The thumb rule for translating simple transactions into sales opportunities

From financial services to quick service restaurants, ecommerce portals to retail chains, every brand loves the idea of cross selling and up selling. But very do it right.


The dictionary definitions of cross sell and up sell amount to the same thing – getting the customer to spend more money. The difference in successfully doing it without being pushy and leaving the customer annoyed lies in how it is executed by your front line.


Here are some ways in which brands can get it right:


Consent is key

Before your team launches into a sales pitch seconds after closing a sale, it is important to get the customer’s consent. If your customer is having a bad day or is rushed, your pitch will only serve as wastage of time and will annoy him. Ask for permission before you cross or up sell.


Be relevant and on the ball

Products and services suggested through up selling and cross selling should be relevant to the customer's needs. Effective up and cross selling is essentially a consultant’s role, not a salesperson’s. It requires that your service associates switch personas accordingly. Up selling and cross selling must always come from a strategy that spots and fulfils real needs, instead of simply making an attempt to push a product without much concern for how it fits.


This often translates to not relying on scripts to determine how to move forward with the pitch. It means listening to your customer’s unmet needs – things they don’t necessarily say – and consult them on the way forward. For instance, if you are a tech retail brand and your customer comes to you to buy batteries for an older version of an iPhone for two months in a row. It is a good time to identify his or her need for either a new iPhone or just a phone with a better battery life. Anybody’s guess which way this conversation needs to be headed.


Being pushy only ensures that your customers bolt

If you incentivize your service associates on each cross or up sell, they are very likely to get pushy to close the pitch. It might mean a one off additional sale but in the long run, can only harm your brand. Train your service associates on how to persist without pushing and incentivize intelligently.


Brands must remember that cross selling and upselling test the value they bring to the table. Eventually, they should come from the space of giving your customers the best service experience, not just closing a sale.

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