The Opportunities Right Under Your Nose

Welcome to Part 1 of our March Opportunity blog series:  The Opportunities Right Under Your Nose

Cultivating new customers is the lifeblood of many companies, but so too is nurturing and growing existing ones.

You don’t always have to be in the rat race of chasing new customers every minute of the day, when there is an abundance of wonderful opportunities right under your nose.

You can give your bottom line a significant boost by getting your existing customers to buy something else from you and/or by selling to more divisions within a client organisation. These sales strategies are commonly known as up selling and cross selling.

Up selling

Up selling is providing customers with more opportunities to purchase related products and services.  A simple example of up selling is a waiter asking if you want a side dish to go with your meal. Airline websites such as Ryanair and EasyJet are masters of up selling. Customers searching for flights are offered a suite of complementary products, including hotels, travel insurance and car hire.

Cross selling

Cross selling is leveraging opportunities by selling to more than one division with a client organisation.  For example, let’s say one of your customers is the marketing department of a company, can you sell your solutions to others across the organisation, perhaps to HR and the accounts department?

So how can you go about up selling and cross selling?

There is potential gold hidden in your customer database.  Examine your client list and look at the products and services they have bought from you and see where else your offerings can help them.  More than likely, this exercise will uncover opportunities for up selling and cross selling.   But you should also be looking for opportunities with many of the interactions you have with your clients.

Conversations That Sell

Train your sales staff to have broad and deep conversations with customers from the outset.  Asking pertinent questions will uncover more about their needs, thereby creating a platform for you to provide solutions.  Bear in mind the object of the exercise is to give additional value to your clients, not just to push more stuff their way.  Up sells and cross sells should always be relevant to a customer’s needs, therefore look for opportunities by thinking how your offerings can provide more benefits.

There is no one specific window of opportunity to up sell or cross sell.  It may come towards the end of an initial sales conversation, after solving a client problem or at any time during your relationship with the client.


However, there is a wrong time, for example if you try and up-sell when a customer calls to complain.  A worldwide survey by AchieveGlobal found that more than 40% of respondents said they were annoyed when an employee “talks to me about things other than the problem I am trying to resolve, for example up selling and cross selling”.

It comes down to listening to your customers and being able to read their situation, spotting opportunities to help them even more.

Position yourself as a Trusted Advisor and make it a natural part of your relationship with your clients.

Referral Selling

Another opportunity right under your nose is referral selling.  Some sales people and organisations are scared of asking for referrals for fear of being turned down. Yet, in many cases, customers are only too happy to provide referrals and introductions if they have received stellar products and superlative customer service.


If you are not spotting these opportunities under your nose, you could be missing out on quicker sales and new revenue opportunities.  Your customers already know and trust you and have an affinity for what you do.  Instead of chasing new business all the time, focus on your existing customers and you could find the results are profound.

For tips and techniques on grabbing these opportunities from your existing clients, or to arrange a bespoke sales training course, contact us to discuss options

Part 2 of our Opportunity series will be published on Tuesday. Keep an eye on the blog!

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