When making the sale can be a “lose/lose”

Written by Craig Toyne, Accounting Director

I was recently on holidays in Koh Samui. The first night there, my partner and I were walking down the main road looking for a restaurant for dinner. Each restaurant had a spruiker out front trying to entice passers by into the restaurant. Some of these were more persistent than others.

We stopped at one restaurant to look at the menu and the seafood on display out the front. The spruiker was quickly upon us and before we knew it, we had agreed to a meal of BBQ king prawns.

During the meal, I overheard the spruiker “educating” a younger employee on how to attract customers and telling him what a wonderful salesmen he was.

It got me to thinking, was he really a good salesman? Yes, sure we purchased a meal for 1,000 THB (about A$40), but two questions came to mind;

  • What were we looking for?
  • What might have we been prepared to spend?

We ordered the BBQ king prawns because that is what the spruiker offered us and we thought it sounded ok. However, he never asked us what we liked or what we were looking for.

The following night, at a different restaurant, we had a seafood platter that included lobsters, crabs, oysters and prawns at a cost of just over A$80.

So, if the first restaurant had taken the time to ask us what we liked or explained the other items on their menu, we would have probably spent more than twice what we did with them.

The lesson is that the business would have made more money if they had asked questions rather than tried to just make the quick sale.

And from a customers point of view, I would have been much happier, as I would have been able to eat lobster on yet another night ….#firstworldproblems

That leads me to ask what is your sales process? Do you just take the order? Or do you have a process that identifies what your customer really needs or wants, or what they are prepared to buy if educated about the options? You will note I used the word “process”, as it is important that it happens on every sale and by all your team.

Incidentally, we didn’t go back to that restaurant again. I wonder how many of your customers don’t return …… and if you measure how many of your customers don’t return …… but that is a subject for another day.

If you have any questions in relation to the information in this article or would like to come in and have a chat to us to get some support, we’d only be too happy. Simply submit an enquiry below or phone our office 02 4962 4440.

Craig Toyne – Accounting Director

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