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Irrigation Association of New York

Cross Selling – How to?

Many irrigation contractors now offer a multiple services: fertilization, irrigation, landscape lighting, decorative water features, retaining walls, yard drainage and even driveway seal-coating. The challenge is how to market all of these different services to their maximum potential. Consider cross selling.

For the multiple-service contractor, the fastest way to grow sales and profitability is to adopt an aggressive program of CROSS-SELLING. The theory is simple: the more products or services you sell to a customer, the more profitable they become. And customers who purchase more from you find it harder to break away and use someone else.

 Many financial services companies aim to sell every customer one new product per year. Shouldn’t you be doing that too? Here are some tips to improve your efforts:

Remember the “rule of 25.” When you’re preparing quotes, always suggest additional products or services. But don’t try to double the size of the order. Add-ons are easier if you keep them to less than 25 percent of the total original cost of the project. Anything higher and you’ll run into the roadblock of the customer’s mental budget.

Don’t cross sell too early. A common mistake is to talk-up your full offering before understanding the customers’ core needs. Discuss what they want to buy now, and then cross-sell later in the conversation.

Familiarity leads to sales. Customers will not buy options or add-ons they don’t understand. A good cross-selling program includes awareness advertising and educational information to build familiarity. If you want to sell landscape lights to irrigation clients, repetitive messaging will educate potential customers on the benefits, the options and the reasons to buy.

Tailor to the client’s goals and priorities. Trying to sell everything to everyone is guaranteed to generate a lot of wasted noise. To start, go for the low-hanging fruit. Ask yourself which customers would be highly likely to buy (name of your new product), and then focus your cross-selling on the warm targets. The best cross-sell items relate directly to the original purchase.

Train and train again. Handing salespeople a stack of brochures and saying “cross sell all of this” is a recipe for mediocre results. Test salespeople on their knowledge and passion for every product. Rehearse until you can deliver a concise and relevant message.

Motivation is critical. A team of “order takers” will struggle with cross-selling. Have a plan to launch cross-selling, motivate the team with excitement and coach for results. Measure performance, productivity and profitability. If cross-selling isn’t happening, take action to improve results.

For over 10 years, Jeff Carowitz has advised green industry firms on sales and marketing strategies. His website is www.StrategicForceMarketing.com Connect with him on LinkedIn.