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Article | 3-minute read

Tips for upselling and cross-selling

Cash flow forecasting | Cash flow improvement

It’s a common saying that attracting a new customer costs five times more than keeping an existing one. Typically, the chance of selling more to an existing customer is significantly higher than selling to a new customer. 

Upselling and cross-selling are powerful tools that can help you increase your average order size and drive greater revenue. So, what does upselling and cross-selling involve?

What is upselling?

Upselling is when a business offers a customer a higher priced alternative, or an upgrade, to their potential purchase.

For example, you could recommend or encourage a customer to buy the latest version, which is typically a more expensive model, rather than the cheaper option.

Another tactic is to offer a discount for a minimum spend, to encourage a customer to spend more to save.

Upselling can be direct, by only marketing the more profitable products or services to the customer. Or it can be more subtle, by simply exposing the customer to other higher priced or profitable options as they continue through their buying journey.

What is cross-selling?

Cross-selling is when a business offers an additional product that complements their existing purchase.

The classic cross-sell is one we’ve all heard: “Do you want fries with that?” This is called an ‘add-on sale’; offering an extra service such as insurance or support services along with the original purchase.

Another way of cross-selling is using bundle sales. This involves offering the customer a bundle of products that are often bought together as they browse or at point of purchase.

Price discounts could also be used as an incentive to purchase.

Using upselling or cross-selling

Focus on conveying the additional benefits or added value to the customer. No sales tactic can replace knowing and meeting a customer’s needs.

Experiment with the right time to employ these sales techniques, such as within advertising materials, while the customer is mid-purchase, or at the check-out. Learn which techniques and timeframes work best for different types of customers.

When done well, upselling and cross-selling can improve customer retention and loyalty. 


Next steps


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