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!”

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or tj@tjtedesco.com.
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