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"Do You Want Fries with That?" Cross-Selling 101: Back to the Basics

Think about going to a fast food restaurant.  How many times have you been asked "Would you like an order of fries to go with that?"  Sure, there have been times you were irritated that they asked you, but was your irritation so great you never returned to the restaurant again? Probably not.  How many times did you say "Sure, that sounds great!" Odds are that restaurant made staggering profits over the course of the year by adding that order of fries to people who burgerandfriesoriginally just wanted a burger.

So is it really as simple as "do you want fries with that"?  In a nutshell, it pretty much is! Here are a few things to keep in mind about cross-selling the right way.

  1. Develop a cross-selling system.  Identify your portfolio of ancillary products and create customer profiles for them.  Have an idea of what types of clients would most likely suit the different products.
  2. Always take care of the immediate need first.  Build trust with your client by showing them your first priority is to take care of their first priority.  Once you've got the relationship you can introduce some new products.
  3. Ask for the sale.  If your client already has the product, ask to compare their current coverage & premium with a new product to see if you can save them money or increase their benefits.  If they don't have the product, educate them and create a need.  Identify a possible interest in your conversations with them.
  4. Don't push too hard.  Be careful not to get too pushy- if you've asked for the sale & created awareness and they are still reluctant, tread lightly or follow up later.  You don't want to turn them off completely.
  5. Follow up.  Follow up, follow up, follow up.  There are so many different factors as to why your client decided not to purchase the product that particular day. Checking back with them and showing concern for their well being can win you the sale later on.