The Art of Cross selling
For most of us, the term cross selling will not be completely new. In spite of this, the term is often wrongfully replaced with upselling. Let’s start by getting this out of the way.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Upselling is offering a higher end product or service than what the customer initially intended to purchase.
Examples: suggesting the latest Samsung Galaxy S7 edge when the customer initially came in to buy the Galaxy S6. A customer intending to purchase a 2nd hand Ford Focus at the dealer and leaving with the latest model.
Cross selling is selling additional options, features, accessories or complementary products to the product or service that is being sold.
Examples: Additional shirts, ties and perhaps even shoes and belts accompanying your new suit, protective equipment for your new phone such as covers and screen protectors, an extra lens for your camera, an extra road assistance service contract with your new car, coffee cups or pads for your coffee machine, and ink cartridges for your new printer…etc.
I came across an old anecdote that wonderfully shows how valuable and effective this fine art can be when it’s done right.
A young guy applies for a job in a large warehouse with a hugely diverse offering. The manager is not too sure of his abilities yet but even though he’s skeptical, he decides to give him a trial of one week. At the end of his first day, the manager calls him into his office and asks how many sales he’s made. “One.”, the guy answers. The manager is not impressed. “Just one?”, he replies. “Most salesmen here average around 30 to 40 sales a day. So tell me, what was the amount?” The fresh salesman calmly responds: “Just over $600.000…” The manager is completely blown away. “$600.000?! – Are you kidding me? How on earth did you manage to pull this off?”
The golden boy explains: “Well, first I sold the guy a fishing rod. Then I showed him several reels and sold him two of those as well, one of them especially designed for fishing out in the ocean. Then I took him to the boat department and sold him a 40ft boat. This boat did not fit his current trailer, so I sold him a new trailer for his boat too. We then came to realize that the trailer was too big for his current car to pull, so I sold him a new 4×4 to make sure he’d be able to transport his new boat effortlessly. Ultimately, the customer left the store absolutely delighted.”
Totally overwhelmed the manager reacts: “You sold all this to a guy who just came in to buy a new fishing rod?” “Not at all,” the new salesman replies, “he did not come in for a fishing rod but for a box of sanitary napkins for his wife. Then I told him to consider going out fishing for the weekend, as it would probably be a good idea for both of them.”
A classic anecdote, and like all classics, it’s a classic for a reason. Retailers, marketers and salesmen, think of how you can implement the lessons and takeaways of this little story to grow your revenues by encouraging the cross sell.
Unfortunately for most managers and retailers, witty salesmen with fine-tuned skills required to successfully cross sell are very rare. Especially those who instantly deliver from the very start are very hard to find. This makes the hiring process highly complex and risky too. The amount of costs involved for hiring one extra salesperson is immense. How much time do you give the newly hired salesperson to deliver?
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to cross sell without having to hire new staff? Or how about more upselling without hiring extra personnel?
Look no further.
Pioneering retailers like JYSK, Mediamarkt and GameStop know how floor advertising is one of the best kept secrets in retail marketing and they already reap the benefits of placing FloorWindo® poster displays on strategic spots to successfully influence the behavior of shoppers – and increase revenues this way.
Apart from cross selling and upselling with posters, the FloorWindo® can also be used for directions, signing and routing. A growing number of retailers understand the importance of actively guiding shoppers and customers through the store to generate more revenue. A true leader in this discipline is the famous Swedish self-assembly furniture giant IKEA.
Granted, it’s not the same as an actual salesperson of flesh and blood. A FloorWindo® can however be seen an ultra low risk alternative to hiring an actual salesperson for encouraging cross selling. At a price of only €99,- each for the A1 sized poster display, the FloorWindo® might be a good idea to consider as a means of boosting sales. Hiring an extra employee for, say, €20.000/year, would be roughly 200 times the investment. Now add to this the risk of the employee lacking motivation and failing to deliver and… well, you do the math.
There are several key touch points in the so-called customer journey. One of the most important ones, if not THE most important touch point is at the checkout. This is where the actual transaction takes place, and only customers who will actually BUY end up here. Not surprisingly, the checkout is one of the most common places for the cross sell method to take place. We have all been in a situation where the salesperson asks something like: “Would you like to have a pair of socks with that for only $2? Would you like to have this meal supersized for only 60 cents extra? Would you like to have two packs of chewing gum with this for only $1?” Again, a classic, and again… for a reason! People already in a ‘buying mood or mode’ are way more likely to comply and buy more.
Well done salespersons! What struck me is that, even though it’s a classic and proven method – this actually only happens to me very rarely. Not even at 10% of all checkout situations is the sales assistant offering me a cross sell these days. Even though nearly all of them have probably at least once been instructed to offer the cross sell, still hardly anyone has made it part of the routine. Why are these situations still exceptions rather than rule? A commonly heard possible explanation is that the salesperson is scared to push through and ‘thus’ risk losing the complete sale. An irrational fear for something that in fact hardly ever happens. Most customers will perfectly understand your tasks as a salesperson and – in the worst case – will politely decline your offer and simply proceed for payment. Anyway, let’s not drift away too much here. Perhaps some other time…
The point is that a huge number of opportunities are squandered on a day-to-day basis. Imagine having something helping you capitalize on these opportunities to cross sell?
These poster displays designed for counters, checkouts and tabletops aid the salesperson during the transaction. By promoting a current product or service on offer the customer receives an additional stimulus to buy. In a typical checkout situation, slightly bored customers often have plenty of time to look around and notice the poster advertisement presented in the DeskWindo®. This combination helps explain the impressive success of the DeskWindo®.
Especially in environments where impulse purchases are high, the DeskWindo does really well in generating extra revenue from cross selling. Examples of such high-impulse environments are (fast) food retailers such as McDonald’s, Subway, Jack-in-the-Box, KFC or Tim Hortons, and the shops at petrol stations greatly benefit too. When the poster has a clear message and proposition (e.g. Add a donut for just $1!) – it works like a charm.
In environments with more complex offerings such as a financial services provider, the DeskWindo® aids the representatives by elegantly presenting a poster with e.g. tables, rates, differences, service packages, infographics etc.
Unlike other tools, it does not limit working space because it lays flat on the surface. The DeskWindo® poster display allows the salesperson to communicate clearly and openly, i.e. by going over the poster together. It helps the buyer compare the alternatives. Clarifying is essential when selling products and services like credit cards, mortgages and insurances. This increases trust on the buyer’s side, and we all know the importance of trust in business, right?
Again, for a single hour of training one of your representatives for the cross sell (let’s say at a rate of $100/hr) you can probably place at least five A3 or tabloid sized poster displays to ensure you’re at least not wasting ALL opportunities to successfully cross sell.
Salespersons who have implemented the cross sell into their routine are quite rare. Even harder to find are those who have actually managed to master the fine art of what is cross selling. Stop wasting all the tremendous opportunity for cross selling to customers who are in a buying mood by solely relying on your personnel. Take control now! Place the FloorWindo® in-store and place the DeskWindo® at the counter, what’s to lose?
Business Development Manager