Did you know that in all the world there are only 6 Ways to increase sales. It’s true and here they are:
Keep The Customers You Have
Bring in New Customers
Increase the Average Check
Get Your Customers to Visit More Often
86 Bad Customers And
My Favorite - Raise Prices…
Let’s take a look at each of these 6 ways to increase sales:
#1 Keep the Customers You Have:
We do this by TAKING CARE of our customers. We do this by making our customers Feel Special & Important.
We keep the customers we have by Delivering the Customer Promise The Customer Promise is What we Promise to do for the customer in exchange for their money.
For example, If we say we have the World’s Best Cheeseburger – It better be pretty damn good, and everything we do must support the Cheeseburger experience.
So, if we want to keep the customers we have, we better Deliver the Customer Promise and make the Customer Feel Special and Important
The enemy of keeping the customers we have is called Attrition. The Wikipedia description for business attrition is - the loss of business clients or customers. This is a really good description.
In my opinion, there are two types of attrition:
The first is when we lose customers for one of life’s many circumstances. Some customers move to another city, or have a life change such as a new baby or they lose their job or retire.
Sadly, some of our customers get really sick or die.
Then, there are the self-inflicted reasons. I found this definition of attrition in The Webster’s dictionary, it defines Attrition as the weakening or exhausting by constant harassment, abuse or attack. Wow, I have had every one of those things happen to ME in restaurants and sadly, I’ve abused my fair share of customers over the years. And if your honest, I’m sure you have abused some of your customers too.
I know what you are thinking, it depends on the definition of abuse.
How about showing up at 7:00 for a 7:00 reservation and not being seated until 7:30, is that abuse?
What about waiting 5 minutes for the waiter to greet your table? What about having to flag down your waiter to get a second drink?
What about, un-trained waiters who don’t know the menu?
What about, lipstick on the glassware, cold food, slow service or no hot water or paper towels in the bathroom?
Are these things considered abuse? Hmmm.
So, back to the point, attrition is like a hole in the side of your boat, it happens when your customers stop coming back for any reason. The bigger the problem, the bigger the hole in the boat. We will never stop Attrition, BUT we should be able to at least slow it down or reduce it.
The #2 way to increase sales is to - Bring in New Customers
This is done through Marketing AND word of mouth from Happy Customers. Think of marketing as the Air Campaign, Marketing gets customers to your front door. Marketing includes, your web site, facebook, twitter, Instagram and email campaigns. It also includes advertising such as TV, radio, newspaper, magazine and billboards.
When it comes to marketing there are three important words.
The Media and
The Market: is the people who live in your area. A smart marketer will aim their marketing at the people or section of the market that makes the most sense for their product. For example, If we own a bar, we must go after people who like to drink! if we want to sell the World’s Best Cheeseburger, we must go after people who Love Cheeseburgers.
The Media: is the platform we choose to market from, such as TV, radio, newspaper, facebook, twitter or Instagram. I find it best to use two free social platforms and one paid for advertising platform. Personally, I like radio because I can talk to the same people over and over and eventually persuade them to take action.
The Message: is easy to understand, but very difficult to deliver effectively. You must have a COMPELLING message - what the hell does that mean, you ask?
It means, your message must tell your potential customer who you are and why they should care. Your message must persuade the potential customer to stop what they are doing and pay attention to you.
Does your marketing do that?
The biggest problem with most advertising is - Most advertising is written from a place of FEAR! Most adds are produced to be SAFE and NOT offensive! It’s true, take a look at your last advertising message and ask yourself, does this message stand out? Does this ad make me want to take action? Does this ad make me want to get in the car, or does this sound like the same watered-down crap that every-body else is hawking.
You know what I’m talking about… it goes like this:
Come to XYZ restaurant because we have everything you could every want, we have steak, chicken, fish, pasta, potatoes, vegetables, vegetarian and gluten free options. We have American, Asian, Mexican and Italian food, and we even have coloring books and goofy little hats for the kids. We have 120 different types of craft beer on tap, we have cocktails and wine too! You will love our price, value and friendly service.
I know this sounds terrible, but it’s what everybody is really doing, isn’t it?
Personally, I think it’s much better to pick a niche and get really specific. Let’s look at our Cheeseburger Restaurant example. Here’s an idea…
Are you into Cheeseburgers? Big FAT JUICY Cheeseburgers. Then you need to come to Burger World because we have the World’s Best Cheeseburger! We are the Cheeseburgers experts, in fact it’s all we do. We only have three things on our menu, Cheeseburger, Fries and a Coke… That’s it! What else could a cheeseburger connoisseur possibly want?
