Is cross-selling part of your marketing & sales strategy?

Cross–selling is the method of promoting additional products/services to customers in order to achieve increased profits. Cross-selling techniques include product recommendations, offers and special discounts on related products.

Let’s take a look at some examples:

  • A woman is interested in buying a dress and the salesperson is also suggesting her to buy a pair of shoes that goes well with it.
  • A tax services client is advised and convinced to also buy consulting services from your company.
  • Fast-food restaurants offering meal options, including fries and a drink, when buying a burger.
  • Product suggestions on e-shops.
  • ‘Buy the look’ options available on fashion online shops.

Tips for effective cross-selling

For cross-selling to be successful, it is necessary that your sales team has excellent knowledge of the brand’s products and services. Training should be provided to all engaged professionals on how and when to use cross-selling techniques. KPIs should also be set in order to measure performance and outcomes.

A pitch should be prepared for each complementary product/service to be promoted. Suggestions by salespeople for the purchase of additional items should make sense and add value to the customer. It is very important to avoid recommending unrelated products just for the sake of it.

Always serve clients with integrity. If a customer prefers to proceed with only what they initially intended to buy, don’t push them for additional purchases. Don’t make them feel that you only care about making some extra money. Adopt a customer-centric approach and keep your clients happy.

Provide incentives to your sales team. Create an incentive scheme to encourage your salespeople to achieve higher profits through cross-selling. Recognise achievements and reward high performers.

For eCommerce, there are a number of techniques that can be used such as customised product suggestions under the labels: ‘You may also like‘, ‘Others also bought‘, or ‘Buy the look‘ options. Additional in-product recommendations (i.e. tick to add a mobile case for your new mobile phone) can also be provided during a customer’s online purchase. Tracking the performance of each technique allows you to understand what works best in order to provide more options around it.

Begin with targeting your existing client base. Targeting current clientele can lead to higher sales in a shorter time compared to attracting new buyers. The reason is that existing customers have already developed a certain level of trust towards your brand, thus they are probably easier to convince to buy additional products/services.

Increase your business revenue

Cross-selling can help you increase your business revenue, while requiring small extra efforts or costs. It will definitely not be successful with all customers though it can result to some extra sales.

This method should not be the only one to rely on for increased profits, however it can still form part of your overall strategy.

With the right approach, good focus and employees’ expertise, cross-selling can boost growth and profitability.


The opinions expressed on this site are my own and do not in any way reflect the views of my current or any previous employers.

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