Lookin' Good at 58

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sell With Conviction

On Thursday night , as previously warned a week ago , people from corporate head office were paying us a visit to see how our restaurant was doing. What they do is pick and choose some employees who are working and quiz them on the menu , drinks , and wine knowledge.

Since I was opening I asked to get it over with because once people start coming in I want to concentrate on them and not be concerned about if I am going to be picked or not. I hate my service to be interrupted.

So there I was sitting opposite someone who asked me to pretend he was a customer and sell him on the features from the menu , feature cocktails from the bar , and finally pair some wines with certain dishes off the menu. All this I did quite well and was subsequently given a good review.

Okay I have said before and I will say it again , yes it is important to have knowledge about what your restaurant offers and how it is prepared , but I can tell you it is equally important in how you relate that to the customer. You have to use words that are so descriptive that the guest will salivate just thinking about the dish you are explaining. To go along with that you have to say it with a tone of voice that combines enthusiasm with confidence and eye contact. In other words you have to believe it yourself before you can get the guest to believe it.

This goes with anything in life I suppose. Successful salespeople have to believe first in what they are selling before having any hope of convincing someone else to buy from them. In negotiations of any kind both people must explain why they believe their way is better or else they stand to lose everything. Only when two strong people are negotiating can there be a win win situation and a fair compromise reached. In a job interview one has to convince someone else that they are the best choice for the vacant position.

To be honest during this review there were a couple of times when I felt a bit stumped and couldn't come up with the exact answer but because I looked confident and talked with conviction it helped me get through this review. Also there was one time when I didn't have the answer because of the way I interpreted the question so I had to admit I didn't know it. This is better than just plain talking a load of bull.

So while I didn't get 100% on the review , I don't need to remind everyone that no one is perfect and we all can learn more than we already know.

The good news is the restaurant average was 83% which jumped from the last time a year ago when it was only 69%. All I can say is I am glad it is over with because the amount of attention it brings each time it happens is really too much to bear , what with managers on edge and staff put under a microscope.

In concluding , my contribution to this good review was my conviction in selling the features to this gentleman. I think once I did that at the beginning , during the rest of the review he was sold.

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