Written by Kronos Technologies on October 31, 2017
In the first part of this post we looked at the importance of cross-selling to you, your practice and your clients. And we talked about high-level considerations when creating your cross-selling system—like aligning it with your vision and the importance of automation. Now it’s time to look at specific strategies you can choose to implement in your system.
Create your cross-selling system
The strategies you choose to employ to consistently and effectively cross-sell will depend on the target you set for yourself in your vision. If you are pursuing aggressive growth you may want to push the boundaries of all of the following strategies—which will mean leaning heavily on your technology and delegating a lot of work to your staff. On the other hand, if you are transitioning out of the business in the next five to ten years, perhaps you would be more interested in defining the processes involved in each strategy you choose and creating systems that are defined in your CRM so that your practice runs at its most efficient—and when the time comes to sell you can get full value for your book of business.
No matter which strategies you choose to fulfill your vision the key is to create processes that will not just be effective in the short-term, but that are structured and automated to the extent that you can focus on the parts of the system you most enjoy—meeting with clients—so that you don’t lose enthusiasm or focus over time.
Strategy One: Leverage annual reviews to most effectively serve clients
This is a cornerstone strategy that is employed with all clients. The point of view you take into the review process is very important. Although we’re talking about cross-selling here, the reason you conduct annual reviews is to uncover client needs, educate and provide solutions that will reduce their pain and risk. In short, this process is the embodiment of what it means to be a trusted advisor.
Optimizing the review process means:
- defining the steps involved in scheduling, conducting and following up on a review
- mapping them out in your CRM so that you can follow that defined process consistently with each client
- using the CRM activity management tools to keep staff focused on the activities that make reviews happen
- creating templates for emails, review agendas, follow-up communication that you can use automatically with each client
- using an integrated financial needs analysis tool to access up to date customer information before you sit down with them—saving time and effort, and ensuring compliance
Strategy Two: ‘A’ client education and networking events
The goal behind this strategy is to provide high levels of value for your top clients. Whether you prefer to conduct lunches or dinners or some other type of event, the key to making this strategy successful is to find speakers to provide your clients with information they can’t get elsewhere. Make sure the talk is targeted at clients’ specific needs and interests—and on a subject that is tied to the product or service you are focused on.
Ask each client to bring someone they know who would benefit from the experience. This will create great networking opportunities for both you and them. Examples of events might include a speaker from a heart illness foundation on prevention strategies or a doctor speaking on the emotional and monetary costs of serious illness.
Use technology to optimize the process for organizing the events, inviting clients and ensuring their attendance, and following up afterwards to discuss needs and the solutions you can offer.
Strategy Three: Seminars
For your ‘B’ and ‘C’ clients you may want to take advantage of the same speakers you used in strategy two to headline large group seminars. Again, the idea is to educate your clients about a subject that is related to the products and services you are focussed on.
You can adjust the processes and steps you mapped into your CRM for strategy two to optimize the delivery of the seminars. Forms, templates, secure email and activity management tools can automate the follow-up process to save you time and effort during the actual discovery and sales process.
Strategy Four: Effective and consistent follow-up
A key link in the cross-selling process is the follow-up after an event or seminar. For the sake of consistency and effectiveness it helps to take advantage of technology to automate the process as much as possible, and to target your follow-up to each particular client and their needs.
Follow-up usually involves a number of linked activities. You will likely send a follow-up email to each client and to any new prospects you were introduced to. You can include a short educational piece, created as a form or template in your CRM, that describes your offering and how it fits with their needs. Then a staff member will email or call to schedule a meeting.
All of this can be scheduled in your CRM, attached to each client’s contact, and assigned to the staff member who will execute the task. When the time is right your CRM will automatically alert your staff about the step that must be completed. Since the emails and forms already reside within your CRM no real effort is required.
Remember to treat each touch and each meeting with every client as strictly educational—they aren’t about pressuring the client by trying to make a sale, but should be focused on adding value.
To create a cross-selling system tailored to you first define what you want your firm to look like in five years by defining your vision. Use your CRM to segment your clients so that you can target your communications, marketing and solutions to those with the biggest need. Then choose the appropriate cross-selling strategies for you—the ones that will best help you make your vision a reality. Implementing those strategies through your CRM on a consistent basis will ensure you work effectively and efficiently. You’ll save time, serve your clients better and create deeper relationships.