How to Unlock the Power of Cross-selling
To say that I'm not handy around the house is a huge understatement.
Which is why, from time to time, I call on Mr. Handyman a home maintenance and repair franchise operation that's a godsend for someone like me.
I recently had a few things around the house that needed doing, so I called for an appointment. Mr. Handyman showed up on time, did the work well, and that was that. Or so I thought.
Some weeks after the work was completed I received a flyer in the mail from Mr. Handyman that was absolutely first-rate and illustrates perfectly how to cross-sell effectively and profitably. Before we analyze the piece, let's ask the important question . . .
What exactly is cross-selling?
Cross-selling is a way to increase sales by actively offering related products or services to prospects.
The classic cross-sell takes place at the fast food joint. You order a burger and are immediately asked "Do you want fries with that?" Maybe you weren't thinking of ordering fries but you reflexively say "Yes."
NOTE: Managers of fast food restaurants who don't train their crews to ask "Do you want fries with that?" and "What will you have to drink?" should be forced to eat junk food forever. They are literally leaving money on the table.
For another example of cross selling, check out Amazon.com. When you search for a book on a given subject, you are automatically shown a list of related titles that "Customers expressed interest in." Can you imagine how many extra books Amazon sells because it automatically cross-sells every single prospect?
And now, back to my friend Mr. Handyman. If you want to see how this forward-looking franchise company cross-sells their customers, check out the Mr. Handyman flyer that I've posted (with their kind permission) on my Web site. You'll find it at:
As you can see, Mr. Handyman isn't waiting patiently and passively for my faucets to start dripping again. The company is taking the initiative and proactively cross-selling products -- not just their repair service. And what a nice job they do! Here are some thoughts about their flyer:
* Look at the headline and subheadline: "Products for the home. Delivered and installed by Mr. Handyman." They are explicitly offering what my buddy Geoffrey A. Moore calls "the whole product solution." Mr. Handyman makes it so easy to say "Yes."
* The snipe that says "Great Gift Ideas!" is itself a great idea. Maybe I don't want their products but I might want to give their products to someone else. They're broadening my options and opening me up to other purchasing possibilities.
* Look how clean, attractive, and appealing the graphic design is. A wonderful job. Whoever designed this really knows what they're doing. (Do your collateral materials look as sharp as this? They should.)
* Notice the third page with the headline, "For all your home repairs!" Mr. Handyman hasn't forgotten to remind the prospect of the company's core competency. Sure. They're trying to cross-sell you products, but they also remind you of the service they're known for.
The takeaway message this month?
It's important to always be on the lookout for cross-selling opportunities that can boost sales. McDonald's does it. Amazon does it. Mr. Handyman does it. And you can do it too!
Ivan Levison is a freelance direct response copywriter who works for companies like Bank of America, Fireman's Fund, Intel, Microsoft and many others. Levison writes direct mail sales letters, e-mail letters and ads. For a free subscription to his monthly e-mail newsletter for software marketers, visit his Web site at http://www.levison.com. He can be reached at (415) 461-0672 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.