If you’ve ever been to a tropical locale and walked through the restaurant row in the “tourist trappy” section of town, you may have been accosted by people out on the sidewalk in front of the restaurants inviting you in to eat or drink. Sometimes they’re just friendly greeters, and other times they’re obnoxious salespeople, emphatically selling you on how great their establishment is…which is ironic because they’re frequently empty, and WHY is the music blaring inside? There’s no one in there! Who are they trying to fool?
I have even seen these restaurant promoters promise free shots of tequila for everyone in the potential customer group, if we will “JUST COME INSIDE!!”
It must be successful or they wouldn’t still be doing it. For me though…it just screams low value. If you need to resort to bribery just to get people to cross your threshold…maybe its time to re-evaluate your approach.
Why not build a reputation amongst the local hotel concierges and travel guides as THE place to go…because the food, atmosphere, service, etc is just so good. The referrals would flow! Most places simply haven’t chosen to go this high value route, because it takes work. They haven’t decided to do the hard things necessary to become the best. Clearly the best. THE ONE PLACE YOU MUST GO if you come to town. They prefer to do what they think will work and quote (“FREE TEQUILA!”) and hope. I will admit….it is a numbers game…and they are playing it full force. Still, I believe there is a better way, for both them and for you.
As I see it you have 2 value options:
You can walk into the first meeting with a new prospect and basically yell “I’d love an opportunity to quote you on the stuff I sell (FREE TEQUILA!).” I’ve seen this approach taken more times than I can count (Not the tequila part). If I’m the buyer…this looks to me like the guy hawking free tequila. It’s suspicious. I don’t know you. I don’t know if I can trust you. I don’t know if your products are any good…the reasons for instant recoil go on and on.
You conduct a quality first meeting, asking thought provoking personal and business questions. Then you give a stellar presentation of your company’s features and benefits that address the needs/desires uncovered by your questions. Finally, you call the customer to action according to whatever your particular sales process calls for next. If you get buy in for a next step….they’ve started walking into your “restaurant” sans tequila!
By doing the things above, you will begin to develop a reputation as THE place to go for what you sell. You can begin to establish this reputation in just 1-2 sales calls on a prospect. Develop the relationship. Prove your worth. THEN when you have rapport and you can see that the relationship is building….the buyer has now willingly walked into your establishment and they are sitting at the table ready to buy. Now you ask if they’d like to see the menu.
It’s amazing how often they will place an order when they’ve walked in, sat down, and asked to see that menu.
Be the best place to go in your town.
Make sure your atmosphere is enjoyable.
Demonstrate service and competence competitors can’t comprehend.
Have an excellent menu.
Above all, don’t offer free tequila. They’ll assume it’s bottom shelf.