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Sales Strategies

How Up-selling and Cross-Selling Can Increase Your Revenues with Minimal Efforts

Try to up-sell or cross-sell which can genuinely add value to customer's purchase
How Up-selling and Cross-Selling Can Increase Your Revenues with Minimal Efforts
Image credit: Shutterstock
6 min read

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

When I say up-selling, you might have a mental image of a salesman trying to sell a costly air conditioner. But the fact is, a majority of companies have adopted this method, and they have increased their revenues.

Often people get confused with these two terms:

Upselling and Cross-selling

Both of them have been very impressive methods to increase revenues, but there’s a fundamental difference between these two. Let’s understand:

Up-selling is a method of sales to generate more revenue by selling a customer an expensive version of the product. For example: Selling iPhone 7 with 15% discount instead of iPhone 6.

On the other hand, cross-selling is a method of selling other products which are related to the main product.

For ex: Selling accessories like headphones or smart watch with the main product, and increase revenue.

Both these methods will significantly raise your company’s revenue. But, many a times, companies forget the motive behind Upselling.

Building Customer Relationship

Companies sometimes, miss the whole point of Upselling and Cross-selling. Sales representatives try to sell something with everything, they forget it’s not just about increasing revenue, it’s also about building customer satisfaction.

Try to Up-sell or Cross-sell which can genuinely add value to customer’s purchase. Try to Cross-sell a product which is useful to the customer, not just to increase revenue.

For example: A few months back, I went to purchase a laptop. The sales guy offered me a deal:

“Sir, would you also like to buy a hard disk along with the laptop?”

Now, I was already buying a $1200 laptop with 1TB storage. I don’t have to spend $150 for storage. That’s a wrong Cross-sell.

On the other hand, he could have offered me a laptop sleeve for $20. I need that to protect the laptop. That would have been a right Cross-sell.

Here are some ways to apply Up-selling or Cross-selling:

Customer’s Need is Your Chance to Sell More

SaaS industry is a very good example of this method. Platforms like Dropbox ask their customers to upgrade to an advanced plan to utilize new features. A customer here is already using Dropbox but to make use of more storage he has to upgrade to a specific plan.

Another example is Grammarly. It is one of the finest tools for grammar checking, but it only shows basic grammar errors in the free plan. To find out Advanced issues of grammar, a customer has to upgrade to a monthly or an annual plan.

On the other hand, Grammarly provides other services like ready templates, plagiarism checker, etc. These services lift the chances of Upselling the package.

Here, Grammarly is definitely asking the customers to upgrade, but on the other hand it is providing quality services to the customers which are relevant. For example, any writer who is connected with content, would love to see if his content is plagiarized or not.

Pick the Right Moment:

Better to strike the iron when it’s hot. There no point in offering an another product or an accessory when moment has passed. Amazon seems the right example of this method.

Here’s the thing: If you search for any product, Amazon will show you “Frequently Bought Together” items. Search for an iPhone, it will show you mobile case, toughen glass, display protector in the suggestion. Amazon will fuse all these things with iPhone, and provide you a complete package.

Now, there are very fewer chances of Amazon selling things like display protector individually. It’s necessity for a customer to buy the display protector, but he would have completed that task from a local store. But, displaying such accessory at the right time, will increase the cart total.

Provide the Right Offer:

Upsell or Cross-sell would be useless if the customer won’t find any use out of it. It’s better to stick with customer’s requirements. Rather than offering, 55 inch LED TV to a guy who is looking for a medium sized television, it’s better to offer a 32 inch TV with a music system (with few percent discount of course!).

The point is to know your ranges when you Upsell or Cross-sell anything.

Existing Customers Over New Customers

According to a famous book - Marketing Metrics,

Probability of Upselling to a new customer hovers between 5 to 20%.

Probability of Upselling to an existing customer hovers between 60 to 70%.

If we talk about new customers, it’s better to educate them about your product/platform first, rather than Upselling or Cross-selling. Customers will always sense when you try to Upsell, and it’s not a good first impression to emboss on new customers.

On the other hand, existing customers have experienced your platform/product. If you Upsell them with right offers, there are higher chances of getting success.

Give Milestones to the Customers:

When you provide exclusive offers to customers, they feel extremely special and connected with you company. To Upsell to these customers, you can use various methods like:

  1. You have completed 2 years with our platform. Exclusive 60% off to upgrade to our Gold package.
  2. You have been awarded as a “Gold Customer” based on your usage of our services. You’ll get free delivery services for an entire year on the upgradation of our Silver Plan.
  3. Thank you for constantly choosing our Airways. You have been offered 50% off to upgrade to our Business Class package.

One such example is here:

Use your NPS:

Net Promoter Score happens to be a great tool for customer feedbacks and customer satisfaction. But, it can be wisely used for Upselling and Cross-selling.

One our dearest customers - John, rated 5 out 5 in our monthly feedback programme. We offered him our Platinum Plan with 20% discount, and the Upsell was successfully done. Choose customers who have rated your product, and are happy with your services. If you offer a another great deal, that bond will be stronger, with an Upsell of course!

Bottom Line:

Upselling and Cross-selling are proven methods to elevate sales and revenue. Using them in the right way can bring a lot to your table.

8 Keys to Coming Off as the Expert in Whatever You Sell