When I go to a restaurant I find it interesting in the way that the server approaches me to sell a dessert. The most common approach is saying “you didn’t save any room for dessert did you?” Obviously, this approach doesn’t get a great result. It assumes the client ate a full meal and surely wouldn’t make a fool out of themselves and order additional food, especially something fattening.
The Typical Approach
In one restaurant the server asked if I wanted dessert and when I said no, she called me a quitter. Although this approach took me back immediately, I had to ask some questions about her success with that approach. She said they generally get people to laugh and then they promptly ordered dessert. As a matter of fact, she sells more desserts than anyone else in the restaurant and because of this she no longer has to work weekends to provide for her family.
The Best Approach
The best practice approach I ever saw was a process in which the server didn’t even ask if you wanted dessert. He just brought over a dessert tray illustrating all of the wonderful choices they provide. They also mentioned that the desserts on the tray are available for to go orders, so the customer can enjoy it later. I consider this the best approach because it involves the customer visually and any time you can achieve that your success rate goes up.
If I were selling dessert, I would start with a description that would literally make the clients consider it. Have you heard about our caramel volcano dessert? They take vanilla cake and carve out the center then fill it with melted caramel made exclusively in our kitchen. They then put the top of the cake back on and sprinkle powdered sugar before adding several scoops of vanilla bean ice cream on the side. It is simply amazing and is a wonderful treat to share together! Would you like me to bring you one for you two to split? Would that approach be more successful than just stating you haven’t left any room for dessert have you? Of course, I would present the dessert tray every time to anyone I served and be one of the top producers of dessert sales.
In the Dealership
We must be doing the same in our car dealerships and have professional feature benefit selling of needed maintenance and repair items in our service departments. We must have processes that are professional and consistent, every time, every car. I don’t think we need any pressure selling desserts or maintenance on a vehicle. The task is to inform and educate the customer how to care for their vehicle investment and keep their family safe. Dessert anyone?
Rob Gehring, President
Fixed Performance Inc.
Fixed Performance complete fixed operations coaching consulting