Step 3 - Crank up Revenue With Cross-Selling

Intensify the brand-building impact of client promotions and maximize the revenue you earn on orders through strategic cross-selling

Go Beyond The Request: When buyers have particular products they want, some reps are happy to simply fulfill the orders. That contentedness, however, potentially does the client – and the rep – a disservice. Additional products may help add significant fuel to the client’s promotional fire. So, instead of being an order taker, be a consultant who suggests complementary items that power up a campaign’s promotional punch.

Know The Need: To deliver promotion-enhancing add-on items, thoroughly understand your client. Ask questions that enable you to grasp the buyer’s brand image, goals and end-user demographics. Ask about price point, distribution, seasonality, functionality and more. Take all this into account along with the primary product they are purchasing, then narrow down the add-on item choices to a select few.

Be Proportionate: If you buy a $150 bicycle and then the clerk tries to sell you a wheel set that costs $800, your response might be, “Are you kidding me?” Many sales pros say that items you cross-sell should not increase the overall order charge by more than 25% of what the buyer would have paid for just the original item.

Get Your Timing Right: Make sure you are connecting clients with the main item(s) they need before attempting to interest them in additional products.

Leverage Technology: On your website, feature content about products that make great pairings. Post about complementary items on your Facebook page. In e-blasts and e-newsletters, share testimonials and success stories involving multi-product orders. This gives buyers a feel for the range of offerings you can provide, while positioning you as an expert.

Case Study: Cross-Selling Success

Matt Gledhill strives to see things through his clients’ eyes. Doing so has made cross-selling second nature for the VP of sales and marketing at Walker Advertising (asi/354440). “When I’m working on projects, I ask myself, ‘What other quality products will portray the client’s brand well?’” he says.

Recently, Gledhill seized on an aerospace company’s interest in high-end leather items and pitched a product the buyer had never considered: A leather lanyard. “They placed an order the same day I presented it,” he says.

What an order it was: 500 lanyards for $12,000.

Cross-Sell Combos

Some products go together like bread and butter. Consider pitching:

  • Pens and Calendars: “End-users prefer calendars with room for notes, so a pen is a great add-on,” says Melissa Ralston, BIC Graphic’s (asi/40480) director of marketing.
  • Sports Bags and Water Bottles: “This is a great combo when signing up new gym members, or welcoming new team members,” says Ralston.
  • T-Shirts and Hoodies: When the temperature cools, wearers use the hooded sweatshirt. When it warms, they remove the hoody and are comfy in the tee.
  • Magnets and …: Magnets pair well with a wealth of items, including pizza cutters. “To drive loyalty,” says Ralston, “a pizza shop can give away a magnet with a pizza cutter.”
  • Techy Pairings: “Consider a tablet case with a stylus pen or a myCharge power bank with travel earbuds for frequent travelers or executives,” says Ralston. Similarly, look to sell earbuds with Bluetooth speakers, says Reggie Gonzalez, VP of sales at iClick (asi/62124).

Watch This:
Watch this video featuring Tony Gattari, business author and speaker, for tips and a real-world example of cross-selling.

Read This:
Read The Big Book of Sales Games by Peggy Carlaw & Vasudha Deming for games that help develop selling techniques.

Action Items:
❑Look for additional ROI-driving items you can sell to top clients given the products they typically purchase and the types of promotions they do.
❑ Attempt cross-selling with at least one buyer this month.

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