5 Tips for Cross-selling like A Pro


In the digital marketing and eCommerce world, conversion is one of the more common buzzwords you’ll find consistently used in meetings, websites, techniques, and other materials.

But effective selling isn’t merely about making that first sell.

That’s only the first step in your journey to success…

It’s important to build up a systemic sales process that utilizes your entire product catalog and moves customers into being repeat customers.

Cross-selling techniques are great ways to grow your revenue, build awareness of your offerings, and enhance the customer experience.

What Is Cross-selling?

Cross-selling is a tactic used by businesses to encourage customers to buy additional products related to a product they have already purchased.

When you’ve purchased something online–whether it be a decorative home item, electronic gadget, or fashion accessory–you’ve likely come across an order or confirmation page that showcases similar products and says, “If you liked this…you might like this.”

These are attempts to cross-sell to you.

…And if merchants are doing it right, they are likely increasing their revenue potential.

However, making these sales isn’t as simple as one may think.

Here are five tips to employ when using this marketing tactic.

#1: Understand your audience’s interests and preferences.

audience interest

Imagine you’re a mother of three school-age children.

With a long weekend fast approaching, you go online to search for recreational games that will keep your kids occupied and entertained.

After selecting a few board games and finger paints, you proceed through checkout.

On the confirmation page, you see an attempt to cross-sell to you. The company tells you that based on your purchases, you may be interested in… construction helmets?

Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t mothers out there that work in construction, but I think we can all agree that this is a pretty disparate connection to make.

In order to provide recommendations for similar products, it’s important to take the time to gain a deep understanding of your audience’s interests, preferences, challenges, and opportunities.

The clearer you are on what your target audience is seeking, the higher chance you have to make a seamless additional sale.

#2: Segment your audience.

segment audience

Once you have an understanding of your customer base, segmentation will be a helpful strategy to target specific demographic and psychographic groups.

One thing that can be helpful is to map out the customer “types” your business attracts, and create cross-selling strategies related to each type.

For example, Infusionsoft used an attitudinal research study to discover four unique audience segments for their business…

  1. Freedom Seekers
  2. Passionate Creators
  3. Legacy Builders
  4. Struggling Survivors

The company then provided an example of how they sell to Freedom Seekers, people who “strive to keep things small and manageable in their business. They want to reduce the time they work and cite that improving their lifestyle was an important reason for starting their business.”

Using this customer archetype, Infusionsoft decided to cross-sell products and services that help “automate their business, save time or improve” Freedom Seekers’ lifestyles.

Now it’s your turn.

Think about the different segmented groups within your customer base, reflect on their needs, and create associated strategies for each group.

#3: Map relevant products.

map relevant products


After clearly defining and segmenting the various demographic and psychographic categories of your customer base, it’s important to identify and match the products and services that will speak to each category.

You can do this by using a mix of common sense and an analysis of the purchase histories of past customers.

This way, you’ll be able to map your inventory of offerings back to the relevant customers.

Infusionsoft recommends cross-selling when you have a high-priced offering and you offer a lower-cost accessory or service.

#4: Be mindful of timing.


The best time to cross-sell varies depending on the situation.

Some companies will cross-sell products before a customer has even added a product to the cart.

For example, on the product page, they may feature a section that includes a few other products commonly purchased with the product.

On the other hand, some companies may choose to cross-sell after a customer has already converted and made a purchase.

Cross-selling too soon can actually damage your reputation in a customer’s eyes.

If the product or service you’re selling is a higher-dollar item or takes a while for customers to see success (such as a dieting program), you may want to wait a while to gain their trust and prove your product’s success before attempting to cross-sell.

#5: Don’t be dishonest.


This is a pretty straightforward point–practice honesty throughout the cross-selling process.

Don’t make false claims. If you don’t know whether an additional item will help a customer accomplish a desired goal–don’t promise it will.

Customers are more likely to transition to being repeat customers if they feel a sense of trust for your company.

Keeping these five points in mind, now it’s time to put together your specific company’s cross-selling strategy.

Cross-selling isn’t the only useful digital marketing opportunity to add into your business. Click here to read up on 10 strategies that could significantly help your business!


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