Cross-Selling – How to Sell More Related Products to Your Customers

Cross-selling – the act of persuading your customers to add on extra products or services when they buy from you – is a great way of making the most of every sale.

It’s a great deal easier and less time-consuming to sell more to your existing customers than it is to seek out new ones.

Cross-selling is distinct from up-selling, which means convincing your customer to buy a more expensive model of the product or service they were after, or one with a higher profit margin. By using a mix of techniques, tailored to the customer, you can maximise your profits.

Here’s our guide to cross-selling techniques.

Cross-selling online

If you sell online, a good way of cross-selling is to feature recommendations for related products on your website during the online checkout process.

Online florists who take orders for bouquet deliveries often do this – by offering the option to add a greetings card, box of chocolates or bottle of wine to your order at checkout.

You can also see it on sites such as Amazon, which feature ‘Other people liked…’ and ‘Frequently bought together’ recommendations on each product page.

Packages and discounts

One good tip for cross-selling is to bundle goods together in a package. You can then offer the bundle at an overall discount, based on how much the pieces would have been individually priced at – which still makes a profit for you.

For example, if you sell a computer, you could offer a discounted bundle of start-up software (such as office programs and anti-virus protection) and peripherals with every purchase.

Customers who would be very unlikely to buy all the pieces individually will be much more likely to buy the package, as it appears a real bargain.

You can also cross-sell services – for example, a warranty or service package for an expensive piece of equipment.

Direct marketing

Direct marketing, using your customer relationship management system, is a good opportunity to stay in touch and cross-sell after the point of the initial purchase.

You could send direct marketing offers with related products that might not be needed until later – for example, replacement toner cartridges for an office printer. Be sure to personalise the material to the customer as far as possible – the more generic the offer seems, the less successful it’s likely to be.

Just ask!

Finally, it’s important to remember that cross-selling, like all sales techniques, is a matter of your salespeople being appropriately trained. If they don’t have the information at the fingertips, and aren’t prepared to bring up the issue of related products, they could lose a golden opportunity to cross-sell.

You could consider adding cross-selling to your sales force’s training, so they’re ready and able to suggest complementary products for any sale.


This article is provided only for general informational and educational purposes. It is not offered as and does not constitute legal or other professional advice on the subject matter in question. You should not act or rely on information contained in this website without first seeking professional advice on the subject matter in question.