May 29, 2012 fm

Cross-Selling Is A Myth

For 3,013 days I worked in the field of financial advisory services for one of the Big 4. For eight years and three months I heard one word on an almost daily basis: cross-selling.

The idea of cross-selling in professional service firms is simple:

Financial advisors, bankers, IT consultants, lawyers and others have established client relationships based on their professional expertise. It could be international law, transfer pricing, financial restructuring, corporate finance – you name it.

Now – what the leadership of most of those companies expect their people to do is go to their clients and sell other services as well. The idea of cross-selling is tempting because a company can save high costs of acquisition.

But – don’t they forget three important facts?

  1. Selling of professional services is a trust game, not a grocery store.
  2. As a trusted and credible advisor you can only sell one solution.
  3. On top – most people are driven by personal interests rather than corporate balance sheets.

In my former company cross-selling never really worked. Today, during my lunch with a good friend, an M&A advisor, I heard about their unsuccessful attempts to launch cross-selling initiatives. Numerous other similar initiatives which I’ve heard about in the course of time ended in a dead end street.

I strongly believe that cross-selling is a myth.

Skip the cross and start selling!


Ask Jack Vincent. He will make you snap, crackle ‘n pop!

Comments (2)

  1. Michael

    Florian, Schmarrn! Du kennst unsere How to Win Initiative von KPMG noch nicht – it’s all about incentives!
    Cross selling works!
    Hoffe Dir gehts gut, Michael

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