Cross-selling occurs when you sell other products or services from across your product or service range in addition to your customer’s initial inquiry.  You know that if someone buys a product or service from you, they probably also need another product or service.  So make sure you ask them, each and every time.

To help you create cross-selling opportunities within your business, go over every major product o service and ask:

  • What else can I offer the customer to go with this purchase?
  • What else could I offer that would add value and make the use of this product or service better?
  • What else, when coupled with this product or service, would help them get the most of out it?

From here you can create ‘cross-selling checklists’ for each item.  These checklists can give you guidance as to what best to suggest to customers. It should also become compulsory, a ‘performance standard’ for every single sale.  Fast food chain giant McDonalds knows full well the financial value of cross-selling!

You can even present a checklist to customers after they’ve decided on their purchase. I.e, “So that we can help you best, is it okay if we run through a quick checklist just to make sure we’ve covering everything you need?”

Another idea: Focus on cross-selling just one item every month or week.  For example, you could offer a ‘monthly or weekly special’ to every single customer every time for that month.  This item would be one of your ‘what everybody needs’ type of products or services.  Offer it with every purchase.  Be comfortable asking this question because in effect, you may be saving the customer money.  If the customer says no, it doesn’t matter.  You already have a sale in any case.  And if the customers do say no, you still know you’ve given them a better service by asking if they need anything else.

Many people will find it easier to say yes than no.  This is particularly true if the item has a low dollar cost.  And you don’t really need to increase each sale by much to have it significantly affect your profitability.  Because of that, you could offer every customer a low dollar item special.  And if you know the item is a good one, that’ll be of some value, you can feel confident that this is adding value and truly offering service.  Some people feel that adding on products or services to a sale is being a bit pushy.  However, it is vital to understand that you can only truly serve your customers if you fulfil their needs and delight them with the outcome of their purchase. 

It’s also important to note that these items would otherwise have been purchased elsewhere if the customer hadn’t been reminded.