SALES TECHNIQUES

Everything in life is sales’.

Here is a compilation of resources I have found all related to sales, training and other fun ways to help people find the right thing they never knew they wanted. Sales starts with you as much as it does with knowing the products, so check out the other resources, it may pleasantly surprise you how much you can get from self development. Also, as usual, all of them are FREE resources.

One thing to note: There is no magic bullet. What may work with some people may not work well with others. Such is life. Learning how to sort what approaches may work is half the battle.


WHAT IS GOOD SERVICE?
A handy PDF reminder of what can we consider to be good service:


HANDY SERVICE MEMES
Here is an easy way to remember some quick thoughts of best practices at work. Made my life much easier.


STORIES OF GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE
Like podcasts? me too! Hear this one out from CBC radio Canada. Has GREAT stories of amazing customer service and why is it so important. You won’t hesitate to go above and beyond after hearing these stories. (Hint: customers do notice!)
Under the Influence: Tales of Customer Service (click for podcast)



Winearound.com 
Very interesting idea, helping wineries sort out the mutual headache of scheduling appointments and sorting out the staff needed for their tasting rooms. Free tip from them: seems that one-on-one is the best way to sale, and visitors appreciate the extra personalized service touch. So have staff on hand when you need them!

With appointments secured, wineries can schedule the staff they need, when you need it. As a winery it’s also a great value add to the website, saving the potential visitors time and effort when they want to taste and buy in a winery. 

Lots of wineries are onboard, with more coming soon. I would highly recommend to use them, the team is dedicated and very committed to helping wineries thrive. I’d be happy to get anyone in touch with the principals, I believe in what they are doing. 


NEW RESOURCE! SALES TRAINING FROM THE BEST IN THE BIZ
Have some time? Do some kind of sales? (everything in life is sales…) Invest in yourself! Here is a FREE link (no commissioned) to 15 hours of training on audio, in easy to digest bites. Learn from the greats about marketing, referrals, sales processes, etc. All the cycle. Totally worth it.
These are some of the classics that trained the names you hear now. Where do you think Rogan, Seth Godin or Tony Robbins learned? from these guys!
If the name Zig Ziglar is not familiar to you, it should. He is the grand master of sales. Exemplary teacher and mentor. Worth hearing again and again.

Hope it helps everyone.

“Sales Revelation: Best of 45 Master Courses Reveals the Final Word in Sales”. Free, if it’s your first time accepting an Audible book from a friend.

You can get it here: https://adbl.co/3bJVW0e


COVID OPERATIONS FROM THE FRONTLINES

SOLUTION: also from Hong Kong, from @blacksheeprestaurants their downloadable solution on how are they handling managing reopening, guests and staff.
Very well done, love their A/B crew (split your crew in case they get sick the other can cover well), life hacks, and in general open approach to tackling a complex issue. Thank you for sharing with the world your approach team Black sheep.  Well done, will visit them when I’m in Hong Kong again! 

https://blacksheeprestaurants.com/

DOWNLOAD FROM THEIR PAGE: https://blacksheeprestaurants.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/black-sheep-restaurants-sop-covid19.pdf

OR DOWNLOAD RIGHT HERE :


USEFUL PODCAST: MARC GORDON ON BARHACKS
Came across a pretty fun and lively interview with Marc Gordon (@macgordondotca) via @BarHacks. Marc is a wizard marketer that loves hospitality and understands the current challenges quite well.  Some highlights:
He says we will definitely see more latitude from customers, but that we shouldn’t get used to it, as it will rarely last. . . so that gives us time to reboot and regroup.
His idea for making a ‘purple cow’ is pretty neat and sounds feasible for most restaurants / bars, think what @civilliberties is doing (love that banner !).
Comfort, both for staff and customers will be very, very important (as it should be your SOP, but even more kid gloves).
Check out the interview and learn some of the interesting and timeless advice, like capture your own audience since you never know when delivery companies will do a funny not funny like  @foodora
As always, not affiliated, not endorsed, not paid content, YMMV, I’m not a doctor, etc etc. Marc is also available to consult, his advice is razor sharp, I can testify. (Click here for more)
Thank you to Marc and BarHacks for the quality interview. 