We have the best burgers because, we buy USDA prime, corn-fed beef and grind it fresh in house. We top our burgers with Swiss and American cheese and our house made dill pickles and spicy kazu sauce. Our burger buns are made by hand and baked fresh throughout the day, so the place smells amazing! Our fries are hand cut and served in huge paper cups with Heinz Ketchup and lots of napkins, because our Cheeseburgers are so juicy, you’re gonna need LOTS of napkins! Oh and by the way, don’t forget about the Burger World Guarantee… if you don’t think our burger is the BEST burger you have ever eaten in your life – It’s FREE. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get in the car and come to Burger World!
I like this pitch much better!!
The #3 way to Increase Sales is to Increase the Average Check
We do this through the process of upselling, bumps and adding on!
I call it the 5th Person on a 4 Top… Here’s what I mean. Imagine four people sitting at a table and they all order entrees that come with salads… A smart sales person will take the order and THEN, go for the add on! They will listen carefully to figure out who these people are and why they are here. Then, they will and make a smart recommendation. Would the TABLE like to share an order of home-made pretzels with warm cheese fondue, while you are waiting for your salads? A really good waiter should be able to make this sale at least one third of the time, here’s why.
When most people go out to eat, they fall in one of three categories:
Price sensitive, they read the menu from Right to left, they look at the price and pick something cheap.
Calorie or health conscious people who want to eat smart.
Special Occasion people, these people are ready to splurge and want to have the best things the restaurant has to offer.
Here’s what’s really going on in the mind of the customer. Think of the last time you went to a great restaurant, before you ordered, you were are a little bit stressed, you wanted to order the perfect things.
When we are in this situation, as soon as we order, we literally breathe a sigh of relief, and we relax. And that is the exact moment for a smart waiter to POUNCE with the add on… When everybody is relaxed.
I like selling something for the table to share, because sharing is fun and the TABLE will get the extra calories or the extra expense.
The second thing that might happen in a nice happen in a nice restaurant, is you might ask the waiter, what they think… You might ask for a recommendation, after all, they are the professional, right? This is the ultimate situation for a waiter to upsell.
If you think about it, Outback used to do this masterfully with the Bloomin’ Onion. They would advertise the crap out of the Bloomin’ Onion on TV, and then, right after you order your steak and relax - the waiter recommends the Bloomin’ Onion, AND everything clicks – BOOM! That was a thing of beauty. If ya don’t’ get the Bloomin Onion, ya don’t get the whole experience, now do ya? Do You Have your version of the Bloomin’ Onion? You should!
Let’s move on to The #4 Way to Increase Sales - Increase Customer Visits
Get the Customers to Visit More Often. How do you do this? You gotta give them a REAL GOOD Reason to Return…
Maybe you start a club? Both of my restaurants have clubs with over 15,000 people in them.
Maybe you give your customers a coupon or something to bring back next time. The point is that you need to use your noggin and come up with something creative to get people to return.
If you contact me, I would be more than happy to help you design a plan to get people to come back over and over again.
It’s what I do.
And Number FIVE - 86 Bad Customers
This one’s a little tricky… so pay attention. To me a bad customer is two people taking up a four top at 7:00 on Saturday night. It’s also people who bitch and complain all the time about prices or people who just wear out the staff with negative BS. This is also the people who want book our private room, and they are rude and just beat us down to the last nickel on price, personally, I’m not into giving stuff away cheap, I don’t need any more practice, I’ll negotiate, but we have to make money.
Some people want to buy a Mercedes Benz for the price of a Hundai, sorry but it just doesn’t work that way. Yes, of course there are exception for everything, but I’m giving you permission to say NO to the wrong deal, I’m giving you permission to say NO to rude people who look down their nose at you and treat you and your people like crap!
This brings us to the 6th way we can increase Sale – it’s Raise Prices
This one’s my personal favorite and here’s why…
You are NOT Walmart! You do not do - enough volume to offer a Discount! You must have the balls to charge FULL PRICE!
My goal is to start a restaurant revolution - I want every restaurant in the World to earn at least a 10% Profit.
The first step of this revolution is for every decent restaurant to raise prices by 10%. What is the sense of working your ass off, just to break even?
Raising Prices will do TWO things for you.
It will put extra money on your bottom line.
It will force you to upgrade the quality of everything you do - and that little Grass Hopper is the point of life… 1% Better every day.
Now you know the Six Ways to Increase Sales… It’s time for you to join the Revolution!