Cross-Selling and Up-Selling: How to Start Selling More Printing Today

Pop quiz! Which of these two statements is true? Your print buyers prefer to do business with:

  1. A company they already trust and have a relationship with.
  2. A company they’ve never done business with.

It seems like an easy enough question, right? But, then why is it that when businesses look to increase their sales, they focus on selling to new prospects instead of their existing customers? Keep in mind that the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5-20%, while focusing your efforts on existing customers brings that probability up to 60-70%!

Cross-selling and upselling is a great way to maximize your sales efforts and increase your revenue. And, these tactics don’t just benefit your sales numbers. Cross-selling and upselling helps breed customer happiness and deepen relationships because you’re ultimately delivering more value.

What is Cross-Selling?

Cross-selling can be summed up by asking yourself one question:

What additions can you provide to what your print buyers have already purchased?

The “Golden Arches” (a.k.a. McDonald’s) are known for one of the most famous examples of cross-selling of all time with their familiar question, “Do you want fries with that?” That innocuous question was a subtle yet ingenious marketing tool because by asking it, McDonald’s did a couple of things:

  • They made you believe that adding fries to your order was no big deal, and
  • They suggested that most people answer yes to that question simply by the casual way in which it was asked.

So, what does cross-selling look like in your world of print?

Cross-selling will direct your print buyers to print products or services that they would have most likely purchased anyways. However, by putting those products in front of them at the right time, you’ll be able to ensure your company makes an extra sale.

How to Implement Cross-Selling at Your Print Business

Consider offering complimentary additions to your print buyers’ orders.

For example, say your print buyer is looking to add business cards to their online shopping cart. You could create additional questions on your order forms, such as “Do you need matching letterhead?” Or, perhaps they’re shopping for envelopes. Add a question, such as, “Would you like to add custom envelope seals to your envelope order?” By prompting your clients to buy additional items, you’ll ultimately increase the value of each purchase.

Keep in mind that add-ons don’t necessarily need to be financial either. Consider adding a question asking if your print buyer would like to sign up for your email newsletter or physical mailing list.

Cross-selling is an excellent tool to help you generate repeat business by building confidence in your buyers with all you have to offer.

What is Upselling?

Another valuable tool to increase your sales is upselling.

Upselling will not only help you build deeper relationships with your customers, but it will increase a customer’s lifetime value or CLV. Upselling asks the question:

Can your print buyer upgrade their existing order in any way?

For example, have you ever been asked if you would like to upgrade to a small Blizzard for $1.00 more at Dairy Queen? These upgrades make consumers feel like they’re getting a higher-end product (which they are), and you see the benefits in increased sales.

At your print business, upselling looks more like this:

  • Would you like to upgrade to 1,000 business cards for $X more?
  • Would you like us to fold these for you for an additional $X?
  • Instead of labeling and stamping all of those postcards yourself, would you like to upgrade your order to include the use of our bulk-mailing permit and mailing services?

The Before, During, and After of Upselling at Your Print Business

Upselling effectively is all about timing. You want to highlight the right products and services at the right time to hit each aspect of the marketing flywheel. For example:

  • Before your print buyer makes a purchase, display other product recommendations on your order forms. You could update your product description text to highlight accompanying products. Or, create and feature sidebar ads for products and services that would pair nicely.
  • During your print buyer’s purchase, add questions on your order forms to ask about product pairings. “Would you like to add 500 business cards to your order? Click here.” Or, add a checkbox for them to sign up for your email newsletter.
  • After your print buyer’s purchase, you can welcome customers back for more by following up with personalized emails.

Make Your Print Buyers Feel Like Winners

A good upsell or cross-sell will leave your print buyers feeling like they came out ahead. Keep these tips in mind for mutual success:

  • Too many choices will lead to confusion and your buyers feeling overwhelmed. Show options for similar or complimentary products, but don’t overwhelm them.
  • Highlight the incentives for spending more money. For example, highlight the savings per piece if they purchase a larger quantity. Or, offer free shipping if they order so many pieces.
  • Consider a push for higher-quality paper by demonstrating the value of the more expensive option.

Lastly, remember the late Zig Ziglar’s famous quote, “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough people get what they want.” Set your print buyers up to win, and you will win as well.