https://marcgordon.ca/



CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE FREE TIPS AND ADVICE

Customer service is the lifeline of all enterprises, yet its a lost art that is difficult to quantify. We came across the work of @toreeah_ a young woman from Lagos, Nigeria. She has some very interesting and good insights onto what makes for great Customer Experience (CX), to improve the bottom line. Not surprisingly it takes a little more effort from the staff, a little love and a little empathy, but the results will be striking and pay themselves many times over.
Check her out, and thank you for sharing your CX wisdom with us !
https://www.instagram.com/toreeah_/


GREAT INTERVIEW: Learn how the leadership of Alinea Nick Kokonas @nkokonas are handling the crisis via @timferris podcast. Tim has always been a GREAT resource for smart people talking about interesting things, this interview should be required listening for anyone in the food business. They of course had a lot of concern about the viability of their businesses, and a lot of sleepless nights. We all know that we sell food, but really it is emotional experiences that bring people back (the kayfabe varies from place to place of course). 
 Eventually they came up with an attack plan. 

Here is the tl;dl version (too long, didn’t listen version):

 Takeaways (ha!):
REVENUE
+ Management and ownership took no salaries or cut paid out to investors
+ Reuse the existing space for preparation, eliminates crowding
+ With enough volume sold you can rehire your staff and keep them happy
+ Flat rates of $15 given to all the working staff, regardless of position or experience, creating a team spirit. 
+ Any profits made above salary/payroll was distributed to the staff, after a small amount set aside for the reopening (we all know how expensive that can be) 

FOOD !!
+ Food should be fun + delicious. Anything else is a fail. 
+ Comfort food will win the day. Also easy to make, affordable to make and to buy 

ACCOUNTING
Kokonas says that
+ GCs and Gofundme will be more of a headache for balancing sheets. ‘its mortgaging the future’
+ Maybe try pre-paying to negotiate deals, along with bulk purchases (save against price increases) (also gives favourable terms) so think about them as futures 
+ Resist urge to expand when you see revenue. May be a long slog. 
+ Try alternatives to delivery services, their big cuts are not good for you

GUEST SERVICES 
+ Humor will be key, along with safety. Have guests maybe do some kind of ritual before entering? 
+ Make distancing and masks an asset, not a liability 
+ Virtual experiences can still count, so think about virtual dinner parties or collective cooking classes 
+ schedule pickup times, think of them as derivatives 

Who will survive?
Kokonas thinks that only the scrappy and adaptable will win. So do!
+ Think about having an alternative model to your business. 
+ check out what @addo restaurant is doing, constantly nimble, over 20 concepts tested  for takeout!
+ Have and give staff a sense of purpose, It really is what we all need and want. 

Hope this helps everyone out there. If you need fresh and creative ideas don’t hesitate and reach out, we’d be happy to help.


NEW PODCAST: REVIEWS, DO THEY MATTER?
Reviews matter and matter more than you think. Come check out another great interview with CBC and the Under The Influence podcast via @terryoinfluence. 
A very interesting look at what is the impact of reviews to the bottom line of many businesses and how they can be sources of both fun and profit.  There are even software companies that help you spot the fake reviews made by bots or malicious actors! really interesting times we live in. 

Click here for the tl;dl (too long; didn’t listen):

+ Testimonials are age-old, gladiators used to review swords 
+ Reviews MATTER A LOT. 90% customers really read and research before making decisions, be it restaurants or goods. 
+ Reviews can make or break a product or service + 2 star rating = no go. 3 maybe. 
+ 95% think reviews are fake if they don’t see any bad reviews. 
+ More reviews = more sales and better google ratings 
+ Fake reviews can get you fined 
+ Categories with most fake reviews: gardening and ‘marital aids’, ha! 

HOW TO SPOT A FAKE REVIEW:
Poor spelling and grammar, very formal or too formal language 

USE SOFTWARE TO SPOT THE FAKE !
ReviewMeta analyzes Amazon product reviews and filters out reviews that our algorithm detects may be unnatural.
Reviewmeta.com
Fakespot analyzes reviews to help you make better purchasing decisions
https://www.fakespot.com/

His tips from a law firm for how not to get in trouble legally when leaving a review (that is a thing too, you could be sued!):
1. Don’t assume anonymity
2. Give opinion and only facts that you can prove
3.Review product or service, not the character of the person providing it
4. Be truthful, not malicious or vindictive 
5, If you are angry, don’t. Wait.  

