11 Products and Services You Can Up-sell and Cross-sell Your Clients

Up-Selling your Services

“Would you like fries with that?” is probably one of the most well known¬†cross-sells in today’s society. McDonald’s restaurants do this because it simply makes them more money and at the end of the day this is what most businesses are about – making money.

Data Backup

In my own business, I found that data backup was one of the easiest items to cross-sell. If a client had approached me because of a data loss incident, I would always offer an ongoing backup solution after I recovered the data. The client has already gone through the emotional turmoil of possibly never seeing their data again, that they will often do whatever it takes so that it doesn’t happen ever again.
If the client is yet to experience data loss incident and I notice that they do not have any sort of backup solution in place, I would bring it up.

The way I would sell it would depend on whether they were a residential or business client. If they where a residential client I would say something like “I noticed that you dont have any sort of backup solution in place. I would imagine you would be pretty upset if you lost all these photos”.

If the client was a business client, I would say something along the lines of: “How much downtime would you experience or how much money would you lose if something happened to your database”.
The great thing about offering data backup as a cross-sell is you can earn money on both the hardware (like an external drive) and the service (setting it all up). I f you set your client up with some sort of offsite solution, it is also possible to make money out of this on an ongoing basis where you continue making a commission.

Priority Service

Every now and then you will have a client that comes in that wants their computer fixed yesterday. The client may be a busy business person or perhaps they are a student that has a school project due tommorrow. Whatever the case, a fast turn around time is a priority and some people are willing to pay for it.

If you already have a few computers on your bench, offer a “Priority Service” fee that will push their computer to the front of the line. If they are truly in a hurry (and not just hurrying you along because they have a Facebook addiction), most will be happy to pay a little extra for the privilege.

Go Wireless – Routers, Keyboards and Mice

Computer cables going everywhere can really bother some people and sometimes it can even be dangerous. Talk to the client about the possibility of going wireless with their network, keyboard or mouse. You can also offer to clean up their cables which can extend the callout time by 10 minutes or so, thus making you more money.

Uninterruptable Power Supplies with Automatic Voltage Regulation

If the client is in an area that is prone to blackouts and brownouts, consider setting them up with a Uninterruptable Power Supply with automatic voltage regulation. Let your clients know that their computer will stay on if there is a temporary outage so they don’t lose their work. Also let them know that it helps protect the hardware from power surges. Similar to the data backup example, these are easy to sell after their computer has already been damaged by a power surge or some other power related issue.

External Harddrive Enclosures

These are a great cross-sell when someone is upgrading their computer. There have been a few times when my client’s laptop wasn’t worth repairing so they simply went out and bought a new one. Even though I didnt get the laptop sale itself, I still can still make make money by offering to pull the hard drive out of their old computer (assuming the original issue wasnt hard drive related) and put it in an external USB hard drive enclosure. This way, they can connect it to their new PC and access their old files on the drive.

Tune Ups

If I notice that the clients computer has undesirable software installed while I am working on something else, I offer a tune up service to help make the system run better. I would typically say something along the lines of “I noticed that there is some undesirable software on the system (adware/spyware) which can slow down the computer or invade your privacy, would you like me to remove this?”. I find that most clients will say yes to this service.

Antivirus Software

You may discover that a clients computer has insufficient antivirus protection or simply no protection at all. This is a great opportunity to either sell a well rounded paid antivirus solution or take the time to install a free one. Of course, making sure that a clients computer has an antivirus solution installed is just part of being a good technician anyway.

Cooling Pads

Some laptops have some serious overheating problems. If you come across one of these laptops, consider selling the client a USB powered laptop cooling pad.

Unifed Threat Management Appliances

If your business clients has handful of computers in their office, consider offering to install a Unifed Threat Management appliance (antivirus, antispam, firewall etc..) at the edge of their network to help keep it safe from internet threats.

Phone/Tablet cases

If your business repairs devices that tend to get dropped like Laptops, tablets and phones, consider cross-selling your client a durable case for that device.

Managed Services

Downtime for business clients can be very expensive so it is best to try and catch these issues before they happen. There are two good ways to cross-sell managed services.

  • 1. If you are at the clients location for another reason (ie, setting up a printer), mention the managed services you offer and then follow up with something like: “It is $XXX per month which may sound expensive, but think about it like this. You have X amount of staff here and if the system goes down and they cannot work, you still need to pay their hourly wage so you are losing $XXX per hour while system is down. And that isnt even counting missed deadlines or lost clients etc.. So really, this maintenance plan can actually save you money”.
  • 2. If you are at the clients location because something has already failed, you could say something like: “This issue could have been prevented. In the future, my company can monitor the computers remotely keeping an eye on the overall health of the computer. Basically, we can fix things before they fail resulting in minimal downtime”.

