Upselling and cross-selling are two related but distinct sales tactics that small business owners can use to increase revenue. Here’s the difference between cross-sell vs. upsell:
Cross-selling is when you suggest a related product or service to an existing customer.
- Offering to show your dress shirt and tie collections to a customer purchasing a suit is a good example of cross-selling in retail.
- By introducing more products and services to customers, you help them discover new reasons to do business with you, while potentially boosting your sales.
Upselling is when you encourage customers to consider a more expensive or upgraded version of a product or service — whether it offers more features, higher-grade materials or other improvements over the basic option.
- To understand how upselling works, think of a plumber suggesting that a customer purchase a water heater with a bigger tank. Upselling works best when the upgrade being offered aligns with the customer’s needs.
- Knowing how to upsell effectively, by listening to customers’ needs, will build trust and increase your bottom line.
Learning how and when to cross-sell vs. upsell is an important skill for your sales team to master; you’ll move inventory more quickly and your sales team will rack up those commission checks.