Making the most of cross-selling
Matt Edwards is managing director of e-Finity Leads
It’s my experience that, when operating in competitive and/or challenging markets, the most successful companies are those that make the most of their opportunities to cross-sell additional products and services. Working leads is no different, the initial sale may keep the lights on, but it’s the extras that pay the Christmas bonus, so to speak.
Financial services and mortgages, in particular, offer one of the more lucrative opportunities to cross-sell to the consumer. During the mortgage process you learn intricate details about the consumer’s financial and personal circumstances while hopefully building a relationship of trust and confidence. Many businesses would fall over themselves for this sort of scenario, and given the fact that you are offering products (or are only going to offer products) that meet an identifiable need rather than an unnecessary addition to their original purchase, you have a perfect opportunity to increase your earnings.
The best real-life example of this I’ve seen is the case of a mortgage broker who bought a first-time buyer lead and managed to turn it into seven pieces of business. She put the couple into a new mortgage while also selling them protection, private medical and home insurance, and earning a referral fee on their legal costs, wills and car insurance! This wasn’t a bad return on the lead she bought for a few pounds. Furthermore, she can expect to keep earning as the couple’s mortgage and insurance deals are renewed over time.
Admittedly, not every case will earn as well as this one, but cross-selling and capitalising on the lifetime value of a customer are vital to any successful business model. Big business knows this; that’s why you see high-street brands and supermarkets lending their names to just about anything under the sun. You can be sure that if you’re not offering your customers additional services someone else will be.
Cross-selling doesn’t need to start with a mortgage, either. These days a considerable amount of information about the customer is collected for almost any financial transaction. If you sell protection, remember to grab the home insurance renewal date while you’re at it. Chances are, if they did business with you once they’ll do it again. Even if you don’t offer the product directly, the customer may still be willing to take a recommendation from you for someone who does, earning you a referral fee in the process.
Whatever business you’re in, if you’re not looking at cross-selling additional products and services to existing customers you’re missing out on the easiest sales. Acquiring new customers costs too much money to simply throw the customer away once you’ve made the initial sale.
So, are you making the most out of cross-selling?