As always, not getting paid for this, not affiliated, etc etc Our thing is to help people help themselves, and the best way to do that is sharing knowledge. 

So now you know, and the more you know the easier a complex task like running any hospitality operation will be. Wanna get better insights? We can help. Click here for more information. We deliver peace of mind by giving you assurances of performance.
Do you know someone great, who does a excellent job? leave a review for them, help us help them get recognition. It’s simple, fast and free: CLICK HERE


CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: CANADIAN HOSPITALITY MUSEUM

We know recovery will be slow. Some may not make it. Why not preserve highlights? The gems. The love. So I had an idea ( and you know I am one crafty character) : A virtual museum of Canadian Hospitality.
I think we need an unifying project that can help us celebrate what we’ve had and what we can do, and share that with the world.
I, for one, want a quarantine project that is good  and brings some joy to the world. 
Know a food scholar? Have old menus? Old wine lists? Know something about restaurants in Canada ? Good stories ? Send them!  hospitality@virmuze.com or to me directly. We’ll add them up, set them in a virtual museum where anyone can see how far Canadian hospitality has come along . . And help inspire future generations whenever the time is ready.
The biggest contributors will be rewarded with a little prize every month.
All contributors will be given credit of course, in the socials and in the museum (AKA free marketing for you and your brand).
The museum is setup Not for profit, by the way.

THE CANADIAN HOSPITALITY MUSEUM (CLICK HERE FOR MORE)

Hello Hospitality fan,

 With the material submitted we will start a page and sort out a timeline / exhibit of restaurants in Canada, that can start with the first native settlers and end yesterday.
The software of Virmuze is powerful, and can handle text, voice, video and many types of media. Even better, it’s FREE.

So let me know if you are interested. We will need volunteers, and I have have a google docs to help us get started and somewhat sorted. Between Ian and I we will upload and sort the contributions. 

FAQ  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YBTPjbGVRPe-4yzX614fVMpISK2Hk5CA6NrNnrMxZkA/edit?usp=sharing

Feel free to add if you think it would be helpful.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YBTPjbGVRPe-4yzX614fVMpISK2Hk5CA6NrNnrMxZkA/edit?usp=sharing

You are also welcome to start your own museum and we can link to whatever you post.  Here is a one minute video that explains what is possible in virmuze 


Hope that together we can build something cool and interesting that can bring some hope to everyone.


Found this randomly on a walkie. There is love in the most unexpected places, and from the least likely sources. I think this whole episode of COVID shows that there is indeed more love behind bars (the real and the imaginary ones) than what we think about. Keep yer beating heart going and don’t despair, this is a hiccup in the big picture and sooner than you know we’ll be reminiscing of the day we had to look inside for meaning. There will be always some kind of hospitality because, as dear friend Adly Gawad says, ‘true hospitality feels like love’. 



GRATITUDE WINS THE DAY IN BUSINESS AND LIFE

I came across an American team that somehow ended in the same place as me: Gratitude is the way of the future and a more humane and efficient tool for management. And not only for work, but for life in general.  Here are some of their findings:

We both agree on this: how do you make people feel valued? show your gratitude.

 But expressing gratitude needs to be authentic, they say:
Offer details (why or what was done), offer specific praise, as it triggers an emotional connection; it also shows that you were paying attention to what others (your staff or coworkers or service workers) do around you. As a company, “When you show gratitude it shows what you value as a company”.
Make it personalized, find a connection, make sure they know that the leader cares about them. Then you can instil the values and targets of the company. 

It will be weird at first do do, but with practice it gets easier. Its little things you can do every day that helps you build up your ‘gratitude battery’. They have a nifty suggestion: put 10 coins in your pocket. As you go about your day, every time you express gratitude shift one coin from pocket to pocket. 
As the day goes on you will be surprised how easy its to do, and with practice you will do it without even thinking much. And by the end of your day you will have tangible proof that you made a difference in how we interact with each other.

