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You see it every Super-bowl Sunday, the world’s most successful corporations spending millions trying to catch the eye of new buyers. The message this sends is that new clients are the best source of new revenue. It’s a conquest mentality, and it’s an expense that mega-corporations can afford to write off.

But for most hard-working business owners and entrepreneurs, like you, there are more realistic, more practical avenues to better sales – they are the people who already know and love your product – your regular customers. They know you, your business and your product. They love what you sell and they’ve proven it time and again with their hard-earned money. All you need to do is show them that there is much more to your product or service that they could be enjoying, but as of yet, are not. Here is a guide to cross-selling and upselling, 5 easy ways to delight customers.

1. After-market Sales

Courting the patronage of a single customer is an investment. You are investing time, energy and service into developing a trade relationship that could last as long as your product is of value to that customer. Often, big purchases have companion pieces which can be sold a few at a time and for which the customer keeps coming back. A car is a good example. Once someone buys a car, there are lots of small ticket items they will have to purchase over the next few years to keep it in good condition. Now, if you were that car dealer, wouldn’t you want to have an auto parts store and maintenance service to offer them as well? Or would you prefer to watch the account ease on down the road? Offering a suite of companion services to go along with your main ticket items, is key to cross-selling and upselling.

2. Sell by Ear

Listen to your customers. Let them tell you exactly what it is they want and how they want it. A consumer will buy the product or invest in the service that most closely matches what it is they were hoping to find. But suppose you could give them exactly what they want, the way they want it and possibly more. If you listen, the customer will tell you exactly how to sell to them. Don’t waste time leading them by the nose to what you would like them to buy. Find out what they want first, and give it to them. They will remember service like that, and they will come back for it.

3. Be in Constant Contact

You may not see your best customers as often as you’d like. You may need to reach out to them to keep them from falling off your radar or you off of theirs. Offer all of your customers a mailing list to help keep them apprised of new developments and products. Remind them why they came to you in the first place. This is a good way to reinforce your brand message without imposing the annoying feeling of an intrusive advertisement. A perfect example is the restaurant menu so many people have magnetized to their refrigerator. It is a constant reminder of a delicious, convenient meal they are already familiar with. And the customer receives the cue every time they go to the fridge. Model your marketing on the Refrigerator Menu.

4. Pitch Perfect Timing

Remember that people buy in cycles. People want different things at different times of the year, and different times of the day. In late winter and early spring, people are gearing up for summer time, sport and recreation. Offering them something that would go great with a trip to the beach a week before they have even thought about it is a solid sales technique. In the fall and winter, folks are susceptible to temptation foods since humans seem to have an innate ability to pack on pounds during the cold season. In most cases you wouldn’t need to be as exploitative as this. But these are examples of how you should think about what to sell and when.

5. Enhance their Business

A business owner is motivated by their bottom line. If you can help your customers improve their business through the products you sell, what evolves is a symbiotic trade relationship. This is perhaps the best, most reliable and sustainable way to cross-selling and upselling your customers. It is the reason business-to-business sales is such a huge industry, despite the fact that you rarely hear it advertised. When two companies enter into a mutually profitable trade relationship there is a synergy that will create the fertile ground needed for explosive growth. You may have to think up a very creative pitch, but when you convince a fellow entrepreneur that your products can help sell his products, you will have struck gold.

Key Takeaways

You most likely found this article because you wanted to learn more about cross-selling and upselling, and some simple ways to delight customers. Many business are continuously looking for ways to generate, build, and sustain revenue for their business. Learning how to marketing to your existing customer base can lower your marketing costs as well as allow you to more effectively communicate with your existing customers whch keeps you top-of-mind. Learn how to both speak to and listen to what your customers need. Appealing directly to their on-going needs will keep you integrally vital to the success of their business.

If you want to learn more about delighting customers as part of your marketing strategy, we can help you develop a better marketing plan that will help your business nurture existing client relationships. Schedule a marketing assessment with us today.

 

Gerald D. Vinci

Gerald D. Vinci

Gerald D. Vinci is a Small Business Consultant and Strategic Branding Specialist. He calls Monterey, CA home and is a life-long musician who spends his free time writing, composing, and producing music. He has also co-authored two books, and is working on his own upcoming book titled, “Small Business Pricing Mastery – Creating effective pricing and defining value for today’s products and services.”

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