Creating More Cross Selling Opportunities

A while ago now I did a day of consulting with a client to explore how we could grow his business.

Not all that unusual in and of itself until the discussion turned to the customers which are hardest to find, take the longest to convert and are the least profitable to my client.

Yet despite those ‘underwhelming endorsements’ of this market segment couldn’t be left alone. My client’s interest in the market segment bordered on obsession.

When you break it down – it would cost him the same amount of money or more to develop the marketing materials in order to go and get these clients as it would to get the marketing materials prepared so he could more effective get more of his best types of customers.

I’ve had clients with a problem like this before and it has made it really difficult to work with them and has sabotaged results before. So I was a little gun shy to be honest.

However, once we stopped looking at that market segment as one-off buyers for my client’s product and looked at who was made up the market and what else we could sell them. Then all of a sudden it became a really interesting proposition.

For confidentiality reasons I won’t go into the specifics. But I will guide you through the thinking because it is instructive for finding additional products and services you can offer.

We started talking about who they were – sociographics, psychographics and demographics.

We explored the problems they were having, specifically why they were interested in my client’s products and services.

Then we started to talk about the bigger picture of the market. What else needed to be brought together in order to serve the market.

We realised that this market actually needed information as much as it did the physical products my client sold. So we started to look at the information they needed. Ultimately, we discovered they wanted a sense of community – others like themselves because they didn’t like doing what they were doing by themselves.

This to me is a more expansive way to approach cross selling. Most of us think about what products and services we have already and try to stuff them down our existing customers’ throats.

I don’t think that is the best way to look at it. Cross selling is best done on a market by market basis within your business.

This approach opens up many more opportunities for cross selling and also a higher uptake of your offers, while at the same time giving you a much stronger bond with your market.