Up-Selling and Cross-Selling Process


Up-selling and Cross-selling is a common term that is used in the hospitality industry to refer to the act of promoting products to customers. It emanates from a simple word “SELLING”


Selling simply means the gentle part of giving other people your way by matching your products and service(s) to the need of the potential buyer. People buy bundles of satisfaction from people they like. People buy what they believe a product/service will do for them. This calls for understanding people, answering needs and objections and gaining commitment. The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer and therefore a market for the goods and services. Keep a customer; therefore, sustain interest and loyalty on the market segment.


This is an additional service to a customer; this is not in addition to what he/she has already bought, but in place of it.


Cross-selling offers the opportunity for an organization to make additional profits by selling services/products available in other outlets/units that the customer has not paid for. E.g. a restaurant waiter will sell a seafood specialty in another restaurant or sell a sister unit that has a specific feature that a client will, be willing to listen since the customer already has an idea.

Secondary spend

There are several ways of looking at this:

  • Anything that the guest has not paid for
  • What the guest can choose to spend or not spend money on once they enter the premises.
  • Any product or service we offer that the guest has not paid for and may not even be aware of.
  • Adding value to the guest’s stay exchange for money that he spends at his discretion
  • How do we enhance secondary spend by guests?
  • Think to sell, talk selling, sell a little, sell much, sell anything and sell everything.

Examples of secondary spend include; game drives, bird walks, traditional dancers, Excursions, Traditional talks, gift items and meals not prepaid for.

Importance of secondary spend

  • To Staff – Increased earnings e.g. tips, Job satisfaction “I sold” something, I made someone decide something, my way!” and Enhanced job security.
  • To the Guest – adds value to his stay/trip, Gets added attention, Needs are met,
  • To the business unit – extra revenue attracts repeat business in company awards, enhanced confidence from the owners, a better image in the market and Staff retention.

To be effective in selling one should;

  • Know what you are selling
  • Know who you are selling to
  • Listen
  • Find out their needs
  • Note their preferences
  • Assess sensitivity e.g. to price, quality, training etc.
  • Inform convincingly
  • Mention feature –– sell benefits
  • Listen & watch for buying signals.
  • Tactfully push for a decision
  • Keep the relationship warm & positive –– even if they don’t buy.

Dealing with Objections

  • An objection is a reason or excuse given by a customer for not wanting to buy our product or service.
  • Objections help us to know where the ‘fog’ is in the customer’s mind. It is, therefore, easier to clear it.
  • Ask questions to clearly understand the objection. Objections mostly have to do with; Price, Quality, Service, Competition, Experience, Reputation. If you anticipate objections, you are better placed to answer them.

The Sales Process

Selling is a process. It starts and ends somewhere, but you are central to the whole process. What happens in between determines whether people buy from you or not.

The key thing that happens in between is communication. To communicate effectively four elements are critical; listening, informing, asking and body language.

Buying signals

Observe your customer closely; he or she will be telling you how well or otherwise you are communicating your message often through quite involuntary signals. We call these buying signals.

  • They can be verbal – The questions they ask, the comments they make the ‘umms’ and ‘ahs’ that escape buying signals.
  • Non-verbal – The posture of the body, the focus of the eyes, the use of hands and the nod of the head.

Selling is really as simple as ABC – ‘Always Be Closing’ because if you can’t close you can’t sell.

Closing the Sale Phrases

  • “If you let me book you right away there’s likely to be one remaining seat.”
  • “If I booked you right away, you would be guaranteed of paying the current low prices.”
  • “Early bookings ensure you get the time of your choice”.

Five things are useful in responding to objections

  • Respond with an empathy statement.
  • Turn the objection into a question.
  • Answer the objection.
  • Ask the customer for an agreement.
  • Use the “if we can” statement.

Who Are Our Internal Customers?

Internal customers are our colleagues that form part of the service chain to the external customers.

Though some of us rarely meet or directly sell to the external customers, we all have internal customers that we need to care for.

When internal customers are frustrated, this eventually translates to poor service to more and more external customers.

Internal customers are important. Treat them respectfully and professionally and this will be passed on to the external customer. It will also create a pleasant working atmosphere which is good for everyone.

A Sales Personality

Personality: a Characteristic way of thinking and acting which identifies each person as a unique individual.

People buy from people they like. As a salesperson, therefore how do, you get people to like you?

To answer this question, you can turn it around and ask “As a buyer, what do I like about the sales people I buy from?” This is the main reason why we must embrace up-selling and cross-selling as a way of maximizing on sales.

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