If You Want To Sell More, Eat More! (cont.)
In hopes of improving our sales career, we recently peered into the world of fine dining in order to gain an insight of what great servers do so well to enhance their guest’s evening and to improve their paycheck. We now know that great servers make themselves approachable to their guests, are attentive to their needs, and have extensive knowledge about the foods they are serving. Here are a few more lessons sales consultants can learn from great servers:
- Be Deceptive: Great servers are masterful deceivers. They make their guests feel exclusive. Although no tip was given, guests did leave the charred remains of crackers and foods strewn about by 3 children who apparently have never had the priviledge of feeling the leathery, disciplinning power of a belt, great servers deceive their anger and do not carry their frustrations from one table to the next. Servers act like a host of the Emmy’s, keeping the atmosphere light, festive, and moving. Servers have the ability to glide from one table to the next as if they were on ice- making it seem effortless. Lesson learned: Deception in the world of sales can be interpreted as a nasty, negative word, unless put in its proper perspective. Sales is infested with rejection, missed quotas, product failures, and disgruntled clients. A masterful sales consultant deceives the fact that although calamity may be happening all around, it must be put in its proper perspective by dealing with one issue at a time. If sales were easy, you would have never replaced the person who jumped ship in hopes of finding an easier gig. Be grateful that you have the rare quality of being able to handle rejections, fight through missed quotas, give superior service when a product fails, and be empathetic toward your frustrated clients. Sales consultants wear many hats. It is not your client’s responsibility to deal with your personal problems, but it is your responsibility to care for theirs. Do not let all of the hard work you have worked for hours, days, even months get flushed away because you are having a bad day. Solutions to problems are the mortar in the building blocks of your character and you must never take things personally.
- Be alive not a corpse: Waiting in a state of repose is not what great servers do. Servers do not believe in hovering over their guests, as if working for the Secret Service. Great servers are experts of running a covert operation making the guests feel alone, but never further than a glance away. Lesson Learned: Great consultants should be in a constant state of motion. I teach my consultants to appear to be busy-even if they have nothing to do. Clients like to work with people who do not look like they are standing on a corner waiting for a cab. When negotiating with your clients, a great consultant should follow the 3 P’s: Prepare, Present, and Patience. Preparation is critical when working with a client. An unprepared sales consultant can be snuffed out within seconds. Uninterested clients make comments like, “We will think about it and get back to you.” They then take a 3 year business trip-always away on business each time you call to follow up. A made-to-order presentation is presented showing what the client will benefit from your product. If the first two have been done correctly, a sales consultant can then display patience by asking for the order and silently waiting for an answer. Great consultants are wave makers, they strike the water (preparation) causing ripples of more waves to reverberate (presentation) and continue to sell even when nothing is being said at all.
- Servers are artists: A great server is an artist who uses his unique creativity to show sensitivity and imagination to his guests in hopes of making the evening as unique as a thumbprint. A magical, memorable evening creates a relationship and has guests coming back for more. My wife and I have a restaurant we frequent on very special occasions, but if our favorite server is not there, neither are we-she makes the evening that special. What a great server is to a restaurant is what a 3 wine reduction sauce is to a steak-the missing link. Lesson learned: You are the award winning artists of you.com. Market yourself in such a way that through selling a superior product, creating a memorable experience, a relationship will be formed. People do not buy great products, they buy good products from a great consultant. Relationships trump price every time.
Congratulations, you have rekindled your relationship, brought your pallet out of hibernation tasting five star delicacies, as well as put your sales career back on the right tracks toward your quest of being a superior sales consultant. Eat from the tree of success, be fruitful in your relationships, and multiply your sales exponentially.