A Meaningful Experience v A Sale

When you’re in a restaurant, front of house can be fairly certain you’re going to buy something as you’ve walked in the door (yes, some people do walk out).  When ordering, some staff will just listen to what the customer orders, others will impart their knowledge to help the customer make a suitable choice.  A some point you’ll make it to the till and pay.

Some ‘food’ for thought:

  • How does the owner know how many people DIDN’T choose to walk in the door?
  • How does the owner know how many people DIDN’T know the restaurant existed?
  • How many people ate their once but not again?
  • How many people recommended or discourage their network from going to the restaurant after their experience?

Sure, it is important for the customer to order and pay for a meal.  The revenue from the sale is important.  However, if that client doesn’t come back – the owner has to find another customer to keep revenue at the same level.  Worse still, if the client experience was poor, they may tell more people!

Another question to consider:  If the food was absolutely without peer – but the time between courses terrible – at what point would the poor service override the quality of the food and prevent you from going back?  

In sales, making a sale is important as this is what we’re measured on.  Long term sales success comes from having a meaningful relationship with the client so that not only do they continue to use your products/services, but they become your advocates.  The sale is an outcome of a sales experience – not just a transaction.

As a sales person, it is more important to manage the relationship than the sale.  Sure, the sales process needs to be seamless (and, quite frankly, if you’re a professional sales person, it should be anyway), but creating a meaningful client experience is the real process than needs to be focused on.

A final question – name 3 restaurants where you’ve had great nights out and, then, try to recall precisely what the meal cost you?

Clients remember how they feel long after any financial impact of a sale

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