CX Culture

Cross-Selling Techniques That Actually Work

When I checkout at the grocery counter, the cashier will usually offer random discounts and charities to donate to in a monotone and inaudible, rushed tone. What do I do? Ignore her and politely say, “No, thank you”. I didn’t understand half of what she said anyway.

Let’s begin with the basics. What is cross-selling? It’s when you offer related products to what the customer purchased in order to bring added value. If the term “upselling” crossed your mind, it’s because it is closely related. Upselling would be offering the customer a more expensive product than the one they were originally had their eyes on.

Either way, both cross-selling and upselling are meant to increase revenue and help customers get more out of your brand. It’s another opportunity for you to serve them.

It’s easier to sell to an existing customer than acquire a new one, we all know this. But cross-selling done poorly can turn customers off and negatively impact your sales.

Let’s take a look at how to cross-sell the right way and deepen your relationship with your customers.

Cross-Selling Techniques That Actually Work

Cross-Sell the Right Products

Customers must see the need for the product you are offering in addition to their existing purchase. Offer a drink or a tasty side order with their meal, don’t offer the more expensive dish just because.

Products that are appealing and more likely to be added on to a purchase include:

  • Items that enhance their main purchase (Accessories to go with the new outfit).
  • Discounted items because of their main purchase (Buy 1 large coke, get the second 1/2 off).
  • Guarantees and protection for the main purchase.

Related Article: How to Implement a Successful Cross-Selling/Upselling Program in Your Contact Center

Focus on the Customer’s Needs

If you try and sell something irrelevant or not adapted to your customer, the intention becomes obvious and it shows you clearly don’t care.

Cross-selling or upselling should always focus on customer needs first. Personalize every interaction to the individual customer. Simple things such as calling the customer by their first name, showing empathy and knowing their history and touchpoints with the brand all help with creating a unique and pleasant experience.

Add-On at a Discount Price

If you’re going to offer a product, be upfront about the costs. Customers wouldn’t be thrilled at the idea of having to pay $7 extra shipping for the add-on item or service you are offering.

But in addition to prices being transparent, add-on items should be a better steal than if a customer were to purchase it on their own. Give clients an incentive to buy something they didn’t come to purchase in the first place.

Approach Correctly

Upselling or cross-selling is often seen by customers as a pushy activity. When done right, customers feel they are being helped, not pushed.

They key to cross-selling effectively is to develop a sixth sense of what the customer needs. Anticipate that need and offer it. Don’t ask.

For example: if a customer is shopping for a new summer bathing suit, it’s safe to assume they might be interested in hats, sandals or perhaps other summer accessories. Instead of asking your customer:

“Would you be interested in these new sandals we have at 50% off today?”


“These chocolate leather sandals are the perfect match for your flowery bathing suit, plus they’re 50% off today only

Instead of asking a question and setting yourself up for a potential “No”, jump the gun and anticipate their needs.

Use Live Chat

Live chat customer service support is a great channel to assist clients in the very moment they are browsing your website or making a purchase.

And according to a recent ZenDesk study, 62% of customers were more inclined to purchase products online if live customer support is available.

However, you’ll be glad to know live chat is a powerful tool that can also be used for your cross-selling techniques. This doesn’t mean that it should replace support, but if the answer to a visitor’s question lies in a product or service you offer, make it known to your customer.


Upselling or cross-selling shouldn’t be thought of as a simple sales tactic. It also serves to increase customer satisfaction while helping you offer excellent customer service. When done right, it can create customer loyalty and deepen relationships.

Are you cross-selling effectively and making the most of your existing customers? Salesforce can help you keep track of your customers and help you manage your sales.

Looking for a solution to improve the quality of your call center? Playvox can easily integrate with your existing platforms and provide the workforce solution you are looking for.

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