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, highly effective marketing practices utilized by a wide variety of industries.
What is 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 a McDonald’s 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. Paid an hourly wage to sell the shoes, I received a commission whenever I sold an accessory item such as shoe polish, socks or purses. I took to cross-selling like a duck to water.
Some shortsighted salespeople might suggest customers are irritated by cross-selling and perceive it as an aggressive sales technique but, interestingly enough, consumer research indicates the reverse is true. The majority of consumers surveyed actually preferred a full range of products and services and appreciate the convenience provided through a comprehensive cross-selling approach. Top producers understand the power of cross-selling and recognize it as a critical component for promoting both customer retention and revenue growth.