Karen Ullah, Sales Director at Daisy SMB Services, shares her top tips for effective cross-selling.
The declining state of the economy during the recession crippled large sections of the UK business community, and is continuing to dictate the futures of a large number of companies. Looking forward, companies are now having to adopt alternative sales techniques in order to hit their trading targets. But as revenues shrink and customer’s wallets tighten, spending on further marketing activity is simply out of the question.
One way to increase sales quickly is by targeting customer bases that you are already selling products or services to; this is called cross or up-selling. The idea of this is to sell another product or service alongside the original offering, ultimately gaining more income.
Here are my top tips to help you increase sales:
Before you even begin to attempt cross selling you need to make sure your staff are fully trained and know your product portfolio back to front. Some companies invest hours training their staff, acting out possible sales scenario, ensuring workers know which products go hand in hand. Confidence is key here. It’s also important to make sure that the item you’re cross-selling is cheaper than the product they’ve already purchased; you’ll have considerably more success this way.
I cannot stress the importance of timing when it comes to cross-selling. Whatever you do – don’t start selling before you’ve closed the original sale or you run the risk of losing it! Additional items are much easier to sell once the customer has made a decision, whatever it may be. For example, if they didn’t like one of your cheaper products you can then encourage them to purchase the most expensive option as you have an understanding of their needs and budget.
Creating limited time offers is also a subtle but rewarding technique, as it prompts your customer into immediate action; they get the feeling of “I need to get this offer while I can”. However, it’s important to make sure this is a genuine offer as customers have become aware of the ‘DFS sale technique’.
What you mustn’t do when cross-selling is add extra items to the customer’s bill just for the sake of it. It’s extremely important that you pitch relevant products or services that the customer will have a genuine interest in, helping them to solve a particular problem. At Daisy, for example, we know that users who utilise a fast broadband service will gain a far better experience from their VoIP solution, so that’s why we pitch the products together.
There’s no better way of selling a product or service to a customer than highlighting a recommendation or review from a previous customer. The feedback helps the product appear safe and exactly how you’re describing it. Giving a product some personality always helps with the selling process.
Bundles and incentives
It’s no secret that everyone loves a bargain. It doesn’t matter if it’s a discount, free delivery or part of a package deal, customers like these sorts of offers. You might want to create an online deal where you offer free delivery on orders more than £40, increasing the chances of further customer spend. Incentives help give customers that final little push.
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Amazon was arguably the first major firm to really take this concept to the mass market and boy, has it worked wonders for its figures! This technique is especially useful for online retail outlets, in particular, fashion stores. For example, if someone buys a jumper you can then put ‘this outfit goes well with’ next to the product. Like Amazon, you can pay for a service to automate recommendations on your website, alternatively, you can do it manually.