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How to Upsell and Cross-sell Effectively: 5 Top Tips

written by Guest Post

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When you’re looking for ways to grow your business, you could do worse than using tried and tested upselling or cross-selling techniques.

I know. You hate to hassle your current clients. But it makes good business sense, as the cost of upselling to existing customers is so much lower than going out on the hunt for new business.

Conversion rates are usually 16x higher and if they don’t buy anything additional, your call will turn into an account management one.

So, with that in mind, read on for 5 cross-selling tips and upselling techniques that will have zero chance of offending your current clients, and every chance of positively impacting your bottom line.


Let’s start with the basics – what are we talking about?

Simply put, cross-selling techniques are ways of selling different products or services to a customer who has already bought something from you. Alternatively, upselling techniques are about convincing current customers to consider a higher value product, or a higher level of service than the one they are currently on.


Firstly, you already have an established relationship with your clients meaning they’re far more likely to buy in to your recommendations and understand the value of your service. Ultimately, if a client trusts you already, the sales cycle is shortened and you’re already halfway towards success.


Here’s our pick of the most effective cross-selling and upselling tips that won’t have your clients running for the hills.

1. Test your pitch on your most loyal customers
We have always maintained that one of the benefits of building up great working relationships with customers is that you can help each other out sometimes. This is one of those times. Work out what you’d like to offer your customers in terms of a cross-sell or upsell offer, and then try it out on your trusted few. Get valuable, honest feedback about what you’re offering and then you can adjust accordingly.

2. Offer an incentive or discount
It may be the oldest trick in the book, but that’s because it works – people love to feel they’re getting a bargain. Offer a ‘12 months for the price of 10’ deal if a current customer moves up to the next level of service when their contract runs out, or let them know that if they buy one service or product, they can get another of a lower value for free. It goes without saying that if you’re going down this route, you must make sure the numbers add up to keep your financial controller happy.

3. Let them see for themselves
Sometimes the best way to convince a customer that they need a higher level, or different product or service is to give them a trial. Let them have a go for themselves, so they can test out the solution and see how it works for them. This can work well for online services, as time-limited access can be easily granted.

4. Show them others like them
By this I mean get into the business of writing case studies to share the success stories of other clients who have gone before. You can then use these to gently persuade your current clients that the next level of service, or another product, will work brilliantly for them too. This type of persuasive cross-selling technique can often feel a lot more comfortable than the hard sell.

5. Incentivize your sales teams
Often when you’re thinking about how to cross-sell effectively, one of the best ways is to incentivize your sales teams. Provide training to teach upselling and cross-selling tips and then provide targets, with high achievement rewarded in some way – money, a ‘star of the week’ medal, or even chocolate, can all work well. If you emphasize the importance of these techniques as a growth strategy, your sales teams may very well do you proud.

Ultimately, if you nurture your relationships, get to know your customers and learn about their goals, you can upsell or cross-sell them services that you genuinely believe will make a positive difference to their business. And when you believe in these benefits and sell them with knowledge, passion and honesty, the additional cost will become a no brainer for them.

See how your team can sell smart with sales intelligence from sales-i.

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