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- Cross Selling for Increased Business Opportunities! [ARTICLE]
Cross Selling for Increased Business Opportunities!
The fluid ability of a sales professional to be able to meet a prospects’/customers’ immediate needs, while mentally evaluating other parallel products or services they represent to determine additional ways in which they can further meet those next need levels or opportunities, is the purpose of “cross-selling”.
It is the sale after the sale or the service after the service, that build a deeper relationship and interaction. And this serves to build the connectivity that attracts and keeps customers – keeps a customer as a customer and generates the energy with a customer to become your advocate!
You need to always be on the look-out for relevant selling opportunities in each transaction to present to a contact. You want to be able to evaluate with the given transaction, what other offers they have that can enhance, improve and compliment your existing presentation/offer, at the time of that initial transaction/purchase/recruitment/etc.. You do this as a service to the buyer and not as a mere means of making another sale for the sales sake.
For example, if a person is buying a new tie, you might ask if they have a tie tack. At which point the customer may say no and may also say he doesn’t need or want one. “Cross selling” would then go into motion, by the sales professional saying something like,
“I can appreciate how you feel, the reason I ask is that I wear a tie tack/tie clasp with all my ties and as you can see, you can’t see it. I wear my tie clasp under the tie and clip it against my inner tie and shirt to hold it in one place and now the tie always stay perfectly aligned and no tie jewelry is visible, as I don’t like the outwardly visible either.”
This intrigue may work powerfully at getting the buyer to now accept another product offering to compliment their initial purchase.
The holds true if you are engaging a prospect about joining/enlisting in your organization, by asking at the time of the presentation,
“As you consider this decision to join/enlist, there are probably a few great people that look to you for your direction and that you would probably enjoy sharing this experience with, who should we also be talking to after we finalize this paper work?”
“Let’s get you on-boarded into the organization and then let’s set a time for us to reconnect, at that time it will be appropriate to outline several other benefits you can draw upon as a member of the organization…?”
You must recognize the appropriate cross selling items or which products/services you offer that have obvious cross selling opportunity and role play some of those as examples with another person to build your confidence and proficiency, show them some examples using the Five Step Selling Process (Claim-Fact/Feature-Benefit-Naildown sequence).
Every customer contact is an opportunity to meet their needs, if you do a thorough job in the Inquiry stage of the selling process to uncover their needs (immediate, intermediate and future), then in the Presentation stage, several options can be presented.
Instead of, “you may need this” the conversation may be more like, “along with this, you also may want to consider getting this and this also with it.”
You are always looking at the totality of needs that can be fulfilled with the totality of products/services they represent, all with the best interest of the customer in mind.
If you are presenting the purchase of a skill development workshop to a prospect and they say yes, then you would potentially “cross sell” them on purchasing books or audio tapes/CDs for everyone as an after the workshop reinforcement to key content information, or eve on an on-line subscription to a self-development portal platform.
You should always be thinking of additional opportunities with every transaction. To make those options available at the time of the initial transaction is not always the best window of additional selling opportunity. So, this may be merely the time when you make a reference for later discussion. You can also cross sell after the transaction as well.
Cross selling can take on many different forms. This can be a valuable and legitimate reason for continued follow-up with clients, ensuring they are aware of additional ways to enhance their last transaction with you, and thus build a better and deeper relationship with them. Consider reconnections:
- You can use new product/service introductions as a reason to stay in contact with new and established customers and let them know of new offerings, if they would like to make that purchase, upgrade, etc. …
- You can use new product/service introductions as a reason to stay in contact with new and established customers and let them know of new offerings, if they would like to make that purchase, upgrade, etc. … And, then use this legitimate re- connection as an opportunity as and when appropriate to solicit “referrals” from them and their vast network, personally and professionally …
- Leveraging yourself as a Subject-Matter-Expert and always reflecting on ways to share your unique industry, marketplace opportunities, or perspectives on how to utilize your organizations deliverable’s more effectively so the client can gain additional ROIs ...
- Leveraging your colleagues as Subject-Matter-Expert and always reflecting on ways to share their unique industry, marketplace opportunities, or perspectives on how to utilize your organizations deliverable’s more effectively so the client can gain additional ROIs ...
