As a rule of thumb, up-selling or cross-selling should be done under two conditions:
1. Customer interest
2. Customer readiness
My suggestion: Be polite and ask for permission before "pitching" additional products or services to customers. Accept a "no" and do not push. In general, up-selling or cross-selling is most successful when it is natural. Meaning, the call center agent can link additional selling to a topic or issue that was just discussed or to a specific product or service the customer is already using. When the cross-sell is actually adding value to customer, it will be successful. Additionally, when the up-sell or cross-sell is offered after real value was delivered to customer in the form of solving a problem, it has a higher credibility and therefore a better likelihood of success.
This was first published in June 2007