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Three Ground Rules of Cross Selling

November 22, 2012

cross sellOne of the key ingredients for successful organic growth involves your ability to cross and up sell your current client base.  It is an essential strategy that builds brand loyalty, increases revenues and drives profits.  This strategy involves products and services that complement the original purchase.

To be successful in the business of insurance and risk management, you need your clients to be connected to you in a deep and meaningful way.  Research confirms that cross and up selling increases the customer’s reliance on you and decreases the likelihood of switching to a competitor.  It is a critical performance indicator.  Peak performance “Best Practice” agents and brokers know why, when and how to cross sell.  In today’s turbulent insurance marketplace and challenging economy, cross selling is no longer an option.  It must be part of the life blood of your practice.  It is a requirement for your future and that of your business.

Below, I have outlined three ground rules of cross and up selling to help you get started on this profitable and meaningful journey.   

  1. abcBenchmark customer intimacy, engagement and loyalty before you cross and up sell.  If you attempt to cross or up sell and the client feels “over sold and under delivered”, your strategy may backfire.  On the other hand, a loyal and engaged client wants to expand his or her relationship with you.
  2. Develop a cross sell plan.  You must have a strategy map which responds to the questions Why? When? and How? to cross sell.
  3. Effective cross selling is not just about expanding the delivery of your products, services and resources.  Rather, discovering your customer’s issues and connecting a solution to the original purchase.

Your cross and up selling efforts will significantly increase the lifetime value of your customer as determined by repeat purchases, brand loyalty and positive word of mouth.  It all makes sense.  A study by Deloitte & Touche uncovered the odds of selling a product or service to a new customer is generally about 15% while the odds of a sale to an existing customer is 50%.  Plus, it costs 5 to 8 times more to sell a new customer.

The three ground rules of cross selling.  Cherish them!

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Matt O'NeillThe author, Matt O’Neill is the Director of Creativity at Addis Intellectual Capital, LLC (AIC). AIC is a coaching and consulting company whose purpose is to transform the process that insurance agents, brokers and carriers use when working with clients.  Matt can be reached at moneill@beyondinsurance.com or 610-945-1033. The author’s opinions and posts in no way reflect the Beyond Insurance brand or any other affiliate within Addis Intellectual Capital.

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