Whether you’re working with clients on a project or retainer basis, there are opportunities for your management consultancy firm to up-sell or cross-sell its services.

When you’ve worked hard to secure a contract with a client, it’s easy to get comfortable. You’ve done the ‘hard work’ and now you can focus on doing what you do best – providing exceptional service to your clients.

But, if Brexit has taught us anything it’s that firms need to prepare for the unexpected. Which means, securing a healthy pipeline of work.

Rather than coming back out from behind battle lines to fight for new business, ease the pressure on yourself. Consider: Are there are opportunities to cross-sell additional services to your current clients?

The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% (Source: Marketing Metrics).

For the purpose of this blog, I’m going to give you my definitions of up-selling and cross-selling; Two terms which, sadly, have been somewhat tarnished…

Up-selling is the processes of selling a more expensive version of a product or service that the customer already has (or is buying).

For example…This could be offering more man-power, billable time or more deliverables for an extra fee.

Cross-selling occurs when you offer a completely separate product or service (this can be related or unrelated to the current product or service offering).

For example…If you’re currently working on a change management project for a client, you may be able to tender for process analysis or strategy development contracts for a separate project.

So, what mistakes are firms making when it comes to the conversations about up-sellling and cross-selling?

 1. Approaching with the wrong attitude

To clear things up…

Up-selling and cross-selling AREN’T ‘sales techniques’ designed to squeeze out every last penny.

They ARE ways of adding more value above what’s been previous agreed.

The important thing to remember, and a stumbling block for many management consultancy firms, is…

If a client will see significant added value from a service they’re not yet channeling, and your firm has the skillset to deliver it, it’s in the interest of both parties to explore it.

Stop thinking of additional business as a favour and start thinking of it as an investment on their part.

2. Allowing scope-creep to become your biggest competition

Working in a consultative way means you have an inbuilt desire to seek out areas for improvement.

Naturally, with client-service relationships, new challenges and obstacles will become apparent as time goes on.

To avoid taking on the necessary extra work for free (or as a gesture of ‘good will’ to keep the client happy), be clear about what is and isn’t included in your contract. Don’t be afraid to highlight this to your clients. If the extra resource is crucial to the success of the work, up-sell or cross-sell the relevant services.

How? Explain how the extra work will be outside of the project scope but how it is necessary if they’re to see the success they’re after – explain how they ‘win.’

3. Overlooking reengagement

Despite not being a ‘mistake’ made while in the process of up-selling or cross-selling, many management consultancy firms continue to undervalue reengagement.

Know all the previous work you’ve done for those great clients? When was the last time you reached out to them offering a different service?

58% of executives reported not having a formal customer engagement program in place, and 60% didn’t know how many customers they’d lost over the past year. (Source: Convero)

Having an omni-channel process to open new-business conversations with clients (past and present) means you could retain more than 89% of their custom (Source: Invesp) . It also increases the likelihood of opportunities for up-selling and cross-selling to arise in the future.

Need more information?

Sound like something you’d like to start exploring? Our onsite training package, popular with management consultancy firms, can be tailored to your business’ needs.

Over a half or full day’s intense workshop, Senior Partner, James, can take you and your team through up-selling and cross-selling conversations which could see you double the current revenue you’re generating from your current clients.

Send cara.evans@www.properopartners.com an email for more information.

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