Cross-Selling: Increase Client Satisfaction and Firm Revenue

May 26, 2024

Tyler Suomala

Founder of Growthitect

My first job after getting married (10 years ago) was as a waiter in a new fancy restaurant in downtown Ann Arbor.

They had a cocktail called the Sphere - this was 10 years ago so I don’t remember the ingredients, but suffice it to say that this drink was a spectacle. There was color, ice, mist - it was wild.

I was trained to ALWAYS ask if my table wanted the Sphere if they hadn’t ordered anything to drink yet. Something along the lines of, “Can I get you anything to drink? Our Sphere cocktail is really popular, it {description}.”

As a young 20-something with no money, I remember thinking to myself, “$10 for a crazy drink, who is going to buy this? No one!”

Well I was very wrong.

To my surprise, about half of my tables would end up ordering the Sphere per my recommendation/suggestion.

People walk in for great food. But they walk out having had a better experience with great food AND a stellar cocktail. Plus the restaurant increases revenue. A perfect win-win.

It’s the equivalent of McDonald’s asking, “Would you like fries with that?” (RIP Morgan Spurlock - Super Size Me cemented this concept into my brain 20 years ago…)

Any business can do this - especially architecture firms.

It’s called cross-selling.

What is Cross-Selling?

Cross-selling is all about offering additional services or products to clients that complement the ones they already have (or are about to purchase).

Imagine you’ve designed a stunning home for a client – cross-selling could involve suggesting interior design services, landscape architecture, or even custom furniture design to enhance their new space.

Why should architects cross-sell?

Cross-selling is a game-changer for a few reasons:

  1. Enhanced client satisfaction: When you provide a suite of services, clients feel cared for and valued. They appreciate the convenience of a one-stop shop and the holistic approach to their project. Plus, they walk away with an even better outcome than anticipated.

  2. Increased revenue: It’s a great way to boost your bottom line. Instead of finding new clients all the time, you’re maximizing the value of existing relationships.

  3. Stronger relationships: Speaking of existing relationships, offering more services deepens your connection with clients. It builds trust and positions you as a go-to expert for all their architecture/design/etc. needs. Next time they need something, guess who they’re going to ask? 😏

How to implement a cross-selling motion

Cross-selling is not complicated. It’s a relatively easy way to quickly boost client satisfaction, revenue, and relationships. Here’s what you can do:

01 // Understand your clients’ needs

Have conversations with your clients to understand their broader needs and aspirations. Questions like:

  • Who else do you plan on hiring?

  • What do you plan to do once this project is complete?

  • What other options are you currently exploring?

This helps in tailoring your additional services to meet their specific requirements.

02 // Identify complementary services

Using information from your client conversations, think about what additional services could naturally pair with what you already offer. A few common examples for architecture firms are:

  • Interior design

  • Landscape design

  • Furniture design

  • Sustainability consulting

03 // Draft your team

This is the most difficult step. You’ve identified additional services but now you need people to actually execute said services. In general, there are a few options:

  • In-house: Your team has the capacity and capabilities to take on these additional services.

  • Expand: You hire additional team members with the proper experience to take on the additional services.

  • Outsource: You find vendors or contractors that can reliably complete the additional services. You then will typically capture the equivalent of a “management fee” for organizing the work and process.

04 // Develop a strategy

Create a plan that outlines which services to offer and when. It could be part of your initial pitch or introduced at different stages of the project depending on your ideal client profile and their typical needs. Consider these factors:

  • Training your team to manage or execute the new services

  • Creating bundled packages that include the additional services at a discounted rate

  • Following up after a completed project to suggest additional services


Cross-selling services through your firm helps to improve client satisfaction, increase revenue, and build deeper relationships.

To implement cross-selling at your firm:

  1. Understand your clients’ needs

  2. Identify complimentary services

  3. Draft your team

  4. Develop a strategy

For other ways to increase sales and revenue, check out these growth hacks:

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