How to Increase Sales with Cross Selling: A Beginner’s Guide
In the world of small business, getting customers to spend more on your products and services is a top priority. Luckily, cross selling can help you achieve this goal. This sales technique involves promoting complementary products or services to customers, either during or after their initial purchase. By providing additional options that align with their needs or interests, cross selling aims to enhance the customer’s experience and increase the overall value of the sale.
What is Cross Selling?
Cross selling is a sales technique where businesses promote related products or services to customers, based on their previous or current purchase. This strategy can be employed in both physical and digital retail settings. In a physical retail setting, cross selling can be as simple as suggesting an upgrade to a customer’s purchase. For example, if a customer is buying a computer at an electronics store, the salesperson might suggest an upgrade to the computer’s memory, enhancing its performance. In a digital retail setting, cross selling is often implemented through prompts that suggest complementary products based on what other customers have purchased. For instance, online shopping platforms often display messages like “customers also bought this” or “frequently bought together” to introduce shoppers to related products.
The Benefits of Cross Selling
When executed thoughtfully, cross selling can provide customers with comprehensive solutions to their needs, while simultaneously increasing the average transaction value for your business. By offering complementary products or services, you can enhance the customer’s overall experience and meet their additional needs. This not only leads to increased customer satisfaction but also boosts your revenue. In fact, cross selling is a proven strategy that has helped companies like Amazon achieve up to 35% of their sales.
Now that you understand the basics of cross selling, let’s explore some strategies that both brick-and-mortar and online retailers can use to implement this technique effectively.
Section 1: Showcase Accessories
One of the simplest yet effective cross selling strategies is to showcase accessories that can be bought alongside the main product. This can be done in both physical and digital retail settings. For example, if you own an electronics store, consider placing memory cards, charging cables, and upgraded batteries near the display units that feature computers. In an online store, you can create separate pages and use keywords like “computer accessories” to guide users to relevant products. Additionally, featuring a tab at the top of your website can make navigation simple and help you achieve your cross selling objectives.
Section 2: Give Examples
Sometimes, the best way to explain cross selling is by giving real-world examples. Think about your own experiences as a customer and how cross selling has been applied to you. For instance, when you visit a fast-food restaurant like McDonald’s, you often encounter cross selling when the counter person asks if you would like a dessert or if you’re interested in their latest “meal deal.” Training your employees on the value and techniques behind cross selling is crucial, especially in a physical retail setting. For example, salespeople selling windows for home renovation companies should emphasize the added savings customers will get on their heating and cooling costs.
Section 3: Separate Lanes
It’s important to differentiate between cross selling and up-selling to ensure effective targeting of your sales pitches. While cross selling involves offering related products, up-selling aims to sell the client something more expensive or upgraded. By keeping these techniques separate, you can tailor your approach based on the customer’s needs and preferences. For instance, in our computer store example, cross selling would involve suggesting accessories like a mouse or keyboard, while up-selling would entail promoting a computer with better built-in features like a touch screen.
Section 4: Get the Timing Down
Timing is crucial when utilizing digital techniques, especially emails, to implement cross selling strategies. Sending the right message at the right time can significantly impact the success of your cross selling efforts. For example, if you have sold web design services to a client, you might want to follow up with another email a week later, emphasizing the importance of good content and copywriting. By analyzing the open, click, and reply rates of your emails, you can automate the system and adjust the timing to increase conversions.
Additional Cross Selling Techniques
In addition to the strategies mentioned above, here are a few more techniques that are easy to implement and have proven to be effective in increasing sales:
– Bundle Items: Offer sets of complementary items together, either at a discounted rate or as a suggested combination. Online, you can use prompts like “frequently bought together” to guide customers. In-store, offer discounts on packages of related items.
– Use the Right Language: Engage customers by using personal and individualized language that helps them imagine how they might use the additional products or services. Words like “yours” and “you” can be powerful tools to create a connection and enhance the cross-selling experience.
– Set Limitations: Create a sense of urgency or scarcity to prompt quicker purchasing decisions. For example, by indicating that there are only a limited number of a specific item available, you can stimulate sales.
– User-Generated Content: Leverage customer reviews and testimonials to build trust and support your cross-selling efforts. Positive reviews and user photos can help alleviate any doubts or concerns customers may have and reinforce the value of related products.
– Know Your Target Market: Regularly analyze and adjust your strategies based on your target audience’s behavior, preferences, and feedback. Utilize social media insights and website analytics to gain a better understanding of your customers’ preferences, and adjust your product placements and recommendations accordingly.
In summary, cross selling is a powerful sales technique that can help small businesses increase revenue and enhance the customer experience. By implementing strategies such as showcasing accessories, giving examples, separating cross selling from up-selling, mastering timing, and utilizing the right language, you can effectively cross sell your products or services. Remember to monitor and analyze the results of your efforts continuously, and adjust your strategies based on your target market’s preferences and behavior.