Typically in sales, the thought of others within your organization approaching your clients is bad enough, but the idea of setting up such contact between your client and others in your organization — cross-selling — can be intimidating, confusing and even downright scary. If you are the one who did the legwork to build and develop a client relationship, why would you want to invite anyone else to benefit from the business you worked so hard to secure?

In my career, I have seen both sides of the equation. I have experienced firsthand how destructive it can be to fear other teams swooping in to get a piece of your business, but I’ve also been witness to frustrated clients getting calls and meeting requests from 10 different divisions, all from the same company. When you have a strong game plan and clear communication, cross-selling is what can set you apart from the real competition. Jump the hurdle. The fear of internal competition — previously a driving force for sales — will be the first hurdle to overcome. At its core, cross-selling requires teams to communicate and strategize long before they set foot in a client’s door. While it may seem time-consuming at first, doing this homework will set you up for success in the long run.

Engagement plan. Create an engagement plan that helps establish a culture of positive cross-selling. Share the benefits and create a collaborative program that includes the team, and every team, involved with that client. The right incentive goes a long way to help teams approach cross-selling in the right way. Strategize. Strategize your acquisitions and discuss who is going to lead. Understand how the team can work together to get business for each division.

Train. Train teams on your company’s services. Even if it’s not their field of expertise, everyone in a sales role should understand the different areas of business. Each team should be able to clearly explain all the possibilities to a client.

These days, clients want to know that their suppliers can do more than just one thing. Making sure that the client knows all the services your company offers will automatically require you to keep open communication with all those teams. Ideally, cross-selling will be a part of the company expectations and the fabric of the culture, right from the get-go. That cultural integration can manifest in many ways, but at a minimum it should include adding representatives from each team in client meetings through closure.

One team. From a client’s perspective, working with a supplier that is flexible and multitalented can be a huge relief. Clients are constantly asking for simplification of the process, one main contact: one person and one company to contact with all their needs. It’s a great thing when your client knows they can call you for more than one type of skill or service. Trust is also a huge factor. They believe in what you are selling, providing and saying concerning skills available, rates or salaries they need to pay for that skill.

When a client feels comfortable with you, they may want to deal with you and only you. But if you make that client manager understand you have a partner that specializes in that area and can help more effectively — introduce that partner in a good way; it can be highly successful for everyone.

Approaching your client with a holistic view, rather than with segmented teams that seem to be clawing at each other, can be what pushes them to commit. No matter who seals the deal, you’ll have your foot in the door and can make introductions to the next team who will secure more business from that same client.

That’s why Collabera has the mantra of “one team, one dream.” Having been in a positive cross-selling environment for the last five years, I can tell you firsthand that it’s a game changer for client acquisition. If you’re ready to boost your business and be many things to your clients rather than just one, cross-selling is absolutely the way to go!