Upselling and Cross-selling Techniques

Upselling and Cross-selling Techniques

Upselling and cross-selling are two effective ways to make more profits and enhance the customer experience for an organization. In this article, we will take a look at some useful techniques to upsell and cross-sell.
MarketingWit Staff
Upselling and cross-selling are two sales techniques that allow a company to register increased sales. Almost every business upsells and cross sells products to its customers in order to ensure that they are able to sell or promote maximum products. However, when used incorrectly, upselling and cross-selling can annoy your customers and make the whole experience a nightmarish one. It is important therefore, that you are familiar with suggestive selling techniques and use them to your advantage. Let us know more about cross-selling and upselling.

Upselling

Upselling is a sales technique through which a company encourages a customer to buy a more updated or upgraded product by paying a little extra. This type of sales is used to sell a product that is commercially viable for a business. Let us take an example to understand this. Let us assume that Jim wants to buy a mobile phone contract. He calls up the sales team of the mobile company and has the following conversation with the sales representative.

Jim: I want to buy a phone which has a good camera, and I want around 200 minutes, text messages and Internet in the contract.
Rep: All right Jim, as you mentioned your requirements, I would like to ask you that is there any special reason that you want to go for a camera phone?
Jim: Oh yeah, I am fond of clicking pictures of scenic beauty and I have a daughter who is growing up, and I want to make sure that I capture all the precious moments.
Rep: Oh that's great Jim, need to ask you what are you looking at in terms of cost per month.
Jim: I can afford around $40 per month for a two-year contract.
Rep: Jim, as you mentioned that you like to take a lot of pictures, I have a suggestion for you that you should go for this fantastic 8 MP camera that we have, and most importantly it has got a flash which will allow you to take pictures even when the light quality is not that great. I am keeping your budget in mind as well, and you would just need to pay $50 every month to get this wonderful offer.
Jim: Oh great, that is a wonderful offer. This is what exactly I was looking for. Thank you very much for this recommendation. I will definitely go for this deal.


The above-mentioned example shows how one can make effective use of upselling and use it to provide customers the value for their money. It is important that upselling is carried out in an appropriate manner otherwise the whole technique can boomerang and result in irate customers. In the above-mentioned example, if the customer service representative would have recommended a high-speed Internet phone to a customer for a higher cost, there is a high possibility that the customer would have refused to buy the deal. So, it is essential that you do effective fact-finding and gauge the need of the customer. This would lead you to effectively know what would be the ideal upsell for the customer.

Cross-selling

Cross-selling is a sales technique in which a company promotes an additional complimentary product or service to add value to the customer's purchase and make more profits. Let us take a similar example to understand how one can effectively cross-sell to a customer.

Jim: I want to buy a phone which has a good camera, and I want around 200 minutes, text messages and Internet in the contract.
Rep: All right Jim, as you mentioned your requirements, I would like to ask you that is there any special reason that you want to go for a camera phone?
Jim: Oh yeah, I am fond of clicking photos of scenic beauty and I have a daughter who is growing up, and I want to make sure that I capture all the precious moments.
Rep: Oh, that's great Jim, need to ask you what are you looking at in terms of cost per month.
Jim: I can afford around $40 per month for a two-year contract.
Rep: Jim, as you mentioned that you have a daughter who is growing up and you like to take her pictures, I am sure that you would like to transfer these photos to your computer to have an enhanced view and to maintain a back-up for yourself. So, I recommend that you buy a data cable along with the contract which will allow you to transfer your memorable photos to your computer instantly. This deal will just cost you $42, that is just $2 extra per month.
Jim: Oh great, that is a wonderful offer. This is what exactly I was looking for. Thank you very much for this recommendation. I will definitely go for this deal.


The above example mentions how cross-selling is to be used effectively. It is very important that you understand the customer's needs and think logically regarding the compatibility of the cross-sell. In the above-mentioned example, if the customer service representative would have offered external amplifiers, there are chances that the customer would have not been able to think about the need to have them, which could have hampered the prospects of a cross sell. So, it is important that you put yourself in the customer's shoes and think about their needs and preferences.

A Few Tips
  • The first important thing that you have to do while dealing with a customer is to fact-find effectively. For this, you need to ask a number of questions but ensure that the questions are relevant and do not offend or annoy the customer. Keep your tone polite and try to make sure that you appear as you earnestly want to help the customer. If you speak in a harsh tone and sound disinterested, there are chances that the customer would not give you correct answers, which can prove to be a deterrent while upselling or cross-selling.
  • Make sure that you have written all the information that the customer provided you with on a piece of paper or on your computer. Once the customer, has given you all the information, summarize everything that the customer wants. For example, "So, you said that you would like to go for a camera phone, with 200 minutes and free Internet. Anything apart from this you would like to have?" This helps in avoiding confusion if you have not heard anything properly.
  • Do not sell the product, sell the services. Rather than telling the customer about the technical specifications of the phone, tell him about the benefits that it will provide him. For example, "Jim you mentioned that you would like a camera phone, guess what I have got a fantastic phone for you, the phone is XYZ. The phone comes with 8 MP camera, which will allow you to take crystal-clear pictures, a flash enabled camera which will allow you to take pictures even at night, an MP3 player, which will allow you to listen to your favorite songs, a 4 GB memory card that has the capacity to store hundreds of songs and thousands of pictures.
  • Reveal the price at the last. You essentially want the customer to desperately say "Ok, I am in for it but how much would I have to pay?" Revealing the price also helps in better upselling and cross-selling as the customer would be able to hear all the benefits of the products associated with the deal.
These were some tips that might help you in upselling and cross-selling effectively. It is important that these two sales techniques are used as a way to enhance customer experience and to provide them something better. If you are too pushy, and just think about your benefit all the time, then you may be successful in short-term, but you would not be able to develop long-lasting relationships with customers which can hamper repeat sales. So, ensure that you use these techniques in a positive way and enhance customer experience.