services that would be
of benefit to their customer. Ask questions and take good notes.
Effective cross-selling is all about guided self-discovery. Through
a series of thought provoking, open-ended questions, successful
salespeople assist their customers to uncover potential needs.
During the needs analysis interview, I highly recommend the use of a
checklist that incorporates all of your company's products and
services. Relying on your memory alone is a poor business decision;
so take the time to jot down key information.
systematic approach to cross-selling and up selling brings in
additional revenue with relatively low expense and effort. As you
prepare for your next client appointment, I challenge you to look
for cross-selling and up selling opportunities that you can
incorporate into your presentation. Sales reps who fail to implement
an effective cross-selling program actually do a disservice to their
customers and leave the back door open to their competitors!
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