One of the best tools that your servers and bartenders have at their discretion is the power of persuasion. If your staff knows how to execute it right, guiding your customer’s purchases is truly possible. Ideally, your guests will have a better experience and it will also yield you higher profits. However, if your staff isn’t trained on how to do it politely, it can backfire and lead to a customer who feels under pressure from a pushy staff. Here are some techniques that can help you capitalize on persuasion while not turning off your customers.
The easiest way to add purchases to a sale is to offer higher quality items that are similar to their first choice. It can be a more expensive vintage of wine or a different drink altogether that you suspect they might really enjoy. This will make your customer’s experience much more enjoyable, and it will increase the size of their bill. Make sure to be helpful and friendly or you may come across as pushy. You need to know when your customer has fully made up their mind.
Much of the time, your customers will reject any type of suggestion because they already have their mind made up. However, sometimes they reject your suggestion because they simply aren’t interested in that particular up sale. If a customer criticizes your suggestion, that is a huge opening for you to offer something else based on the information they revealed. It’s a bit of an art form, but it pays off huge if you perfect it.
Offering your guests add-ons is a great way to earn bigger purchases and improving the guest’s experience. For instance, let’s say a customer orders a glass of Riesling. Ideally, you’d suggest a food item like brie cheese and crackers to accompany it. Wine and cheese go together wonderfully, and the additional sale will pad your bottom line as well. Similarly, you can mention the bottle sparklers that come with your VIP services. Anything you can do to dazzle the customer is always a plus!
Guiding Your Customer’s Purchases With Their Eyes
If your customers are looking at a food or drink menu, you can easily draw their attention to certain areas that offer the largest margins. For instance, you could add a decorative border around your items with the highest profit margins. Also, remember to point out something specific on that page. When their eyes look at the page, they will immediately be drawn to the items within the decorated area. Best of all your customers will think that they’ve come up with a decision all by themselves.
No matter how much you train and prepare your staff, there is always a learning curve to getting the skills of guiding your customer’s purchases correct. After all, it’s one part science, one part experience, and one part finesse; so it may take time to get right. But once you’ve mastered the tricks of the trade, guiding your customer’s purchases politely and discreetly will become second nature in your venue.