- Leveraging yourself as a Subject-Matter-Expert and always reflecting on ways to share your data base strategically for introductions within the industry and marketplace opportunities so the client can gain additional ROIs ...
- Use your existing relationship as an opportunity to explore other services or deliverables that you may have that may enhance their professional needs for an upgrade in the relationship or horizontal add-on of other deliverables that you may have …
- Always be evaluating the marketplace for other suppliers, vendors, manufacturers, etc. that may have a deliverable that can be added or combined to what you have connected to your client on, and by your client acquiring that deliverable it enhances what they have or provide to their subsequent customers or enhances their marketplace position …
- Examine the form of the deliverable that you are providing the marketplace and any specific customer, then evaluate whether you have or could create a new deliverable that enhances what the client is doing with you, and this cross-sale strengthens your relationship and generates additional revenue streams …
Example: If you are engaged in professional-personal development by attending a human capital development on-site training program and gain value from that experience, this would be the initial sale activity. Then if there were on-line learning and development portal self-driven courseware programs and the person you did or are doing business with lets you know about this additional opportunity, as an additional way to increase your skill set and thus marketplace value, you would want to know and consider this, this would be the first follow-up cross selling opportunity.
Then, sometime into the future, if there were a release of new resource (book, audio, on-line program, coaching, master-mind collaboration groups, improved live on-site program, etc.) these would all be additional cross selling opportunities.
I could design regular touch-points to keep my name in front of the client or marketplace through penning regular, high value, content rich articles or article series/column that can be delivered via social media/internet subscription (free or for a fee) or traditional hard copy distribution that reinforce the spirit, theme, reason for the initial client interaction …
Completely fulfilling a customers’ need with all products/services offered by your organization/department is the responsibility of a professional sales representative and sales leader.
Another means to fulfilling legitimate prospect/customer needs from a cross-selling perspective may be to deploy the Business Integration Grid™ (BIG) discussed in previous PERFORMANCE DRIVEN SELLING® programs, training, on-line courseware and this series (www.JeffreyMagee.com). Consider:
- The contacts you have that you are doing business with and the appropriate services or deliverables they would need connected to what they are doing business with you on, that another non-competing entity or vendor provides. Now image you had a forged referral relationship with those non-competing entity or vendors (partnerships, collaborations, alliance-partners). That based off of the relationship you have and the trust factor established you could now recommend services and deliverables from another entity that would serve them in their needs and at the same time generate an additional free revenue stream to you and your organization!
- Now, explore the same BIG model in reverse. The contacts and customers that these partners (collaborations, partnership, alliance partnerships) already have relationships with, brainstorm the massive business development opportunities that may be present and strategize which ones that they are doing business with and the appropriate services or deliverables that you have that they would need, and build a campaign to connect to them. Now image you had a forged referral relationship with those non-competing entity or vendors. That based off of the relationship you have and the trust factor established with them, and their respective trust factor to their clients, you could now recommend services and deliverables that would serve them in their needs and at the same time generate an additional free revenue stream to you and your organization – and additional revenue streams to those partnered organizations!
I was dinning at a restaurant attraction in Austin Texas, customers were driven to the venue as conference and vacationers to the community, as well as locals. In the lobby, they had a large caldron where people were dropping in their business cards, there must have been thousands. When I asked what the management what they were doing with them, they responded nothing – ouch. They also had a smart phone app people could down load for access to the venue, when I asked what they were doing with all of these contacts they responded nothing – ouch.
The missed opportunities for cross-selling (and even up-selling) opportunities are limitless, here are just a few:
- The store had an on-site gift shop just feet away from their entrance and the caldron of business cards, with customized items, these could be pre and post follow-up sell items or give away.
- The restaurant could look at their business analytics and determine what days and times maybe they had low, slow sales and drive marketing selling campaigns and incentives to local traffic to come in during those hours and days, to increase over-all revenue streams …
- They could have a marketing staffer or team analyze cards for types of people, titles, organizations for targeted marketing campaigns, catering business opportunities, and meeting planner group selling offerings…
These are just some of the easy examples of ways to cross sale opportunities. Again, completely fulfilling a customers’ need with all products/services offered by your organization/department and from those that you can pre-vet as legitimate, is the responsibility of a professional sales representative and sales leader.
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