Cross Selling is a sales strategy to stimulate a company’s customers to acquire new products and services that it offers.

Have you ever been to the market or store to buy a specific product, but brought home 1 or 2 additional items? If you’ve been through this, it means you participated in a cross-sell or cross-sell action. And it’s time for you to start applying it to your sales!

Many companies treat the consumer as a one-dimensional figure that only has one need to satisfy.

The customer enters the store, buys the product and leaves. End of interaction.

By doing so, companies miss out on great opportunities to increase their revenue at minimal cost.

If the same thing happens to you, don’t despair. You can change this situation with just 2 questions:

  • What is required for my product to work ?;
  • What are its consequences?

Confused? Quiet. Read on and you will understand how these questions can increase your income!

What is cross selling (and what is not)?

Imagine you walk into an electronics store and tell the seller that you are looking for a new phone.

Your only requirement is that it has a powerful battery because “you hate running out of battery or taking the charger everywhere.”

Next, the seller shows you the most autonomous phone on the market and before going to the cashier to pay, he asks you: “Why don’t you take a power bank too?”

Then he explains the offer: “For another $ 100, you take a power bank home and you will always have enough charge to double the battery life.”

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Great, right?

Then, in the checkout line, you see another customer talking to the same seller. But this customer wants a cell phone with a big camera because he loves taking photos.

After the vendor presents you with the best camera phone and closes the sale, he asks, “Do you already have a selfie stick ?”

You must have understood the idea by now.

So what is cross selling? Cross selling is the technique of bidding on a product that is complementary to what the customer has decided to buy to increase the store’s revenue.

That is, (taking the example as an explanation) you wanted a cell phone with a good battery and you also got a power bank and the other customer wanted a device with a good camera and bought a selfie stick to complement it.

So yes, this type of strategy can play a vital role in increasing your company’s revenue.

Harvard Business Review conducted a cross-company study in Europe and the United States, and found that everyone who implemented cross-selling strategies increased ROI results for each customer.

Difference between upselling, downselling and cross selling

Remember that it is important to differentiate cross selling from similar techniques with similar names, such as additional sales or negative sales.

Although, cross selling focuses on offering a complementary product to the one initially chosen by the client, the additional sale consists of proposing an item that is better than that selected by the consumer.

In our mobile phone example, I would choose the X mobile phone and the seller would offer the X pro edition mobile phone, which would have better battery life.

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Instead, Downsell is the opposite, you offer a cheaper product that meets the needs of a customer, since otherwise you would not make the purchase.

Imagine that the customer wants a cell phone with a good battery, but cannot afford the X pro edition phone. A good idea would be to offer the cheapest version instead of losing the sale, don’t you think?

How to use cross selling correctly?

Understanding the definition of cross selling is simple, what is a little more complicated is implementing it in your marketing and sales strategy .

By definition, cross selling a is about offering a product that is complementary to what the customer has already chosen.

When we look closely at this explanation, we notice two key points, which are: the consumer and the product . Therefore, it is these factors that you should consider when using cross-selling in your marketing strategy .

Do you want to understand how? Check out our tips!

Analyze customer needs

In our mobile phone example, it was clear that cross selling only works when the seller knows the consumer’s wishes.

When the customer wanted more battery, the seller offered a power bank and the consumer who wanted a phone with a good camera to take photos, the seller offered a selfie stick.

In order for you to be clear about what to offer and which customer, you need to develop a well-defined buyer persona for your marketing strategy, listing their objectives and needs.

Map your opportunities

In addition to looking at the consumer, also look at your products. Analyze them and see how they work together.

This is where those two little questions from our introduction come into play :

  • What is required for my product to work ?;
  • What are its consequences?
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From there, you will begin to have a more accurate idea of ​​how your products work together and which customer might be interested in a joint sale.

For example:

Imagine that your company sells printers and other office supplies. What would be the answers to the previous question?

Well this is easy:

For the printer to work, you need paper, and after multiple prints, you will need more ink.

A simple cross-selling strategy would be to offer ink cartridges or bundles of paper to the customer interested in purchasing a printer.

Don’t forget that if you know your product well, you will recognize more of these combos and formulate different offers for different people.

Be measured

Always remember that cross selling is an attempt to incorporate a companion product into a closed sale.

Therefore, be measured and offer the business only once, without insisting and trying to bring multiple products to the consumer. In addition to being unpleasant, you risk losing the entire sale.

See what works and what doesn’t

Not all combos you put together to sell your products will work. However, sometimes consumers may be interested in offers you haven’t thought about (or haven’t planned on).

Therefore, it is important to do frequent analysis of what works and what does not work. If a specific offer worked for a person, then continue. If not, stop offering and consider alternatives. This will keep your planning profitable and optimized.


Establishing a cross selling strategy in your marketing strategies does not require many resources and generates considerable income for your business.

If you have missed this opportunity, now you have no excuse! Start thinking about which combos suit your business and your customers.