Written by Sean McPheat |
People who manage sales have to achieve growth.
There are different ways that this can be achieved:
Sell more to existing customers
Prevent existing customers from going to a competitor
Find new customers
Sell new products
For many people in sales the challenge is to grow their customer base by finding new customers.
However, what many salespeople fail to recognise is the potential within their existing customer base.
Cross selling is where we sell additional products to existing customers.
The theory is that if we have a satisfied customer who has been happy with our service they will be willing to hear about other products or services that we offer.
Many people in sales find this approach pushy and uncomfortable.
This is because they feel they need to do a sales pitch on an additional product then go for a close.
All high pressure stuff!
The answer is that you don’t need to rush into a high pressure sales pitch.
Asking questions is 3 times more persuasive than presenting information.
Let’s say you are selling Buildings insurance cover for the cost of damage and repairs.
You do a good job and have a lot of satisfied customers.
You also provide contents insurance, but are more expensive than the larger insurance companies.
Most people give up at this point and don’t try to cross sell.
The key to cross selling is to ask questions.
In this case 3 questions are enough:
Most salespeople fail because they don’t try.
They convince themselves the customer won’t be interested and worry about rejection.
The best salespeople take a few seconds at the end of the meeting to ask simple, low pressure questions to find out if there is an opportunity to cross sell.
Up selling is a process by which we try to work out whether what the customer has bought from us is really what they need.
It is very common for salespeople to sell a lower priced product or service because it is easier to sell.
However, if it turns out to be the wrong solution for the customer this can lead to problems further down the line.
Again the answer is to ask the right questions.
Explore the facts first of all, then the consequences of them making the wrong decision.
At the end of the day the customer has to make the choice that they feel is right for them.
As salespeople we need to offer the best alternative and make sure the customer realises the consequences of ‘down buying’.
Again, the danger is that if we don’t offer the best solution and things go wrong we will get the blame and we may lose the customer for good.
Originally published: 22 February, 2017
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