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Cross-Selling with Messages On Hold

Research shows that on-hold messages do more than keep callers on the line. Cross-selling is often overlooked. An On-Hold Messaging Association survey revealed 24% of the respondents attributed specific sales directly to their hold messages.

Are you part of the 24% using On-Hold to cross-sell? If not, you are missing additional revenue! Too often, small business owners lose sight of creative ways to augment sales. So, here are a few things to optimize your messages on-hold ROI:

update on hold messages

Update your hold messages

The survey said businesses should change content more often. Those that change their on-hold messages 6 times or more per year are more likely to attribute an increase in sales to their hold messages and describe it as a useful marketing tool they recommend to other businesses.

Also, companies that keep content updated are more likely to utilize their messaging effectively and the more creative you can be with your content, the better. A good on-hold provider will help you craft content that really lets your customer know you care.


Keep Your Team Informed

Anyone responsible for answering the phone should be aware of what’s being played for callers while on-hold. When customers ask about a product they heard on-hold, your staff should be able to answer any questions they have with ease. This also helps execute the whole cross-selling system more effectively.

Properly answering every call is key for setting up the cross-selling system. Train your staff to instinctively ask this question, “Would you mind holding for a few seconds while I get your information pulled up on my screen?” Callers don’t mind being put on-hold, but they despise being forgotten on-hold. After 20 or 30 seconds, retrieve the call and answer their questions. 

Equip Your Sales Team

This is where the rubber hits the road and requires training your staff to CROSS-SELL!

After the caller’s questions are handled, your staff uses transition phrases that introduce a new line of conversation. Gently guide the caller into conversation that presents cross-selling opportunities!

Let’s say you’re in the insurance business and that you are focusing on increasing Life Insurance sales; your on-hold message playlist should include “Life Insurance” messages. Next, provide your staff with lead-in questions to work into the flow of conversation.  Something like, “…by the way, while you were holding, you may have heard about our Life Insurance options. When was the last time you evaluated your coverage?” or “While holding, did you hear we are offering free life insurance reviews…how helpful would it be to know for sure your family would be protected like you desire?”

Make sure your support staff understands the goal: Utilize messages-on-hold to steer the discussion toward your desired cross-selling initiative.


Utilize Your Greetings

Many phone systems, especially VoIP solutions, offer greeting features that can be used in creative ways. Using an ‘Auto-Attendant’ is sometimes frowned upon, but typically when they are too long. A well planned greeting will actually  speed up your caller experience and improve customer service.

During promotional periods, introductory greetings should be updated along with on-hold messages, to include to topic du jour. Here is one appropriate to the Life Insurance example referenced earlier.