How-To: Up-Sell and Cross-sell Your Customers Nicci Troiani No matter what your business— your current customers are usually a good base for reoccurring sales. In some businesses, this is an easier sale than others. For example, if you own a restaurant and you have regulars who love your food– you can guarantee that they will be back soon.For bigger sales, like insurance, you need to nurture your current clients into buying a new product from you… so how do you do that?Keep in mind that a client who has already bought one product from you is more likely to buy a second but that doesn’t mean that they will always see the value right away. Here are 3 tips to help when cross or up-selling current clients:1. Stay top of mindStaying in touch with your customers is a must. One of the biggest mistakes that business owners or sales reps make is to lose touch or write a customer off after they have purchased. By keeping up the lines of communication, you are readily available if they decide that they would like to purchase something else or refer you to someone who needs your products or services.How to do this:You should be sending “checking- in” e-mails just to see how your customers are doing and how they like the product or service that they purchased. You should also be sending a communication for their birthday or holidays as a friendly greeting. This can be done via a handwritten letter or e-mail. However, using a system that will hold their birth date and send an automated e-mail keeps you from forgetting or putting it off.2. Show them the benefitsIf I’m an insurance agent, I most likely want to try to up-sell my current clients who hold smaller policies for something larger, like life insurance. However, because this is a large purchase for the customer, it’s not going to be an impulse buy. Chances are, the customer may not know the benefits of life insurance or why they might need it.How to do this:By segmenting your list by customers who have not purchased life insurance from you, you can target your list of customers who have purchased other items and send them the occasional, educational piece about the benefits of life insurance. This must be educational and benefit focused. The customer MUST see what is in it for them or they will disregard your information.3. Help, don’t sellNo one wants to be sold. Be a helpful industry expert, not a that sales rep who seems hungry for the commission. By just being friendly and informative, your customers (and prospects) will have more trust with you than with other sales reps. They will then feel more comfortable asking you questions about products without feeling like they will be lunged on or forced into buying something.How to do this:When sending information about products, don’t just send the marketing materials you have in your office. Generally, that is not interesting to read. By sending a third-party article that is educational and informative, you are educating your customers about products they haven’t yet purchased. Sending content that is not your own, reduces the chances of you seeming sales-y and self- promotion-y.Also, using a system that can track when customers are clicking on the articles within your emails can be a huge advantage. Knowing which customers are reading articles about life insurance (using my insurance agent example from above) will help me to track which customers might actually be interested in purchasing it. This way, I know to contact the customers who may be interested, and I’m not hounding the ones who probably just want to be left alone.