Like most things in life, there is a right way and a wrong way to sell. Cross selling (which is offering similar products and services) must be built around the customers needs and not just selling more stuff. Up selling (which is selling a better version of the same item) can be done more on what the customers wants. Obviously will need to recommend a device that is good enough for what they want to do, but you can always go better depending on their budget such as more space, faster speeds or higher quality.

If you hire employees, you can get them enthusiastic about up-selling and cross-selling as well by offering them a commission on all additional sales. You may feel like this means less money in your pocket since the employees are also getting a cut, but chances are they will sell more resulting in more money for you in the end.

Do you up-sell/cross-sell something I haven’t mentioned here in your own business? Please leave us a comment.

Bryce Whitty

About the Author

Bryce Whitty
More articles by me...
Bryce is an Australian computer technician and the founder of Technibble. He started his computer repair business when he was 17 years old and is still running it 9 years later. He is an avid traveller and spends at least a month of the year in another country.

Comments (12)

  • Gabe says:

    I always felt that not selling anything other than your services is a big mark of your not being a greedy salesman. The fact that when you tell the client X component needs be replaced, but you don’t sell it yourself, truly makes it look like you’re not just saying something’s broken to sell some stuff.

    Besides, if a service you cross-sell gives you lots of money, but then the latest version is simply not as good as a competing product, you will probably want to keep selling it because we’re all human and we grow greedy rapidly.

    My philosophy was always to get as many clients as possible with fair prices and superb service. I fear it would be too easy to lose sight of that goal when selling someone else’s product. Service is something you have 100% control over. And since good service is getting incredibly rare in all industries, yours can get noticed surprisingly fast by the clientele.

    • Vince says:

      I completely agree with you Gabe.
      I only sell staff when I can offer a better price from competitors or on-line and quite often I find myself recommending a product (software) and than even show to my client from where on-line to buy it or even buy it for them with no other profit than my time on site.
      Many times I’ll notice a very old router or a modem especially if the call out was network related. I will than suggest that they should have a new one and instead of trying to sell one I will offer to speak with there ISP and arrange for them a free wireless router which has always been a success.
      In such case, even tho I don get to sell a device, I will most likely spend up to an hour on the phone with the ISP and in most cases the client will ask me to cam back when the router has arrived to install it! This way I also gain their trust and they love me for getting them a free router.
      However, I am not doing all this for cross selling but because my client would not have a clue that they could get a free router and secondly most people here in England find it frustrating to spend any more than 5 minutes on the prone with a operator in India or Philippines.

  • Michael Redd says:

    Selling up to solid state hard drives is another area that is an easy and profitable sale. It is helpful to the customer, too. The speed a solid state drive brings is incredible. And you can put the old hard drive in an enclosure.

  • dcomp12 says:

    Thats what its all about. Your not only repairing their Machine/Network, but also your a consultant. Even if they say no now. It will plant a seed in their mind about their Machine/Network needs.

    It also helps as well that if something does happen and you did say something about it they cant turn around on you and telling you that you didn’t say anything to them about that certain problem.

    Do not think of up-selling as evil and greedy but more a service to your Client for preventative or easier use of their technologies at the same time growing your business.

  • zentree says:

    Was I the only one who found this article very lack lustre and unfocused? Recommending a tune up is hardly going to be news to a tech on here. I would have preferred to have seen a smaller, better article that didn’t seem to jump around from service to product to service to cooling stand.

  • Tw33kz0r says:

    selling HDD enclosures is the best for an old U/S machine with a good drive, I really push these, (to the point I will let them have it for a month then return it (by post) for a $40 refund) Most times with data migration the client forgets something somewhere weird, and then I have to go back out, this way they can do it themselves or I can remote in and do it for them if they cant find the file.

  • Matthew says:

    Great list. I’d also add a Green (or energy saving) service to this as well. I’ve sold a Go Green add-on in which I tune the customer’s power configuration and educate them on how to save on power consumption with their electronics.

  • Mousepad says:

    I think you meant Unified, not Unifed.

  • Khan says:

    Well,there are lots of stuff you can make money from.All the clients out there are in many way like us. we want to save our time,money and good service but at the same time we look for good Quality work.professionals of any business look for quality of work and time saving and they are ready to pay good money for it.On the other side, internet surfer and online chatting guys look for quick service and in less money.How we can handle these two different situations? and keeping customer traffic/connection smooth,we need customers to run business going.

  • Nay nay says:

    I see what you did there, selling your tech nibble kit on every page. Well played Bruce, well played. Whatever your name is