FREE PODCAST (30 min in case you don’t wanna do the seminar): https://bregmanpartners.com/podcast/chester-elton-leading-with-gratitude/

FREE SEMINAR! The authors are organizing a free seminar coming up, JUNE 10 @12 noon (so breakfast time) register on linkedIn, here is the link:
https://www.linkedin.com/events/freewebinar-adriangostick-chesterelton/

(as always, Im not getting paid for this, not affiliated, I don’t know them, etc. They sound like good people with their heart in the right place)

Another thing you can do, of course, is voting for the people in customer service that you come across. Its not much to you, but it makes a huge difference to the staff. Its simple, it works and it will feel you much better than you imagine. We think this can change the world, a little positive action at a time.  Know someone great at their job? tell us about them. We will have their efforts recognized.


WHO WILL VOUCH FOR YOUR SALES SKILLS?

Who will vouch for your for the reopen? We can help. Your peers and your customers will have a way to help you reach your goals, if you let us help you.

Register and have the advantage of collecting reviews for you, wherever you go. Let’s face it, places open and close, managers move on and change numbers. But the one constant thing is YOU. So wherever you go, and do good work, that is value that gets lost without a vote. Your reputation can now be made real, whenever, wherever. We’ll help you reach the stars.



COOL IDEA: BRING THE WAITER AND THE SOMM TO THE ROOM

I came across a really neat idea from a hotel in #Montreal from the team of @Hotel Rive Gauche – Refuge. Why not bring the Sommelier and the waiter to the room? much safer for the diner, staff  can keep distance and they have a more personalized experience (it also helps navigate the MASSIVE wine collection the hotel has).

This could be a way to entice people to come back to hotels and use the facilities in novel ways. . . seems that families are booking rooms and thus avoiding potential crowds in restaurants. Would it be more effective at containing COVID? Who knows, but at least is an alternative.

https://lp.ca/7uA3AS (opens in new tab)

What do you think? Would you do it in your property? 

Let me know, we’d love to help you get metrics of the customer experience, while getting the staff a better, digitized resume. 

#changehospitality #hospitality #hotel #restaurant #bar #respect #winetraining #hospitalityservice #wine #attitude #gratitude #recognition #qualityservice #makeitnice #agaru #hospitalitytraining #guestsatisfaction #aptitude #stafftraining #hospitalityindustry #truehospitality #COVIDdining #serviceexcellence #hospitalityconsulting #restaurant #hotel #sommelier #gastronomy

October 27, 2020


Picture credit: Wordsmith

SPIFFY UP YOUR RESUME FOR THE WIN 

The time will come when we can look for jobs again, perhaps in a different way or in a different trade. 
A resume only tells so much, but your abilities and skills learned in hospitality can easily translate to other fields. How can you make sure that people outside can understand what you do and what you have done before? 

Here is where a good resume coach can really help you. We gotta keep in mind that a human will read your resume and they are looking for the answers they expect. What I mean is that people look for answers that fit their considerations. In larger enterprises, chances are your resume will be first put through a computer program to sort out if you are a good fit. They can miss your resume if you do not have the right words in the right way. Crazy, I know. But this is the timeline we are living. 

Here is the meat of the article: 

” Look at the job description. By reviewing what a hiring manager asked for and how they asked for it, you can get an idea of which words they’ll plug into the ATS (Applicant Tracking System) after applications have been collected.

Carefully read through the job description or use Jobscan to determine which keywords (in whatever tense or style) are used the most. Work them into your resume exactly as they appear. “Simple enough right? it is just like hospitality: Pay attention and give them what they ask for.

here is the article 

https://www.jobscan.co/blog/resume-tenses-plurals-keywords/?utm_source=mailchimp-free&utm_campaign=f4276851c7-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_10_23__COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d2497515eb-f4276851c7-251835478

(I do not know these people, I am not paid to post this, I am not a marketing affiliate to them, I do not work for them. Just hope it can help you find your dreams).


GETTING INTO THEIR HEADS PART 1: RAPPORT AND COMFORT 

There are many ways to build rapport with a guest. 

Rapport is part of any crucial business transaction, and it helps soften the exchange of money for goods and services. In our case, rapport is important to be able to triage and gauge the best approaches that will be the best fit for the guest. 

