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Cross-selling involves offering your customer a complementary or supplementary product to the one they have already purchased. In simple terms, you’re asking them to buy an extra product that’s related to the one (or ones) they have picked up from you.
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Here are a few examples of cross-selling in practice:
  • Suggesting that your customer also buys a pair of trousers to match the suit they just bought. Or selling them cufflinks that’ll help bind the cuffs of a shirt they’ve purchased.
  • Offering bed sheets and pillowcases in addition to beds and pillows.
  • Asking a customer who’s bought a smartphone to also buy a protective case for it.
Online stores often have ‘related products’ or items ‘customers also bought’ displayed on their product pages, alongside the one a visitor has ordered. For instance, if you buy a pair of shoes from an eCommerce store, it’s not unlikely that you’ll see shoe polish displayed to you shortly after. The aim here is to get the visitor to buy one or some of those related products as well.

Cross-Selling vs Upselling

The words ‘cross-selling’ and ‘upselling’ are often used interchangeably, as though they refer to the same concept. But they don’t. Upselling differs from cross-selling in that the former involves offering a customer a product that’s an upgrade of the one they had wanted to buy. Cross-selling is just encouraging the customer to add extra goods or services that complement the one they’ve already gotten.
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You can deploy both cross-selling and upselling to boost your sales and increase revenues. There’s more on upselling as a sales strategy here.

What You Gain from Cross-Selling Products

  1. You are more likely to hold on to your customers because you have a comprehensive set of products to satisfy their needs.
  2. Customers are more likely to recommend you to their contacts as a source that offers a more complete package of solutions than competitors.
  3. Ultimately, cross-selling helps you boost your sales and increase your revenues and net income.

Final Words

Cross-selling is a simple but effective sales tactic. If you haven’t been using it consistently, now’s the time to begin implementing it across your sales engagements. You could see the positive results from it come in almost immediately.   Featured Image Source: New Old Stamp
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This article was first published on 28th December 2020


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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