In the past, you could earn a day’s pay for a day’s work, but in many industries, such as the travel industry, that is not always the case anymore. Sometimes the profit margin is so thin that the service fee barely pays your salary, let alone any of the other costs of doing business. However, by cross selling you can maximize your clients’ experiences, while adding to the company’s bottom line.
It is important to remember that cross selling, which is offering related products and services, is different upselling, which is offering a more expensive alternative. Here are some basic rules to help you master the art of cross selling.
Know your client
This is by far the most important rule in cross selling. You can create a customer profile in Amadeus Selling Platform. There are also some great Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools available to make this easier. If you don’t have either of those tools available, don’t let that hold you back. Just be sure to record your client’s purchases and any comments on their likes and dislikes.
Tip: Connecting with your customers via social media platforms can give you insight into their lifestyles to help you see what is important to them.
Ask questions and make suggestions
Get to know your clients beyond where they want to travel. Ask open-ended questions like “Where will you be staying?” or “How will you get around once you’re there?”
As a professional travel consultant, exercise your liberty to share your expertise by making suggestions such as “Customers who bought that, also bought this” (online retailers are famous for this).
Use your insider knowledge to offer tips, such as “the wait time for the Vatican Museum can be up to two hours. Would you like me to set up ‘skip the line’ tickets for you?” This can be a great segue for a cross sale! However, if you missed your opportunity at the time of booking, call or email your client for a post-sale follow-up.
A picture is worth 1,000 opportunities
If you are not connecting with your clients on social media, you’re missing out on additional cross-selling opportunities. Encourage your clients to share their travel experiences via social media and be sure to tag your company. Once clients see your brand associated with an unforgettable excursion, it will often inspire a client to inquire about adding “extras” to their vacation.
Remember, cross selling reinforces the value your company provides to the customer. However, beware of becoming greedy, as you then risk losing the repeat business or referrals. Ultimately, the cross-selling opportunity must always be driven by a desire to serve your customer best. Happy selling!
Teresa “Tere” Lang is a business development manager with more than 30 years’ experience in the travel industry. She can be reached at Teresa.firstname.lastname@example.org.