In the first part of this series, we discussed the suggestive selling method and how it could benefit not only owners and servers but also guests. Still, you might be hesitant to implement it or not really know how to encourage your staff to take the idea and run with it.
Here are five of the basic steps that lead to an effective suggestive-selling program in any operation.
- Get your employees to buy in. Convince them that everyone involved benefits from practicing good suggestive selling.
- Educate your employees. Ensure that they are experts on all of your food and beverage offerings. Their suggestions will be taken seriously and will ultimately be successful if they know what they are talking about.
- Train your employees. Provide them with some information and strategies, such as:
- Focus on the guest.
- Educate and inform.
- Be a seller, not just an order taker.
- Use the descriptive technique: “We have a great wine by the glass that pairs perfectly with that dish.”
- Avoid yes/no questions: “Would you like a glass of wine?”
- Suggest sharing.
- Suggest the larger size.
- Sell your favorites.
- Don’t suggestive sell to children … their parents will hate you for it.
- Be careful not to oversell.
- Establish server-incentive programs. Make sure those incentive programs reward behaviors you want to encourage. Incentive programs that focus on one product can be counterproductive, potentially causing the server to lose focus on the needs of the guest. Incentive programs that focus on average guest check amounts can be highly effective and avoid this circumstance.
- Don’t just rely on the server. While servers are critical, they are not the only option for suggestive selling. Signage, table tents, and the menu provide a great opportunity to reach the guest who simply does not respond to suggestive selling. They can also serve as an excellent way to reinforce the message being delivered by staff.
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This article originally appeared on Nightclub.com. For more articles by Professor Brian Warrener that appeared on Nightclub.com please click here.