customer solutions

Term of the Week: Cross-Selling

Almost everyone in the apparel decorating industry has heard a successful upsell story at one time or another. Whether it's hats, bags, koozies, or a better quality garment, there are plenty of opportunities to push the upsell. This tactic is great for bulking up orders, but let's not forget about the cross-sell. This is an approach that Erich Campbell refers to as "more customer-focused."

Cross-selling is when a salesperson or apparel decoration shop introduces a product that provides an entirely new experience or purpose that the original product does not. Instead of bombarding customers with higher-priced items or additional variations of a single offering, shops can be more compelling by providing added value.

Cross-sales require the salesperson to address a customer's needs by identifying problems that need solutions. This means doing research. According to Campbell, the best cross-sales pitches showcase utility, personalization, and ordering ease. 

The first step in any successful cross-sale is curation. You want to select a product with features and details that fit the customer's needs while also making sure it has adequate access for your decoration method of choice. Once you find the product(s) that serve your customer the best, make sure you also have an alternative option. Campbell says, "Expanding your selection is simple. It's much harder to narrow down your choices when you lay down a catalog without curating a selection; as an expert, your guidance is part of the product." Start with your best-case scenario and offer other options when the customer can't find a product for their needs. 

"Cross-selling is so much more than a side of fries," Campbell adds. Showing a customer that you've taken time to familiarize yourself with their needs is an underrated customer service win. Not only is there potential to increase your sale, but you also elevate yourself above the competition by becoming a partner in their product hunt.