Authors: Bryce Whitty
“Would you like fries with that?” is probably one of the most well known cross-sells in today’s society. McDonald’s restaurants do this because it simply makes them more money and at the end of the day this is what most businesses are about – making money.
In my own business, I found that data backup was one of the easiest items to cross-sell. If a client had approached me because of a data loss incident, I would always offer an ongoing backup solution after I recovered the data. The client has already gone through the emotional turmoil of possibly never seeing their data again, that they will often do whatever it takes so that it doesn’t happen ever again.
If the client is yet to experience data loss incident and I notice that they do not have any sort of backup solution in place, I would bring it up.
The way I would sell it would depend on whether they were a residential or business client. If they where a residential client I would say something like “I noticed that you dont have any sort of backup solution in place. I would imagine you would be pretty upset if you lost all these photos”.
If the client was a business client, I would say something along the lines of: “How much downtime would you experience or how much money would you lose if something happened to your database”.
The great thing about offering data backup as a cross-sell is you can earn money on both the hardware (like an external drive) and the service (setting it all up). I f you set your client up with some sort of offsite solution, it is also possible to make money out of this on an ongoing basis where you continue making a commission.
Every now and then you will have a client that comes in that wants their computer fixed yesterday. The client may be a busy business person or perhaps they are a student that has a school project due tommorrow. Whatever the case, a fast turn around time is a priority and some people are willing to pay for it.
If you already have a few computers on your bench, offer a “Priority Service” fee that will push their computer to the front of the line. If they are truly in a hurry (and not just hurrying you along because they have a Facebook addiction), most will be happy to pay a little extra for the privilege.
Go Wireless – Routers, Keyboards and Mice
Computer cables going everywhere can really bother some people and sometimes it can even be dangerous. Talk to the client about the possibility of going wireless with their network, keyboard or mouse. You can also offer to clean up their cables which can extend the callout time by 10 minutes or so, thus making you more money.
Uninterruptable Power Supplies with Automatic Voltage Regulation
If the client is in an area that is prone to blackouts and brownouts, consider setting them up with a Uninterruptable Power Supply with automatic voltage regulation. Let your clients know that their computer will stay on if there is a temporary outage so they don’t lose their work. Also let them know that it helps protect the hardware from power surges. Similar to the data backup example, these are easy to sell after their computer has already been damaged by a power surge or some other power related issue.
External Harddrive Enclosures
These are a great cross-sell when someone is upgrading their computer. There have been a few times when my client’s laptop wasn’t worth repairing so they simply went out and bought a new one. Even though I didnt get the laptop sale itself, I still can still make make money by offering to pull the hard drive out of their old computer (assuming the original issue wasnt hard drive related) and put it in an external USB hard drive enclosure. This way, they can connect it to their new PC and access their old files on the drive.
If I notice that the clients computer has undesirable software installed while I am working on something else, I offer a tune up service to help make the system run better. I would typically say something along the lines of “I noticed that there is some undesirable software on the system (adware/spyware) which can slow down the computer or invade your privacy, would you like me to remove this?”. I find that most clients will say yes to this service.
You may discover that a clients computer has insufficient antivirus protection or simply no protection at all. This is a great opportunity to either sell a well rounded paid antivirus solution or take the time to install a free one. Of course, making sure that a clients computer has an antivirus solution installed is just part of being a good technician anyway.
Some laptops have some serious overheating problems. If you come across one of these laptops, consider selling the client a USB powered laptop cooling pad.
Unifed Threat Management Appliances
If your business clients has handful of computers in their office, consider offering to install a Unifed Threat Management appliance (antivirus, antispam, firewall etc..) at the edge of their network to help keep it safe from internet threats.
If your business repairs devices that tend to get dropped like Laptops, tablets and phones, consider cross-selling your client a durable case for that device.
Downtime for business clients can be very expensive so it is best to try and catch these issues before they happen. There are two good ways to cross-sell managed services.
- 1. If you are at the clients location for another reason (ie, setting up a printer), mention the managed services you offer and then follow up with something like: “It is $XXX per month which may sound expensive, but think about it like this. You have X amount of staff here and if the system goes down and they cannot work, you still need to pay their hourly wage so you are losing $XXX per hour while system is down. And that isnt even counting missed deadlines or lost clients etc.. So really, this maintenance plan can actually save you money”.
- 2. If you are at the clients location because something has already failed, you could say something like: “This issue could have been prevented. In the future, my company can monitor the computers remotely keeping an eye on the overall health of the computer. Basically, we can fix things before they fail resulting in minimal downtime”.
Like most things in life, there is a right way and a wrong way to sell. Cross selling (which is offering similar products and services) must be built around the customers needs and not just selling more stuff. Up selling (which is selling a better version of the same item) can be done more on what the customers wants. Obviously will need to recommend a device that is good enough for what they want to do, but you can always go better depending on their budget such as more space, faster speeds or higher quality.
If you hire employees, you can get them enthusiastic about up-selling and cross-selling as well by offering them a commission on all additional sales. You may feel like this means less money in your pocket since the employees are also getting a cut, but chances are they will sell more resulting in more money for you in the end.
Do you up-sell/cross-sell something I haven’t mentioned here in your own business? Please leave us a comment.
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