Top Tips For Cross-Selling Your Clients
In the hustle of generating fresh leads and attracting new clients, it can be easy to forget the opportunity in cross-selling to existing customers. With the drain on time, effort, and funds it takes to chase one new client, spending time developing relationships that already exist can be a logical and fruitful endeavor.
The following tips will show you how to cross-sell in a way that bolsters your revenue and keeps your clients happy.
Tailor Your Client Plan to Cross-Selling
Cross-selling should be a part of your overall business development and marketing strategy. Whether you evaluate account plans annually or quarterly, spend time auditing existing business. Think about current projects, products, or services provided to clients. What else do they need? Where is there an opportunity to help them? Do they have the funds for more help?
Remember, cross-selling is all about the client. You will not sell them on something not right for their budget or needs. Finding where you can fill a void, or showing clients where a void exists, is an easier sell than pushing an amazing product or service that is not right for them. Craft your business plans with the answers to the questions above in mind and revisit them as often as your clients’ needs change.
Know How to Reach Your Clients
Cross-selling can work through a variety of channels but is often most effective through soft-selling. Soft-selling works well because, unlike a formal presentation, the client does not have the pressures associated with a hard sell. It can feel organic when in the context of a typical discussion about needs or after an off-handed remark about a project. If you meet with a client regularly, look for opportunities to mention what you want to cross-sell in as approachable a way as possible.
If it is hard to gain insight into what the client needs, try selling a service or product that that complements something you already provide for their company. If the client is happy with your work, that satisfaction will make a good case for why they should trust you with something similar.
If your company has workers regularly on a client site, be sure to implement the boots on the ground as an arm of business development. Rather than operating solely at an executive level for business development, encourage workers at all stages to be focused on building solid relationships. This can lead to learning about future plans and projects that you can use to your advantage. Depending on the interaction, jobs may be won with a handshake on the floor. A few minutes of coordination between executive and operations staff internally may have business booming quickly.
Create Marketing Materials
While marketing materials are often seen as second to meeting in person, they are helpful in providing clients a tangible reminder of your products, list of benefits they provide, and success stories that help them envision using your products. While you may need to continue working the sale in-person, marketing will provide another touch point to keep your business and services top of mind for the client.
Creating external communications campaigns with items such as mailers, postcards, and brochures for existing clients provides a clear advantage over campaigns targeting new leads. Use your materials as a way to report back the great work your companies have achieved together, using statistics like number of units sold, efficiencies achieved, dollars saved, or any items important and impressive to your client.
Depending on the type of marketing collateral, include glowing success stories with the service you want to cross-sell and show how you helped another client. This can be a good lead-in to following up with the client to discuss what you can do for them. Carry a few of these materials around to quickly reference the pages and provide the client with a leave-behind after you finish talking.
If your account plans include slowly introducing a client to another product or service over time, be sure to include a list of additional products and services in slide decks and qualifications leading up to the soft-sell, presentation, or pitch.
Present an Alternative Solution
To cross-sell or upsell, present an innovative solution to your customer’s current issue or project. If your business responds to requests for proposals (RFPs), respond to the RFP in its entirety and then add an alternate scope of work or separate proposal. Include pricing for the base and alternate solutions side by side with an explanation of why the alternate would be more effective or efficient. If possible, provide impressive numbers for how much the client can potentially save long-term by choosing the alternate, backed up with line items that provide proof. This same process can be replicated for presentations.
In creating an alternate, you can demonstrate a deep knowledge of your client and their needs, showing a holistic approach to the business and making them feel like you are looking out for them. As you pull the alternate together, be sure to have a thorough understanding of your work with the client, from the intricacies of successful projects to the areas of work that need improvement on your side, that way you can respond if those items arise.
Add an Incentive
Find a way to incentivize your client to choose a new product or service. This can range from offering 25% off of the first year of any additional service they order or receiving a reduced rate when bundling items together. A great way to do this is to promote the incentive by celebrating the client’s status as a preferred customer or framing the deal as a way to say thank you for their existing business. If a milestone for how long you have worked with the customer is on the horizon, mention that in the offer.
Initiate Digital Cross-Selling
If your business is based on internet sales, use targeted marketing to suggest new products or services to clients. For example, if there is a product that complements a top-selling item, send an email or social media advertisement to consumers who bought the top seller. Show how the secondary product furthers the customer’s goals, needs, or effectiveness. Businesses like Amazon continually show the customer suggestions based on previous orders, as well as examples of what other customers bought together.
Follow the Data
Depending on when and where you cross-sell, you could have markedly different results. Track the interactions and learn what works best over time. If online cross-selling is part of your plan, gather data from customer interactions to analyze and tweak the process once you see the numbers. Likewise, track the response of clients in meetings and gauge their reaction to mailers as they come up in conversation.
As client relationships strengthen over time, continue to delve deep into client wants and needs and brainstorm ways to fill them in new and lucrative ways.
Do you have a cross-selling success story? Share it with us in the comments!