Boost Your Sales with Effective Up-Sell & Cross-Sell Strategies

A sure way to increase revenues is to get your customers to spend more with you. Up-selling and Cross-selling are very effective strategies to create loyal customers and increase your sales without additional investment to acquire the business. These customers are already purchasing from you, which means they perceive value in what you have to offer – So, take the information you have gained in the sales process and offer them a little bit more so that your customer has a great experience with your product or service. Even though Up-sell and Cross-sell are closely related and accomplish similar objectives, the differences need to be clearly understood and these strategies should be jointly implemented with the objective of enhancing the customer experience. Up-selling is a strategy to sell a more expensive version of a product that the customer already has (or is buying), or to add extra features or add-ons to that product. If you are buying a smartphone with 16GB memory and the sales person or web-site suggests a 32GB configuration, that’s an upsell. Cross-selling is a strategy to sell products that are different, but possibly related to the product the customer already has (or is buying). If you are buying a smartphone and the sales person or web-site suggests a stereo headset along with it, that’s a cross-sell.

Despite the evident benefit of up-selling and cross-selling, many sales people resist these strategies as they either do not have the full knowledge of up-sell & cross-sell opportunities or they believe it might be perceived as being too pushy and create an awkward situation with the customer. Successful businesses deploy up-selling and cross-selling strategies consistently across the sales team to make sure that the customer chooses the right product for them, and that they have everything they need to use that product. Below are Up-sell and Cross-sell tactics you can design into your sales process:


Quantity: This is great for consumer products. Offer a larger quantity at a discounted price.

Deluxe: Offer a premium version of your product or service.

Time: Offer deals on subscription products. For example, a year of web hosting is usually sold for a price equal to 10 months.

Bonus: Include a free eBook, white paper, or extended warranty to entice people to upgrade or purchase a premium product.


Bundle: related products together into packages or kits. Communicate that the packaged products are cheaper than purchasing individually and they will end up with a superior result.

Warranty: Offer an extended warranty during the checkout process. You can also sell an annual maintenance agreement at a reduced price that will cause the product being purchased to last longer or perform better.

Suggest: People who purchased this product, also purchased these. This helps buyers understand companion products that they may not have considered.

Existing customers: Contact existing customers that have purchased from you in the past. Present other products that you sell that they may need. Existing customers already know you and will be the easiest to market to.

An effective way of implementing an up-sell/cross-sell system into your business is by creating add-on checklists for the products or services you offer. Each item should have a list of related products for both up-sell and cross-sell items that your customer may need. This will encourage your front line employees to develop the habit of asking for the up-sell and cross-sell. Other strategies can be implemented:

At the point of sale or Check out. This is a great place for impulse items like batteries, chargers, etc.

In a newsletter. This is an effective strategy for customer education.

In your merchandising. Place strips of impulse items near related items. For example, headsets near cordless phones.

Over the phone. If someone is placing an order for delivery, offer additional items in the same shipment for convenience.

With new products. Feature each new product or service that you offer prominently in your business, and ask your front-line staff to mention it to every customer.

The best time to up-sell and cross-sell is at the end of a transaction after you’ve had a chance to listen to your customer’s need, and assess if the up-sell and cross-sell will enhance their experience with your product or service. The key to effective up-selling and cross-selling is to offer what your customer might not even know they need or want, and to do it at the right time and in a way they don’t feel pressured. The whole process should feel natural, helpful, and friendly.

Comments are closed.