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Expanding Your Business Through Upselling and Cross-Selling

Upselling and cross-selling can measurably and significantly grow your business, and you don’t have to come across as pushy to do it effectively. With our tips, you can upsell and cross-sell your products and services to help your customers meet their goals, solve problems they might have, and provide them value while increasing your revenue and bottom line.

What is Upselling?

First of all, let’s define what upselling and cross-selling are and how they are different. Upselling is when you sell a more expensive version of a product than what the customer is considering or when you offer an upgraded product to what the customer has already bought from you. This could include a video surveillance system with more advanced features or an upgraded alarm system to what the customer currently has installed in their home.

What is Cross-Selling?

Cross-selling is when you sell a customer a related product that will either complement or enhance the initial product being purchased. Some examples would be to offer an alarm monitoring service after selling the customer a home alarm system or suggesting a soundbar to enhance the audio of a new television.

Benefits of Upselling and Cross-Selling

There are benefits to upselling and cross-selling not just for your business, but for your customers too. Some key benefits to think about:

1. It can help fulfill an unrealized need – Oftentimes, customers are not fully aware of what all their product and/or service needs are. You can provide excellent service by really getting to know your customers to offer an upsell or cross-sell that meets a need they might not even know they had.

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2. It can build deeper customer relationships – By focusing on helping the customer, you’ll provide better, more personalized service to them, resulting in deeper customer relationships.

3. It can help build customer loyalty – If you offer upsells that are relevant, useful and provide value to your customers, they’ll appreciate this and it will help build loyalty with them.

Best Practices for Upselling and Cross-Selling

1. Focus on Your Customers’ Needs and Goals

When a customer is looking to buy one of your products or services, they are most likely doing so to fulfill a goal or a need — and each customer is different. So, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to upsell to them.

Get to know your customers and figure out what their motivation is for buying your product or service. Do they just need a basic access control system to identify and allow employees into their building at one main entry, or do they need a more elaborate solution that can accommodate different entry points and offers biometric capabilities or other advanced features?

By targeting your customers’ needs and goals, you’ll be able to more effectively fulfill their needs, and if there’s an upselling opportunity, you’ll be genuinely helping them gain more value out of their purchase.

2. Bundle Products and/or Services Together

A great way to upsell and cross-sell to your customers is to offer complementary products or services as a bundle and price them accordingly. This can significantly increase your sales while also saving your customers money.

One example would be if a customer plans to purchase multiple televisions or displays, you can offer mounting and installation at a discounted rate. In this possible scenario, the more products the customer buys in a single purchase from you, the higher the discount you could offer on installing them.

3. Make the Cross-Sell Relevant to the Original Purchase

If you’re going to sell your customers on an additional product or service, it’s usually much easier to do so when it directly relates to the original purchase.

For instance, if the customer buys a set of video surveillance cameras, you can cross-sell remote monitoring service for them. The remote monitoring service gives them the convenience of monitoring and addressing issues remotely while also directly enhancing the performance they experience with their cameras.

4. Offer Extended Service Contracts or Subscription Renewals

Offering service contracts or subscription services directly related to your customers’ purchases can provide additional income for you while offering peace of mind for your customers. Your service contracts could include extended warranty and/or repair services for the products you sell, or if your customer’s purchase requires regularly scheduled maintenance, you can offer a maintenance contract at a discounted rate. You can choose to bill your customers monthly, yearly or a single fee upfront for a specified time.

The benefit of these types of add-ons is that your customer gains peace of mind knowing that the product they purchased will be repaired or replaced if it malfunctions, or if they purchase a maintenance contract, they’ll be much more likely to get the full-service life of their product — and it will be pre-budgeted into their business expenses.

It’s All About the Customer

In order to upsell and cross-sell effectively, you really need to get to know your customers and build quality relationships with them. Understanding their budgets, goals and needs are crucial to offering relevant upsells that help solve their problems while bringing value to their purchases.

One additional aspect to this process is to be mindful not to overdo it when you upsell to your customers. The last thing you want is to come across as pushy or “salesy.” However, as long as you focus on meeting your customers’ needs, helping to solve their problems and really getting to know them and understand them, your upsell and cross-sell offers should come across naturally and genuinely helpful.

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