What Is Cross-Selling?
Before we start extolling its virtues, let’s have a look at what the term means. Wikipedia describes cross-selling this way: “the action or practice of selling an additional product or service to an existing customer.” To put it into the vernacular of McDonald’s, it’s like saying “would you like fries with that?”
Sure, that’s a bit of an oversimplification, but you get the idea. There’s also cross-selling’s cousin, upselling, which is offering an upgrade to the product or service that originally interested the client. In other words, “would you like to biggie size your meal?”
Here are just a few benefits that a VAR can gain from cross-selling in the time and attendance industry.
I’m sure it goes without saying, but if you encourage a customer to purchase more of your products and services, it will have a positive impact on your bottom line. And when you consider the investment in energy, time, and money that’s required to acquire a new customer, it becomes even more evident how advantageous optimizing your current customer base can be.
Better Service to Customers
If you offer more of what they are looking for to meet their time and attendance needs, your customers will appreciate the convenience and time savings that they will gain from your company becoming their one-stop-shop.
Often, customers don’t know what’s available to them or have a complete understanding of what they need. When you offer more of your products and services, you may also be helping to educate them about the full scope of what can be achieved through the implementation of a time and attendance solution.
When cross-selling is done well, customers don’t perceive it as selling. They see it as informing, offering, and helping. Therefore, it helps to build confidence and to reinforce your relationship.
A Few Dos and Don’ts When Cross-Selling
Understand your customer first: no two clients are alike. Each industry has its own particularities, and your customers each have their own set of requirements, challenges, and pain points. When you get to know your clients individually and understand their business a bit more, you’ll be better suited to understand how you can best help them.
Don’t try to cross-sell everything: when offering additional products or services, always be sure that it complements what they have already purchased and that it makes sense for them. If you offer them irrelevant stuff, they are more likely to see your approach as obtrusive and self-serving.
Bundle complimentary items: you can combine products and services that are frequently purchased together at a discounted price compared to when they are purchased separately.
Don’t make cross-selling about you: frequently, companies prioritize cross-selling items that are either overstocked or those that have the greatest profit margin. While that may be advantageous for you, if those items aren’t what would be most useful to the client, they are more likely to be met with some resistance.
As a VAR in the time and attendance space, you can grow your business and increase customer loyalty by effectively implementing a cross-selling strategy.