Business professionals who primarily focus on new customer acquisition may be overlooking one important area of sales potential: cross-selling and upselling to existing customers.

Teaching your employees to cross-sell your product line better increases your company’s revenue—and adds value to your relationship with the customer. The more value your customers get out of your relationship, the more likely they are to be loyal.

And because it takes more effort and resources to acquire a new customer than to retain a loyal one, the return on investment you get from cross-selling and upselling is tangible.

How cross-selling adds value

Cross-selling your product line isn’t about tacking on extras that your customers don’t want in the first place. Nor is it about selling them a more expensive solution when it’s more than what they need.

Instead, cross-selling is about getting to know your customers’ business so well that you’re able to help them solve problems in unexpected ways. To do that, a salesperson needs to communicate with the customer.

That can take the form of anything, including a regular value-packed newsletter or a quarterly business strategy session with your bigger clients. This also gives you a chance to cross pollinate ideas among customers. If you learn that one customer is using your product in interesting ways, you can share that with your other customers to increase your product’s value.

This also helps keep your company’s value top of mind. “A lot of times, clients don’t understand what your benefit is,” Dainty says. “Or if it’s been two years since they bought your product, they may have forgotten. And they always have competitors knocking on the door.”

Don’t just assume everything is fine if you’re not hearing anything from your customers. They may be having a problem with your products, but they’re too busy to call your service desk.

How adding value sets your company apart

By effectively demonstrating the value that your customers get your flagship product and the add-on products, you’re cross-selling, you can make a strong case for why it’s worth working with your company.

How to get cross-selling right

Most companies don’t equip their teams with the tools they need to cross-sell new products.  Nor do most companies introduce new products to their sales teams effectively. The thing you want is to become an expert in the customer’s problem. Becoming an expert on your customers’ problems allows you to fine-tune the services and solutions you try to sell them, and to do so in a way that customers perceive as valuable rather than pushy.

Ultimately, investing in the growth of your customers—big and small—will increase your company’s revenue and help your customers grow.

If you’ve demonstrated your company’s value as your customer grows, you’ll see that return in loyalty.

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