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  • Liz Whitaker

Oranges and lemons and and and ... a cross-selling success story.

Successful cross-selling is the holy grail? Yes? Thought so because it's what I'm asked about most. In my search to share best practice examples of organisations using the power of personal, at scale, to grow revenue and take market share, this time I bring you ... an organic crowd farming platform. It ticks a lot of power of personal boxes - people buy from people (epecially smiley/positive people), corporate and personal stories, easy buying experience, personalised letters, shared values and ... joy. Most important of all, I did not hesitate for a nano-second. I'm now the proud owner of several boxes of oranges, lemons and kilos of avocados and I'm going back for more. So what's to learn?

Let's set the scene. CrowdFarming is a challenger brand in a crowded market selling products widely, and often cheaply, available. It's a fresh take on a co-operative making clever use of tech - see Instagram, website, ordering and payment platform with a contemporary and appealing brand. CrowdFarming represents 150 farmers in different countries selling a range of agricultural products from avocados and almonds, oranges and olive oil, plums and potatoes. It's like any professional firm selling a range of services, from different offices or geographies, to clients anywhere. And, once the client has bought one item, the goal is to sell more.

This is how they do it.

1. High visibility of the people. People buy from people. This smiley man (Jose Luis) with his box of oranges popped up in my Instagram feed (liz_power_of_personal if you want to join the party). Intrigued, I went to the brilliant website which told me all I needed to know. Tone of voice - superb. This spoke to me. Also high visibility of the founders. Nice.

2. There is a compelling corporate story behind the business (see Simon Sinek's Start with Why) backed by personal stories. Jose Luis (and the other farmers) shared his story - I was hooked. Although he had been preparing all year to sell his grapefruit and oranges, bad weather meant bad luck and his crop of grapefruits had frozen but the oranges had survived. I wanted to support this person! This is what those profiles are for on websites and LinkedIn, to share stories, to make it easy to choose you.

3. Buying was easy. There was consistency across touchpoints and payment was a breeze.

4. Emphasis on making a positive social and economic impact. This is the direction of travel for all of us now.

5. The boxes arrived as promised, on the day they said it would (as specified in service agreement) and each box included a letter with signature from the grower explaining who had been involved and how to care for the contents. It felt like someone had cared.

6. Within days the crowdfunding manifesto (the equivalent of a values statement) landed in my in-box. To me. Not a crowd mailing diverted to junk. Wowsers. What a manifesto! How much they love their work, the sense of being a family, being genuine, good for society and the environment, a win-win-winner offer, be brave.

7. Joy. This delivery brought joy into lockdown life, even Mr Postie loved it - he was happy (rare for this particular Mr Postie!) to deliver these boxes because they filled his car with scent. Point here is most clients want services to achieve a goal or overcome a challenge. You might have done it a thousand times but for the client, delivery and completion is a joyful experience (see Be interested, it's priceless and how to channel Michael McIntyre in The Power of Personal page 263).

All highly recommended.

Oh, and I've now adopted an avocado tree, ordered a litre or two of olive oil and gifted a box of oranges and lemons to a friend in need of cheering up.

Cross-selling success nailed. Now I'm an unofficial Ambassador for CrowdFarming and sharing with several thousand other people, all potential customers. This is what Propella ambassadors do and you will have plenty of your own.

Contact me if you want to identify your Ambassadors (the diamonds in the data) and use the power of personal to improve your cross-selling success. There's plenty more where this came from.

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