By Elizabeth Harr
Many executives in the VAR community recognize cross-selling services is the holy grail of increasing revenue per client — or one of them, at least. It’s also a proven way to make the most out of existing accounts and add more value to each client relationship by selling not only the services the client originally hired you to provide, but also complementary services that are equally appropriate.
Challenges And Strategic Questions
Cross-selling services delivers a variety of critical benefits to a firm, yet executives are all too often confounded by the difficulties cross-selling presents.
Actually, the reason cross-selling services has become so difficult is usually no mystery: The simple, uncomfortable truth is your clients just don’t understand what you do. You may have the most well-written and designed collateral and website. What’s more, you are probably diligent in mentioning every one of your service lines whenever speaking with clients face-to-face about your services. And yet … clients still don’t really know all that you do. To add insult to injury, if you were to ask them what additional services they wish you would offer, they would very likely mention services you already offer.
In the book my firm co-authored with RAIN Group, Professional Services Marketing, we reported on an extensive study we conducted of professional services firms. One of our most significant findings was that between 50 and 75 percent of individuals who buy professional services say they are unaware of the full range of services their providers have to offer. And to underscore the point made above, when we asked service providers about the additional services their buyers told them they would be interested in the providers already offered the services their buyers said they were looking for 80 percent of the time.
You already know there is potential for cross-selling your services, but what’s the smartest way to do it? Here are four key things to keep in mind.
I hope this post has shed some light on some of the reasons why cross-selling doesn’t happen more naturally. The answer often lives in the complex relationship of your services, brand, and customers’ evolving needs. By developing a strategy that addresses the four factors described above, you can greatly increase your firm’s ability to deepen its relevance to existing clients and win new business.
About The Author
Elizabeth Harr is an accomplished entrepreneur and experienced executive with a background in strategic planning, management, communications, and alliance development. Elizabeth co-founded a Microsoft solutions provider company and grew it into a thriving organization that became known for its expertise in Microsoft customer relationship management.