I can’t tell you how often I see salespeople that neglect the art of cross-selling. Cross-selling is where you sell your client add on products or services that typically enhance the initial purchase. The key is to get your customers to buy more items. Doing this increases the total purchase and your commission. If you’re not a master of cross-selling you are taking money out of your own pocket.

Adding on to a sale is ten times easier than closing an entirely new sale. Everyone’s heard the saying work smarter not harder. Cross-selling is a form of working smarter. You’ve already done the hardest part, closing the sale, so everything else is downhill. Sometimes cross-selling can equate to multiplying a ticket many times. It’s all about how effective you are and how much time you are willing to put in. Most sales novices don’t see the value in suggestive selling because they tried it once and failed or only saw a small increase not worth their time. Consistently cross-selling will skyrocket your sales.

Mastering the cross-sell was one of the major factors that helped grow the business I was managing 24.4% year over year. You too can master the art of the cross-sell because the main requirement is effort. Set yourself up for success by asking the right questions (check out my post on the best questions to ask your customers) and connecting with the customer (check out my post on why customer connection is so important).. If you establish trust first, you’re going to be a lot more successful. Think of cross-selling as a recommendation. You’re recommending the add ons that you know will increase customer satisfaction. You’ll only be able to do this if you are engaging and finding out the main problem that the client is trying to solve. That’s the best way to sell is when you have a full understanding of your client’s needs, wants, and problems.

Common Sins of the Cross-Sell

The first thing you have to do is understand that people will buy more. This is a common mistake I see salespeople make. I hear the excuse, “the customer is already at their max budget.” This is how a sales novice responds to a budget objection…

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Don’t be that salesperson! I love asking those salespeople, “do you think your customer gave you their last dollar for whatever it is you’re selling?” Absolutely not! Consumer’s last dollars are saved for food, water, and shelter aka essentials for survival. Not only that but people want to buy more and will buy more. So why not from you? If you’re giving the client the best customer experience possible, don’t you deserve to have them buy more from you? Think about it.

3 Reasons Why Customers Love Cross-Selling

It’s important to know why cross-selling benefits the consumer.

  1. Adding on enhances the initial purchase. Add ons increase the overall happiness and the customer experience. Think of every video game console. When customers buy more games, controllers, headsets, etc. it makes the gaming experience so much better. The same could be said for any product or service.
  2. Convenience. Sales masters inform customers of problems they never even knew they had and then offer the solution. I always use my laptop purchasing experience for this. When I purchased my laptop the biggest problem I was trying to solve was speed. My old laptop was the slowest laptop in America… it actually won awards for it! The salesperson helping me sold me on a faster laptop but stopped after that. I got home and realized that the laptop worked great but it took me forever to scroll, click, and navigate pages. I had to go back and buy a wireless mouse. If this salesperson would have mentioned a potential problem in page navigation speed and offered me the add on wireless mouse I would have instantly bought it. One more minute would’ve meant more commission for that salesperson and I would’ve been happier with my purchase.
  3. More Confidence, less buyer’s remorse. Consumers want to know they’re making a sound decision. People decide to buy when their confidence in value is higher than the price of the purchase. If they know that your suggestive add ons will enhance their purchase, it’ll increase their confidence which reduces buyer’s remorse. Every salesperson knows how awful a customer cancellation is. Buyer’s remorse happens when confidence fades and customers no longer believe the value was worth the price they paid. I recommend understanding why customers buy in the first place, check out my post on it here.

6 Steps to Mastering the Cross-Sell

There are a few ways that will make you more effective at cross-selling. Depending on your industry, you’ll probably have to tweak a few of these but here’s what helped my success.

  1. Persistence. This is the most important step for mastering your cross-selling game. Attempting to cross-sell each and every customer will take work but it’ll pay off. Sometimes it’ll result in a little increase but sometimes you hit some home runs and multiply your ticket many times over.
  2. Don’t limit yourself. Don’t limit yourself to whatever project your client is focusing on. The most success I see is when people optimize the current project and then move on to the next one. Also, never be the one to stop the shopping spree! If a client’s spending let them be the ones to tell you they’re done.
  3. State the reasons why. You’ll be more successful if you give your client a reason to do all the projects at once vs. one by one. Mention how they’ll save money, time, and the inconvenience from going one by one.
  4. Create a hook. You can get people on the hook by incorporating excitement combined with getting the client’s attention. A simple hook could look like, “hey, can I show you how to enhance the functionality of this?” You can obviously tailor it to your industry and make it more advanced. After you set the hook you lead into step 5 with a current problem client’s face to create the need.
  5. Create the problem. I know I mentioned this earlier but you have to start creating problems and more so mentioning the problems your clients will most likely encounter. Your verbiage is important with this because you don’t want to diminish the initial purchase but enhance it. Always offer the solution and ask for the sale!
  6. If you think you shouldn’t attempt the cross-sell, see step 1. Get that weak shit out of here! You become a master at this by attempting to cross-sell each and every single customer. End of story.

Be Prepared for Objections

Now, you’re going to get push back and objections (find out the easiest to overcome objections here). Make sure that you keep your composure and provide a solution to that objection. Sometimes you’ll have to get pretty creative and pain a picture.

The most common objections to cross-selling are price and holding off. Preparing for these will allow you to slice through these objections like butter. When you get objections use social proof and state what the client gets out of the add ons (or state the reason why, step 3). Also, make sure to always make it about the client. It’s not about you but about the client and their wants, needs, and problems they’re trying to solve. Finally, set yourself up for success. If you neglect this you are taking money out of your pocket. You deserve that commission so you can rest easy!

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Let these recommendations be a way to help skyrocket your sales and grow your business. It’s a no brainer because it requires zero money, only effort, so the return on investment is high. Be sure to check out the second half of this post on how upselling will skyrocket your sales!

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Go now and master the cross-sell!

Cody Cameron