Three keys to cross-selling your clients

by BN27 May 2012

Cross-selling is not a dirty word! In fact, it is your biggest opportunity to diversify your income, increase profit and bullet-proof your client base, by offering complimentary products and services that will ultimately help your client in a more complete way.

Isn’t that why we are here, to help people?

There are two main reasons why you must master the art of cross-selling. First, there are only two ways you can grow your income. Either make more money per client, or find more clients. Now it’s a fact that the easiest person to sell to is an existing client, someone you have already invested your time and expertise in – so increasing your income per client is a far easier way to grow your income, compared with finding more clients more often!

The second reason is for client protection. The more products and services you help your clients with, the less risk you have of them leaving. You become their centre of influence for all things finance, and it becomes increasingly difficult for your client to stray when they are heavily invested in you and have all their finance needs in the one place.

  1. Form your own inner-circle professional alliance

 Once you’ve identified which products and services you want to cross-sell, you’ll need to decide who will provide the products and services and how you will coordinate the process.

Do you have the skills and qualifications to provide the products and services yourself, will you hire a staff member or take on a partner who does, or will you find a professional (or business) who you trust to look after your clients? Each option has its pro’s and con’s that you will need to consider before making a decision.

To coordinate the process of forming alliances with outside professionals, take charge and clearly document exactly how you want the referral process to flow, how you want your clients treated, how you want to be renumerated, and how often you will communicate and update each other on the progress of any referrals.

The reality is that most professionals are uneducated about how to effectively cross-sell and refer clients, so often your biggest task is teaching your alliance partners how to play the game to get a winning result for both parties.

  1. Use a bigger-picture approach with clients

At the basic level, there are two approaches you can take with your clients.

The first is the “product-based” approach – where you discuss borrowing capacity, lenders, rates, fees, and the process of buying a property. This is how the majority of brokers are taught to deal with clients – and it makes cross-selling an up-hill battle.

The second and more effective way is the “solution-based” approach – where you discuss big-picture wants and needs with your client, create a solution to help your clients achieve these wants and needs, then help them implement the solution. The reason this approach is so powerful is when you help your clients implement a big-picture solution, this will automatically involve a wide range of products and services – which means the cross-sell and referral process is a natural part of helping the client achieve their goals.

  1. Take charge!

If you want to integrate and maximise cross-sells in your business, make more money, diversify your income and protect your clients, and if you really want to help your clients achieve their financial goals – then you must take charge, control the conversation and become a solution-based broker.

Never wait for your client to ask. Never be an order-taker. You are the professional. You are the expert. You know what’s best, so show your clients a big-picture solution, get them excited, get their approval, and then tell them what they need to do to achieve it.

If you do, you will close more deals, make more cross-sells, earn more money – and your clients will love you for it!


3 reasons why brokers fail at cross-selling

  1. They don’t have professional alliance partners in place to refer to, or they don’t have effective processes in place to cross-sell internally.
  2. They wait for the client to ask, or they don’t know how and when to introduce other products and services. Most clients will not ask because they either don’t know what to ask, or they don’t realise you offer additional products and services.
  3. They are often small-picture focussed when dealing with clients. If you focus on the “small” things like loans, rates, fees and repayments, you’ll find it harder to cross-sell your clients after helping them with their loans.

James Veigli is a business profits specialist and founder of the Broker Profits Vault.