The importance of cross-selling and upselling

Selling a product/ service is important. But selling a product/ service with more or better products/ services is even better. This is what we call cross-sell and upsell. What are they for? Increase the consumption and the purchase by adding additional product/ service/ value to an initial purchase.

The topic of this article is to explain the difference between cross-sell and upsell, and how do they work. Few tips from my experiences as a seller, but also as a buyer will be given.

What is a cross-sell?

A cross-sell is when complementary/ additional products/ services are bought along with the main product/ service you initially purchased.

 As per example, have you ever entered a shop for buying a t-shirt and went out with the t-shirt you wanted plus the jean and the belt that “fit together”? well, that was a cross-sell. A seller, or “adviser” as we like to call them, gives you a story, a vision about yourself that could be better with more than your initial purchase.

In my personal experience, the best way to do a cross-sell is to provide doubt, fear, pleasure. For example:

“Do you know the pant that would go with your t-shirt? Something else would fit better you know?”

“Do you have any insurance with your phone? In case it breaks by falling down, or if it got stolen?”

“With this entrecote, I would suggest our cote du Rhone, it will complete your meal!”

I’m sure you have heard those sentences somehow.

What is upsell?

Upsell is the action to sell a higher value of product/ service than the initial purchase and that will “fit better” the need of the prospect/ client. For example, you come for buying a HP computer, and at the end you got convinced a McBook Air would suit you better for your need. Same product, just “higher-end”.

In order to perform an upsell, you can use the emotional feeling of your prospect/ client, such as ego, intelligence, showing that they are too good for this low product, but something higher would be way more suitable for them.

Of course, once the upsell has been performed, you can/ should then cross-sell with additional products/ services and why not upsell them too?. Upsell on cross-sell, if you feel it, do it!


Many different techniques are possible. The goal is really to give additional value to your prospect/ customer. Make them feel unique. By adding products/ services/ value to their needs, they would feel understood and that you give them a tailored advice that is matching what they look for.

And the most interesting thing about those selling processes is that at the end, both the seller and the buyer are happy!

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