A big part of rapport is the first impression of the place. if the welcome is stiff and formal, the guest will expect a stiff and formal interaction (and where is the fun in that?). The same applies to the server: if too much time passes between being sat and someone offering at least water, the client may become restless and uneasy. Best is to nail it from the get go. Then it is much harder for the client  to put a barrier between you and your  tip, as they see you as an effective service facilitator and not as a cog in the machine. Remember that you are the most important mediator between the restaurant and the client.

A light hearted joke in greeting the guest or a few kind words can make a big difference. Instead of, “good evening how are you, do you have a reservation, what’s your name?” How about try this:

“Hello! welcome. It’s lovely tonight isn’t it? What a great coat! Come on in. Are we expecting you tonight? No? Yes? Great, right this way we have a (romantic, quaint, cozy or whatever they requested) table for you” See the difference?

Important: As always, remember that these people are going to  pay your rent, tuition or whatever habit you have. It’s in your best interest that they have a good time.

Also, the compliments or comments should be POSITIVE, UPBEAT, and LIGHTHEARTED whenever possible. Don’t give bad news right off the bat, smooth it  over.  Always KAYFABE.

Then, as soon as they sit down and have gotten comfortable, approach. Don’t let them linger on their own. As you know the job takes some nudging here and there. Wait for an opening (a lull in conversation is best) and approach. This doesn’t need to be complicated: Offer them water.

Why water? Why not a drink? For one, water is an international symbol of hospitality. Second, a drink, people have to think about… cocktail, wine, etc. Water is much more to the point. Sparkling, Still or tap? (if tap is a choice). That’s it. If they say no, ask again, they likely misheard you. Sparkling, still or tap. If they say yes, you may have to gently ask which one? Never lose your cool!

The next part is also important, Make them comfortable making requests of you.. Let them know about any specials on drinks or anything fun that may be new on the list, and let them sort themselves out. Keep an eye on them as a drink order is likely to l follow. If not, accept that graciously, and offer them alternatives (you should have them). If not, bow away with a “perhaps next time.”  This is gold, I promise. 

In this interaction you will have the chance to size them up. Try to guess their eating and drinking style.This will become easier with experience (also refer to the handy charts below).

Clients with more experience with restaurants —and pricey restaurants— will seem at ease and comfortable with the menu and the restaurant in general. Those without much experience may seem tense and take longer to make decisions. This will play a role when it comes to triaging your tables. Overall, never leave a guest alone for too long: They may get anxious especially if the restaurant is on the more expensive side.

To build rapport, pay attention to what they are looking at with intent, may it be the menu, the  wine list, or the decor of the place. They may comment on the weather or ask what’s good. The key here is to stay observant and to be able to sniff out clues about their expectations and preferences and how best to meet them. Think of what you can say to bring them into their element. Small talk is an art that can tell you much about a guest. Learn to like it!

The Pitch

READ THE TABLE

A meal is never just a meal. There are many factors in play.

From here onwards, it’s a matter of identifying the lead person  and sorting things out, or of helping to find some balance if there are two strong personalities at the table. You are playing politics in a way, but subtly and gently. With tables of women this sorting out process may  be a little more tricky as they tend to work in consensus. Tables of  men will typically have someone naturally selecting themselves to deal with wine, extras, and the bill. Why is this? beats me, but whoever figures it out will be very rich.

In either case, this lead person is your main focus. Go from there. 

The important part is to learn as fast as possible what their needs are and how you can service those needs fast and efficiently for the greatest return.

People go out for dinner for a variety of reasons which can overlap and change as the night goes on. Some may seek confirmation of their status, for others it is about entertainment,others may  want a break from the real world. Others are there for the food,  the drinks, or to ogle the waitstaff.

See the breakdown (further down) on the various reasons why people go for dinner. See also the customer breakdowns (even more further down),  but remember that people are complex, and some categories of customers will overlap, but you should know that there seems to be only  a finite number of types.


GETTING INTO THEIR HEADS PART 2: WHY PEOPLE DINE OUT

WHY DO PEOPLE GO FOR DINNER, REALLY?

