Go ahead and sing along, just like Annie, and the sun will come out tomorrow. Or maybe it won’t. It doesn’t really matter to your sales results (unless you’re in the ice cream business). What does matter is you and your cheerful belief that it will.
There are certain professions where people just seem to naturally know how to make you pay more, and do it gladly, wait staff in restaurants are a great study in how people react. The feedback is fairly straightforward, servers who do a great job get bigger tips. It’s easy to observe and to do the maths.
If restaurant staff can use simple ways to quickly build rapport, improve the customer experience and up “wallet share” then how do they do it, and how can other sales people learn from them?
Use names: It can seem odd to a European that a waitperson introduces themselves by name, but they do it because it improves tips. Tips go up even further if they use your name too, so if you book a table, the smart employee will use your booking information to call you by name. Using names builds rapport (even though many waitresses use fake ones) so make sure you’re using your customers’ names in meetings.
Use eye contact: Many servers will squat down to eye level to make better eye contact with you. It puts them on the same level as you, making it easier to connect. Fortunately most sales people can achieve eye contact across a table or desk, but do aim to sit at 45 or 90 degrees to your customer rather than directly across a desk.
Compliment them: Sometimes you’ll hear a waitperson declare “great choice”, they do this whether you’ve ordered the fresh caught local fish, the bacon double cheese burger or the egg white omelette with kale juice. It may or may not be a good choice, and let’s face it, you secretly know that some of your choices aren’t great, or that the server doesn’t really think you’re brilliant for ordering the sauce on the side and penne instead of linguine, but waitstaff who say “great choice” get better tips because their customers feel better about themselves. Be positive about your customers questions, concerns and choices and you’ll sell more.
Be positive about tomorrow: Here’s an odd fact. If your waiter or waitress suggests that the weather will be better tomorrow, then on average, they’ll get more tips than when they don’t say that, or when they say the weather is getting worse. We’re not suggesting you mention the weather in every meeting, or that you tell bare faced lies about how great some upcoming event will be, but maintaining a positive outlook about the future, and speaking positively about future interactions will help your customer to feel positive and to view you and your company as people who will be around for the future.
All together now … the sales will come out, tomorrow.