sales profit

The Argument for Cross- and UpSelling

Vince DiCecco is a dynamic and sought-after seminar speaker and author, with particular interest in business management/development and marketing subjects. With over 20 years experience in sales, marketing and training, he is presently an independent consultant to businesses looking to sharpen their competitive edge. Vince addresses a wide range of topics focused on nurturing customer loyalty while improving profitability. He may be reached via email at

Often, inside sales/order entry/customer service reps are reluctant to cross-sell and upsell because asking for more immediately after a good customer has placed an order seems like a greedy and snarky sales technique. Yet, both are important and critical business strategies and the reasons to do them are compelling.

What are the obstacles to cross-selling? When salespeople and customer service representatives were asked, many responded that they don’t want to appear pushy; they don’t want to face rejection; they don’t have time; or they are not confident in their level of product knowledge. Sometimes order entry/customer service reps also resist cross-selling because they said they did not sign up for a sales role and feel it is not their job. In fact, often the cross-sell is not their job, but listening for cues and making referrals to colleagues can be a critical part of a proactive and customer-focused service environment. Amazon has made an art form out of suggesting, “People who have ordered _________ have also ordered _______.”

While all of the concerns expressed by sales and service professionals can be valid, each stands in the way of the opportunity to strengthen relationships, meet customers’ broader range of needs, increase revenue, and create greater job satisfaction and often income for the reps.

Actually, upselling can be good for the customer. When a buyer hears, “You know, you can save a good amount of money if you order (this amount) because we offer a volume discount. Can I change the quantity on your order today?” they are introduced to an opportunity they may not have thought of. Excellent sales and service demand that you be proactive in meeting the needs of your customer versus being an order taker. Up and cross-selling can be a tremendous way to provide unexpected value to your customer by anticipating and meeting their broader needs.

The more you link your customers to your organization through multiple products and volume savings, the stronger the bond, relationship and customer loyalty. Remember, it’s easier and more efficient to up and cross-sell to a present customer than to a prospect.

The best part about up and cross-selling is they can be very rewarding for your business. Cross-selling shows your customers you are actively interested in their needs and at the same time it helps you gain a bigger share of your customer’s business. If you offer great products, why not position your company as a one-stop shop? It is truly a win-win-win—for the customer, the sales person and your organization. Good luck!

—Vince DiCecco, Your Personal Business Trainer