5 Secrets of Upselling and Cross-Selling for Building Product Manufacturers
May 14, 2020
Customer retention is something we talk about a lot at HomeSphere because our platform is designed to help building product manufacturers keep customers for life. And we’ll explain more about that later in this post, but first we want to share tips from our own sales team on two common sales strategies that help with customer retention: upselling and cross-selling.
For consumers, upselling and cross-selling are sometimes viewed as classic sales maneuvers to get you to buy a product you don’t need, but that perception is often a result of a bad experience with a salesperson who wouldn’t take a hint. In reality, upselling and cross-selling can help to strengthen customer relationships by providing more solutions that keep your customers happy with your brand — but it requires a thorough approach. Read on for our five secrets to upsell and cross-sell with integrity.
Build relationships first
When we polled our team members for their advice, we quickly saw a theme emerge: upselling and cross-selling are only as successful as the relationships you develop. Meaning, if you haven’t taken the time to develop the relationship, your attempts at gaining more business will likely be unsuccessful.
“I think it is all about repetition and being there for the customer,” Kyle Ott, our regional market specialist based in Florida, said. “The most important piece is the relationship you have with the customer, and second is just being able to provide at all times, whether it be with lead times or simply always responding to emails.”
Edward Medor, our business development executive representing HomeSphere-IQ® Enterprise, agrees.
“It is infinitely easier to retain existing business than it is to acquire new business,” he said. “If someone already trusts you and values the products or solutions you bring to the table, then you have an easier time showing them what other benefits you can provide to them.”
Understand your customer’s “why”
For Adam Rahll, one of our partner managers who works closely with our brand partners, the key to upselling and cross-selling is to understand your customer’s why.
“Why do they use you in the first place?” Rahll said. “What goals do they have by working with you?”
Once you understand that, he said, you’ll be able to build out a pitch that contextualizes how your product or service can help home builders attain their own objectives.
Keep asking questions
“Always be curious,” Mark Muecke, our business development executive representing HomeSphere-IQ® Emerge, advised.
“You can rest on your laurels and never move the needle, or you can try and learn more about your clients and find new ways to add value to their business,” he said.
Continuously learning includes staying up to date on issues builders are facing as an industry (check out our Tracking Trends posts to read more on home building trends), company updates that will impact their business, new ventures they’re exploring and more.
“If you aren’t asking questions, you aren’t finding new ways to cross-sell,” Muecke said.
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Maintain a pulse on your customer’s buying behaviors
It’s impossible to know who’s open to hearing about a new product line or an upgrade to their existing purchases if you’re not keeping watch on your customers’ buying behaviors.
“There are myriad reasons that a builder continues to do business with you,” Medor said, “But what happens if you see you’ve only got 50 percent of that builder’s business? Perhaps it’s a pricing issue or it’s a distribution issue. Or, maybe it’s a relationship issue or a competitor is sneaking in and trying to steal your customer.”
Medor suggests taking a hard look at builders who don’t use you exclusively to find out why they don’t, so you can begin a course correction.
“It then becomes a great time to introduce them to different products and perhaps upsell them to ensure you edge closer to 100 percent product usage,” he said.
Find pivots for customers who are brand loyal
And for customers who are already brand loyal? Stay in touch and know there’s always room to pivot, Medor said.
“Introduce new product lines to your catalog that could bring higher profitability and reach out to your builders who are brand loyal to see if they’d be a good fit,” he said.
But, always remember to bring it back to your relationship with the builder.
“Sales are always won by a solid relationship,” Medor said.
How does HomeSphere-IQ fit in?
Our platform delivers the data and insight needed to keep customers for life and predictably grow market share. Brand partners have access to:
- The share of builders who claim their brand in closings and whether that percentage is increasing or decreasing
- Detailed stats on which builders are using your products exclusively to who's steadily decreasing in product usage
- Insights to alert you when corrective action needs to be taken to keep a builder’s business
HomeSphere-IQ is also available 24/7/365, so your sales teams can stay productive from anywhere. Contact us to learn more.