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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.

Want More Customers? Try Strategic Cross-Selling

Last week, FEI marketing whiz Marka showed Zoot how increasing FEI’s share of customer can greatly improve the company’s bottom line. This week, Marka gives Zoot an actionable tip for selling more to customers. Remember, fire = print.

One day during FEI’s lunch break, Marka found Zoot in his office browsing on an O-puter. “This O-mazon company impresses me,” he told Marka. “Last week, I bought a case of chariot polish from them. This morning, they sent me an email offering 10 percent off a new chariot wheel!”

“O-mazon wisely figured that customers buying chariot polish might be looking for new wheels,” Marka said. “They use cross-selling to boost sales. So should we. Cross-selling is an easy way to raise share of customer.”

“Where do we start?” Zoot asked.

“First, let’s pull last year’s sales records,” Marka said. “We’ll use these to identify a group of customers who habitually buy one FEI product, but not another. For instance, we might identify 46 reliable torch customers who haven’t tried our matches yet.”

“Then we hit them with a cross-selling message,” Zoot interjected.

“Bullseye!” Marka said. “Because this group is so small, we can send them each a customized one-to-one brochure. Maybe a postcard or letter, too.”

“Let’s include an offer to entice them,” Zoot suggested. “Scan the QR code or call 1-800-FEI-FIRE to save 10 percent off your first matches purchase.”

“Love it,” Marka said.

“If this effort works, we can cross-sell any FEI product—even different product lines!” Zoot exclaimed.

“Sure!” Marka agreed. “Lastly, let’s not forget we must diligently track all cross-selling efforts. How else will we know if they’re working? Tracking will help us determine how much we’re raising our share of customer (SOC).”

“Say we cross-sell matches to a customer who usually buys $10,000/year of torches,” Marka continued. “At year’s end, we examine their buying activity and connect $3,000 of new match sales to our efforts. Then, we can reasonably say cross-selling raised our SOC with that customer by 30 percent. Doing the math for every client, we can determine how much we raised total SOC each year!”

“Awesome,” Zoot said. “Any more bright ideas to grow SOC?”

“Does the Cyclops live in a cave?” Marka asked rhetorically.

Today’s FIRE! Point
Cross-selling is an easy way to raise share of customer (SOC). Target existing customers who haven’t bought a certain other service with a message focused on that service. Be sure to track your efforts so you know you’re raising your company’s SOC.

FIRE! in Action: Polar Uses Cross-Selling to Grow Sales
The industrial fluids company used strategic cross-selling to existing customers to generate $1.8 million in new revenue.

Next week: Marka gives Zoot another tip for improving share-of-customer.

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