One would think that people eat out for sustenance only — because they have to. But that is rarely the case. We humans are all thrill seekers to varying degrees, and at different budgets those experiences vary wildly. However, there are things in common and patterns of people that visit restaurants. The point is rarely to just “have a meal.”

Here I am using a n/10 scale to show how often out of 10 meals you will get the reasons to eat out. They don’t add up to 10 because of the overlap of restaurant clients’ expectations and preferences. 

For example, 3/10 tables in the restaurant will be there for politics, 4/10 will be there for the show, and some will be there just to get something inside them, but still being part of the total.

REASONS TO EAT OUT EXPLANATIONHOW COMMON? REASONING BEHIND IT
PoliticsThere to talk biz, influence someone, or try to convince someone of something.Even the act of being seen having dinner with ‘someone’ can be important to some clients. .
Many deals are clinched over breaking bread.
3/10 times.The reflexes triggered by the principles of needing to be liked,, authority, and reciprocity are very hard to break out of. A few bottles of good wine and good food can turn the toughest nuts into putty.
Entertainment The new generation of chefs as celebrities sets the restaurant experience  as the stage for amusement and magic. Common in the later stages of civilizations. Patrons seek a good show and ‘ambiance.’8/10 times. The new “bread and circus.” Food is art that can be ingested, and give ‘cool’ points by consuming (and sharing in the socials!).
SeductionAh, love.
What people won’t do for it?
Depends greatly on setting. Displays of wealth and ability to be a provider always help the ways of cupid, and alcohol has always helped romance. (Overlaps with Entertainment and Politics sometimes).
Bonding (socially or romantically)Another important part of the human experience. The point is not the food, but the company. Strengthens the bonds of families and otherwise unrelated people.7/10, common. May or may not be one-sided, but everyone enjoys eating with people they like (overlaps with Politics).
SustenanceWe all need to eat. Some more than others. Meals in social settings (not necessarily with company) are proven to be more satisfying.Obvious. But a sustenance meal has less impact and is a less memorable experience than the others.
Satiety (physiological and psychological)Sometimes the point is chasing the pleasant feelings of satisfaction and fullness that food provides (or the high from spicy foods), regardless of the meal or location itself. Think spicy food, buffets, etc.5/10 times. Some won’t care what they eat as long as it’s abundant and palatable enough for them, or that it comes with enough hot sauce.
Convenience (time constraints or lack of skill)Sometimes people don’t have the time to cook or can’t be bothered. So sustenance is achieved  and expedited with money. Example: I, for one, loooove Chipotle burritos. Very common. Witness any restaurant that does lunch near offices.
Confirmation of Status (or status seeking)The desire to be recognized in society and by peers as having “taste,” means, and access to “the finer things in life” or good connections. Those who  have it rarely flaunt it. “ Aspirationals”  often are more showy.3/10. Depends on background and place. More so in high-demand places, new openings, high-end restaurants. Some think that displays of wealth are the way to invite more wealth or find a mate. Also Ego gratification at play. 
Intellectual stimulationThe more cerebral form of eating. Not  to quench  hunger, but to bring to the brain new experiences that cannot be otherwise had. Overlaps heavily with Entertainment, but tends more towards the minimalistic and the pretentious.Not very common. Think nouvelle cuisine and similars. It’s art, where the point is the intensity of experience but without heaviness of volume.  Price correlated.

So as you see, there are many factors that make a meal. 

The link between the goals of the diner, the type of customer they may be, and their service requirements are closely related, but again, they tend to overlap. Think Venn diagrams (coming soon).

The role of the waitron or customer service agent is to manage these expectations and needs. Find the sweet spot, deliver the goods, and watch the cash roll in. Not as hard or as impossible as it may sound. You will still have to hustle and work for it, though:

TRIAGING (AKA sorting them out)

  1. Figure out the type of customer they are and what possible expectations they have
  2. Overlapping these categories with those of the above seen Diner Breakdown(™), find your clients’  sweet spot and give them the comfort and/or show they are expecting 
  3. With your newly found knowledge and tool kit, appeal to your clients’ expectations and make their  experience as close to ideal as possible
  4. Look for feedback, tweak, and continue 
  5. Profit!