Cross selling to existing customers

This morning, I had to get an oil change and I drove up to the local Jiffy Lube. They charge $35 for an oil change. Cross selling to customersWhen I pulled in, they pulled up my car record and based on the mileage, they told me about the Honda recommended maintenance I have to do. Replacement of automatic transmission fluid and rotation of tires was due. They could do this if I could wait another 15 minutes. To remove any likely objection, they even threw in a 15% discount for all of the services. Why did I do it? – I knew I had to get these done but had forgotten about them – these were genuine maintenance things I had to get done. They did not push those services that I did not need – for example, they showed me the air filter and said it was fine. I was sold. Total charges = $154.

What is the lesson I took away from this – Jiffy Lube knew how to cross sell. First of all, they knew I was a return customer and based on my car records knew exactly what my needs were. They recommended solutions to satisfy those needs and got it all done, while gaining a larger share of my wallet. Not a small increment by any means – they got $119 more out of me than what I expected to spend when I drove in – a whopping 340% more.

How well do you know your customers? Do you treat each touch point with the customer as an isolated incident or does everyone who touches the customer know more about the customer’s needs than the customer himself? Is the customer aware of all the different products/services you offer for problems the customer likely has?

A mistake that companies make is assuming that the market is up-to-date on what products/services they offer. Customers don’t really care about a company’s products, they only care about solving their problems. It is up to us to create the awareness and cross sell these products/services to the customer. And don’t miss the opportunity to cross sell these products/services. But be genuine – offer only those services/products, the customer really needs – win the customer’s trust.

Retailers have figured this out the best – next to the toothbrushes are the toothpastes, dental flosses, teeth whitening strips, mouthwashes. Jiffy Lube is doing this very well.

Selling to existing customers is much cheaper compared to cost of acquiring new customers. Many companies forget this – Susan Oakes has an excellent blog post titled How not to retain key customers.

How well are we, as product managers, helping sales understand how to cross sell related products/services to existing customers?

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Image courtesy of Displays Plus Inc.

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