Upselling, Cross-selling and Reliable Data

There are two themes to today’s post. One is the difference between upsell and cross-sell. The other theme considers citations supporting claims.

Alex Turnbull in a blog post defends the value of upselling. He differentiates between upselling and cross-selling. (Before choosing to lump them together for the rest of the blog). Defining the terms is useful. Upselling is getting the customer to buy something of more value than they were planning to do. Cross-selling is getting the customer to buy something else that goes with the item already being bought. Both of these can be annoying for the consumer. They can even be harmful is if the consumer is persuaded to spend more than they can afford. That said, it is a fair point to defend upselling and cross-selling as having a potential social benefit — they can bring consumers value. At the most prosaic asking whether a consumer wants batteries for a holiday toy where the batteries are not included could prevent a lot of sulking. “..when used properly, upselling can bring you closer to your customers, while bringing you more revenue, better retention, and lower churn” (Turnbull, 2020).

Where things take an odder turn is that our Marketing Metrics book is cited in the article. There is also a nice link to our book, thanks very much. The problem is that I can’t work out why we are cited. “In the book Marketing Metrics, the authors share a fascinating finding from their research: The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%” (Turnbull, 2020). This really doesn’t sound like the sort of thing we’d say. While it seems intuitive that it is easier to sell to an existing than a new customer our book doesn’t have research on that. Furthermore, the idea of an academic giving such helpfully precise numbers seems unlikely. At a minimum I’d note that surely it matters what you are selling when determining your chance of making a sale. It is strange to be cited but not really know why you are being cited. (That said all citations are good citations so I guess I shouldn’t complain).

What is the message: Clearly it is to buy our book. It apparently has loads of wisdom in there that even we don’t know about.

Read: Alex Turnbull, (2020) How to Use Upselling to Increase Customer Happiness, Retention and Revenue, accessed March 28, 2020