Home Marketing Cross Selling- Secret to Upscale the Revenue

Cross Selling- Secret to Upscale the Revenue


There are two ways to expand your business- either you get more customers or you sell more to regular customer. But the question arises how to sell more to your customer, we can do this with the help of Cross Selling. Cross selling is an art by which we can sell related, connected or complementary product to our regular customer.

For example, a customer comes to purchase a smart phone and with a smart phone you also sold them a mobile cover. But if the customers comes to buy mobile cover you can’t sell them a smart phone. There is a difference, when you do cross selling you can sell things of Rs. 200-300 with things of Rs. 1000. But when you try to sell things of Rs. 1000 with Rs. 200, customer will not purchase either of the two, instead it will result as churned customer or lost customer. Hence, cross selling is applied to sell products of 20%, 30% or 50% value.

What’s in it for me?

  1. Pros
  2. Cons
  3. Up Selling
  4. Cross Selling v/s Up Selling
  5. Cross Selling Techniques
  6. When Cross Selling Works v/s When It Fails
  7. Conclusion
  8. FAQs


Increases Revenue-

Of course the main motive of using this strategy is to expand business and increase the revenue of the business. Through this technique, sales gets increased and so the revenue.

Awareness about the product-

It not only benefits the seller but also the customer. It educates customer about the related, connected or complementary product available in the market ultimately improving the customer experience. The customer gets exposed to the variety of product related to the primary product which can be useful for them.

Helps in Customer Relationship Management-

Through cross selling customers not only get the knowledge about the product but also their requirement gets fulfilled hence, which builds a long term relationship with the customer resulting customer retention.

Increases the Value of ticket size-

Ticket size is measured by sales per customer. So whenever a customers purchases products in combination automatically his/ her ticker size increases.


Risk of Customer Churn-

There is a probability of a customer getting irritated whenever they are offered a different product so there’s always a risk of losing a customer. A seller might loose the existing relationship with their customer.

Aggressive selling-

Sometimes seller uses this strategy so aggressively that turn out to be a negative outcome. Even if a customer is not interested to but the complementary product, seller uses cross- sell as a hard core sales which ultimately reduces the customer interest in the main product.

Risk of losing trust-

Each and every customer buys a product only and only when they have a slight trust in your product. But during cross selling, a customer may lose trust from the seller, if the seller focuses more on related products.


Another way to expand business and sell more to customers is Up selling. Up selling is a strategy to sell product of higher value. For example, a customer wants to buy a product of Rs. 250 but seller offers them better version of product of high price telling them that the better product has discount and it only costs Rs. 300, Now customer thinks he’s getting a better product so he increases his budget and purchases that product.

Sometimes, seller gets trapped in his own strategy by offering customer high priced product, here what happens when a customer asks for a specific product and the seller shows him overly high priced product along with the main product, at this point customer might get delighted with the higher version product, loose interest from the main product and to purchase that high priced product he might be out of his budget. So he leave the store saying he would come later saving more money and researching about the new product.

In this case, seller lost a customer because he didn’t even purchased the main product that he came to buy. So to avoid such situation seller must approach Subtle Manipulation in this technique.

Subtle Manipulation is an art of selling only that product during up selling which is slightly high in price than the main product. A seller can sell 32 inches TV when the customer asks for 24 inches TV but the seller can’t sell him 52 inches TV.

Also read: Target Audience- 3 effective steps to find an attractive Audience


Cross SellingUp Selling
This strategy is used to sell related, combined or complementary product with the primary product.This strategy is used to sell product of higher price other than the primary product.
It is done at counter checkpoint or Point of sales, when customer has already purchased the main product.It is done during the negotiation before the customer reaches the point of sales.
EX.- Sellers offers cold drinks along with burger.EX.- Seller offers giant double decker cheese burger instead of classic burger.
Used for selling related, combined or complementary product.Used in selling more extensive products.

Similarities between both the strategies-

  • Both are used to expand business and increase revenue
  • Used to increase customer satisfaction

Also Watch: Cross Selling and Up Selling by Vivek Bindra


Wait for the customer to buy the main product first-

When a seller tries to cross sell related products in between the negotiation of selling the main product, it might happen that the customer changes his mind and do not even purchase the main product. So wait for the big shot first then go for smaller one. Seller must confirm the main order before using this technique.

Win Customer Trust-

Most of the aggressive customer thinks the seller is his opponent, they never trust the seller because they think seller always charge high for their product, at this scenario seller must have to win customer his trust by giving him the right product at right price. As soon as they are convinced that the seller is not their opponent but their ally, now this is the time when the seller can show their card of cross selling.

Ask Questions-

Most important technique for a successful cross sell is  to ask your customer. If you wouldn’t ask your customer just because of the fear of losing customer then how would your customer will know about the availability of that product.

When was the last time you cancelled order at McDonald’s just because they ask you for extra fries? Never! In fact most of the times we actually get convinced to buy those extra fries! It happens many a times that a customer buys a product but he purchases related product from somewhere else because he didn’t knew that product is available with you.

For detailed information on Business Market: Business Market- 8 step-by-step Business Buying Process


When the related products is of lesser value, almost of 20%-30% of the main product price.When the related products price is just double the main product
Comes in Bundling.When the related products gets reversed. Ex.- When a customer comes to buy mobile cover he won’t buy a smart phone with it.


To do cross selling, seller has to find out the best pair of products that turns out a combination. So that seller can sell that pair of products in combo offer. When a customer buys a main product and the seller offers him a discount on the combined product, he’ll definitely buy that product.

The motive of keeping the combo offer is to trap the customer so that he spends more and purchases more that increases the ticket size of the customer, that’s why McDonald’s and Domino’s have combo offers. Whenever the seller tries to combine related, connected or complementary product with the main product it always get sold.


How cross selling is different from bundling?

Bundling is the part of cross selling, where the seller bundles or packages a variety of complementary products with the main product and sell it as a whole to increase the value of sale. 
To understand the Bundle Pricing Strategy read: Ultimate Guide to Pricing Strategy and It’s 10 Types

How cross selling is different from cross merchandising?

Cross merchandising is used at retail stores. In this strategy, a variety of related products are put together at same shelf to gain the attention of the customer. Example: Stationary items- Pen, Books, Dairies, etc.

Cross selling adopted by Amazon?

Amazon uses the customer database, analytics and algorithms, so whenever a customer makes  attempt of buying or searching a product, it tries to read the consumer behavior, his past purchases and what he is actually looking for, then accordingly using the algorithms it suggests some related products on the page. Ex.- If a customer searches for laptop, it suggests some results of speakers, laptop covers, wireless mouse, etc.

What is Down Selling?

This Strategy is not used to increase revenue but for satisfying customer need. This Strategic weapon is used when seller thinks that the customer is not convinced and he might feel that the product is over priced so to rescue the sales, seller offers him a product with lower price.



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