How many times have you gone shopping with a specific product in mind, but ended up spending more? Wouldn’t you love it if the same happened with every person who buys from you? If you can master cross selling, this could soon be a reality.
Cross-selling means selling add-on purchases that complement your customer’s primary purchase. An example could be selling a customer a phone case to go with their new smartphone.
You should know that cross-selling isn’t about manipulating customers. It’s most effective when you stick to extra items the customer would have a genuine interest in anyway. Step over that almost invisible line, and you’ll look pushy and transparent.
Obviously the goal to increase your sales by learning how to cross-sell. But there are also genuine benefits for the customer as well. Customers will appreciate being offered an item that’ll complement what they’ve just bought, because they may not have thought of it themselves.
Here are seven tips to help you master the art of cross-selling to your customers:
1. Get prepared
Make sure you’ve built a range of products that complement each other. Then it really is as simple as just remembering to ask customers whether they want the extra item. Note that your cross-sell item should be cheaper than the original product, and something that only takes a quick buying decision. The more complex the product and the way you need to explain it, the more difficult your sell will be.
2. Position wisely
Learn from supermarkets all over the world, there’s a reason they always have chewing gum and chocolate bars by the check-out. Placing a cheap impulse item where people queue is enough in itself to prompt a purchase. Aim to use the cheapest items most likely to complement your best-selling products.
Tempting offers such as ‘free delivery on products more than N20,000’ incentivize customers to just buy that little bit more. You might also try a discount or gift voucher for orders over a certain amount, or use a reward card and double loyalty points (or similar) for a certain spend.
4. Bundle up
The consumer feels like they’re making a saving on stuff they would possibly buy — or at least want — anyway. Find that golden price tag that feels like a bargain buy while still earning you a tidy profit. Then make the offer glaringly obvious to customers and place all the products included right next to each other.
5. Expert recommendations
If you don’t have any control over the copy on the products you sell, leverage expert opinion on which two or three products are most effective when used together. The expert can be you if needed; you know your niche better than your customer (hopefully!), so cite that knowledge.
6. During the pitch
If you’re pitching to a customer face-to-face, whether in the meeting room or from the cosmetics counter of a department store, you get the chance to plant your cross-sell seeds early. In the primary stages of the pitch, as you draw out your prospect’s pain points, keep mental notes on everything even as you focus your pitch around one big issue. When you get to the close, throw those early pain points back in with products you have to fix them.
7. Discounted second buy
The title favorite ‘Buy two get the one free’ has the same idea behind it. But as long as the add-on you offer is something your customer is likely to lust after a little, and the discount you offer doesn’t negate your profit margin on it, it can be worth taking the hit of that slightly slimmer profit on item two, just to double your sales per transaction — particularly during slower sales periods.
Cross-selling reinforces the value your company provides to the customer. However, beware of becoming greedy, as you then risk losing the repeat business or referrals.
Ultimately, the cross-selling opportunity must always be driven by a desire to serve your customer best. Do cross-selling right, and you’ll have more satisfied customers.
The result: Long-term loyalty, along with a boost to your bottom line. Happy selling!