Cross-​Selling and Upselling Best Practices

BY Jessica Helinski
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Cross-​selling and upselling isn’t the same as it was in the past. These days, customers are more wary of traditional selling tactics. The most savvy will see right through your attempts to sell more, which is why old-​school methods won’t work. “To really see success with your product suggestions, there's an integral part of the formula: customer delight,” writes Sophia Bernazzani for HubSpot. “When you can convince your customer that your suggestions are for their benefit, you can master the art of upselling and cross-​selling. But how exactly do you go about doing that?” 

Bernazzani answers that question by sharing valuable tips for today’s sellers when they want to boost revenue even more. Two of her five suggestions are highlighted: 

  1. Offer upsells and cross-​sells that make sense
  2. Upsell and cross-​sell with integrity

Cross-​selling and upselling: Revenue opportunities in waiting

Both upselling and cross-​selling involve selling products or services in addition to what the customer had already intended to purchase,” she explains. Different approaches can make a difference when it comes to swaying buyers. By understanding how customers think, reps can implement best practices that are most likely to be successful. 

Offer upsells and cross-​sells that make sense

Don’t think that upselling and cross-​selling merely involves throwing any product or service at a buyer. Each suggestion must be relevant and valuable to them. Otherwise, they will get frustrated and doubt that you even know them or their business at all. Active listening will be how you are able to determine just what to offer. “Your suggestion has to fit the customer's exact needs at the very moment he or she is discussing them with you,” she explains. “Listen for signals like ‘I wish I could do X’ or ‘Next we want to try Y’ to give you an idea of if your customer needs more to achieve their desired results.”

Upsell and cross-​sell with integrity

Today’s buyers want authenticity, trust, credibility, and transparency from sellers. If you try selling them something that they truly don't need, chances are you lose all of their business. “Be up-​front and honest with customers if you try to upsell or cross-​sell while in communication with them,” Bernazzani writes. “As a result, you’ll foster transparency about pricing and contracts, and build rapport with your customer, making it more likely that they purchase your upsell or cross-​sell offer.” Plus, they will respect your honesty and likely stick around as a long-​term customer. You’ll end up with more revenue and an advocate. 

Even more tips and techniques

Bernazzani shares four more suggestions in her article, pointing out that a thoughtful approach will be the most successful. Her best practices can help reps hone this skill. And, just as important, don’t be intimidated! As she writes, “Don’t be afraid to get carried away by the idea of upselling and cross-​selling to existing customers. When done with integrity, these additional products or services can be beneficial for the customer just as much as they benefit your sales.”