The power of cross-selling – appeal to your customers without harassing them

by on July 23, 2010

The power of cross-selling to loyal customers

The power of cross-selling to loyal customers

Cross-selling is the practice of of selling an additional product or service to your existing customer base.

In the marketing world, it is generally agreed that customer loyalty is HUGE – 80% of sales come from 20% of your customer base.

A loyal customer is much more receptive to buying a new product or service from a company that they already like. The big question is – do your customers know all that your small business can offer them?

So maybe you’re thinking to yourself, of course they do… all my services are already listed on my website. Why would I have to keep on bringing them up?

Because, no matter how much you wish they would, all of your site visitors will not diligently read your services page and tuck away that info for future reference. They might not even make it to your services page at all!

And loyal customers, no matter how much they love you, aren’t going to do the legwork of checking in to see if you have something new to offer.

I personally was very loyal to one service provider. He did great work, and I kept going back to him (and still do!). But, I only knew him for the one service he provided me. I didn’t realize that he offered other services. So when I was looking for assistance for a project, I didn’t even think to contact him, cause I didn’t know he could help me out. Definitely a missed opportunity!

Cross-selling is a fine line, though. We have all had the experience of being “cross-sold” where it was too in your face and definitely not something we were interested in.  Banks and cell phone companies do this all the time, to the point that most of us have stopped listening. It’s just a “sales pitch” and we’ve got better things to do.

So, why not try a “soft” cross-selling approach that is as much about education and awareness as it is about making the sale?

Small business cross-selling tips

Here are some easy ways you can cross-sell all the great things that your company does, without coming on too strong or being too pushy…

  • Make the most of your email signature – highlight a brand new product, list the different services you offer, share an interesting tidbit about a particular offering. Don’t forget to include links to the corresponding page on your website
  • Let your business card do the talking – a business card is not just a little bit of paper with your contact info. Let it be a stand alone info piece about your company… this is a great place to list services. Especially if your company does many different things that aren’t all captured in your company name. People forget easily, let your business card remind them of what the heck you do again.
  • Create a special “cross-sell” call 2 action on your website and highlight different products or services. This helps to reinforce in your site visitor’s mind what you do and link that service with your company. Even if they don’t need that service right now, maybe they will down the road. Wouldn’t it be nice if  your company popped into their minds when asked about someone who does x (insert your service here)?
  • Incorporate cross-selling into your e-mail marketing. Have a featured product or service section included in your emails. And of course, if you have a new product or service, or even just an upgrade or change to existing, email away!
  • Use all your online communications channels to cross-sell. Share case studies, talk about success stories – take the opportunity to start conversations online about all the services and products you offer.

These are just a few ideas. There are many more. What tools do you use to cross-sell to your customers?

Comments, likes and tweets are always appreciated! Did I mention that I LOVE your feedback?


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