How Cross Selling and Up Selling Enhance Relationship Marketing Programs

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Author: Jeremy P Stanfords

One of the greatest accomplishments for companies today is keeping existing clients while drawing in new ones. Adding a marketing program to further engage current or past customers enhances sales and revenue while creating a long-lasting relationship. Sometimes companies can’t reach their full potential in sales because they simply don’t tap their existing market by up-selling, cross-selling and asking for referrals. Through customer relationship marketing programs, companies can focus on providing more goods and services for their clients while enriching their sales.

Up Selling

The term “up selling” refers to the process of inviting customers to buy more of what they want. Purchasing the next size up in quantity, for example, helps the person ordering to fulfill their company’s needs while increasing the revenue of their supplier. Selling larger sizes or upgrading services is often only a matter of asking. This is especially true of clients who order the same items on a regular basis, since it may be more economical for them to order in bulk. A company’s order database can be set up to include an up-sell, suggesting the next size or level to clients at the time they place an order. Providing a discount for higher quantities may entice the buyer.

Cross Selling

One way to further meet the needs of clients is to offer them other products that enhance or coordinate well with what they have already ordered. Called cross selling, it is an opportunity to prevent clients from going elsewhere for things they will likely purchase anyway. In many cases, the customer may be unaware that the merchant sells certain items. Cross selling is achieved by simply asking people if they would like to add a particular item to their order. This is ideal for increasing sales on the most and least popular items, accessories and enhancements. In some cases, the client may not be ready to add on to their order right away, but will consider other services for future reference.


Customers are usually willing to share their experiences with others when asked. Companies hoping for referrals from their present client base can increase the number they receive by simply asking for them. When the client feels as if their opinion and experiences matter, it improves the vendor-client relationship. Requesting referrals can be done in a number of ways as part of a relationship marketing strategy.

When employing up selling, cross selling and requesting referrals as part of a relationship marketing strategy, companies should keep in mind that clients expect the same quality and service with these additional purchases.

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About the Author

Author is a freelance writer. For more information on cross selling please visit

Victor Chuma

Victor Chuma

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