It’s five o’clock in the afternoon, and you just got off work. You have gone to the grocery store to get the one item you needed to finish dinner. After picking up your cart you see an immense stack of Coke strategically placed like the White House, and realized you needed a case of soda because it’s been a long day and you are thirsty. Then you turn the corner and you see all of these beautiful vegetables displayed and realized that you could make a great salad with just a couple more items. Rounding another corner you see dessert peering through a little glass case at you, and of course that Angel Food cake would be great with some strawberriesand whipped cream. So, back to produce and on to the one thing you needed. Passing the meat counter you see fresh Porterhouse steaks displayed on sale, and “Shazam” you have tomorrow night’s main course. On each end cap is displayed amazing Little Debbie treats and Tortilla Chips. Turning you go over to the aisle where the salsa is located because you really wanted a different brand. Now you have four more items and you are headed for that one thing… What was it? Oh yeah! Get milk… Then that takes you past the ice cream, and then another display with sale wines. Excellent… Oh, now you see one of those “Chip Clips” hanging next to the wine. Turning around you see the new Sports Illustrated displayed on the magazine rack. Then before you get to the register you see a display of beef jerky and realize how hungry you have become. With the saltiness of the jerky you are going to want a soda in the cooler, next to the jerky, to wash that down. By the time you get through the register, the milk you came for just cost you 83.55, Does it dawn on you then that you have just been cleverly outsmarted by technical genius of a grocery store team that you thought was well below your pay grade? No, but you do remember to pick up flowers for your wife on the way out so she won’t yell at you for getting the Little Debbie’s.
As a commissioned, or tipped, employee I would like to suggest that you need to take the “grocery store” approach to the services you provide. The key to a great haircut, meal, or outfit sale is to give your guest what they want while adding nuances along the way that will enhance their experience. We want them to walk away from that occasion in time knowing this was the best opportunity ever, and that they couldn’t duplicate it anywhere else with anyone else for that price.
When you introduce your customer to the menu they need to see all of the things that made your establishment special – your “Signature’s” so to speak. If it is a suit, they couldn’t have done it just right without one more really nice tie. In addition, the really needed the French Cuff shirts to set off the ensemble.Your job is to be aware of everything available to them with each option and then enhance their experience with such an option. Here’s the tough part – ready? You have to lay that suggestion in so softly they don’t notice they were just sold on it. They key is to never look hungry – like you need the sale, and never question in your mind whether they need something; – assume they do.
If the majority of the people that walk in have a set tip percentage in their mind then it is to your benefit to deliver the best experience at the optimum price point.
Here’s a trick for a server – It’s a bit of a Ninja maneuver – So, don’t let just anyone try this. When you approach your table, before you get their drink order, introduce them to some of your favorite items. These items will be a little higher price point than the lower end items everyone else sells. Here’s what happens next. You get their drink order and are heading to the back to get their drinks. The time you are away works for you. Their mouth is now watering for the specialty Filet as opposed to the chopped steak they would normally be looking at. What just happened was you diverted their eyes from the inexpensive items and focused them with a laser fine gaze open the mouth watering top dollar steak. The time you have gone away has turned into time for that steak to melt into their braincells. Try it, and if you do it just right you will have them eating out of the palm of your hand, actually the best part of the menu the majority of the time.
The key to making money as a commissioned professional is to fully educate yourself with the items that are available to you and how to pair them with the accessories that are available with each item. You will find that the more tools you add to your toolbox the more prepared you are to to do specialty work in your job.
Always remember, most anyone can wait a table, or sell an outfit, but it takes a special person to create an experience.
The journey can be just as sweet as the destination if you take the time to enjoy the sensations and nuances that make the experience amazing. That’s why I have created this Blog. I work in a town in the Hospitality Industry that is known for great experiences. Individuals and families come to Branson, Missouri to see and feel things they don’t feel in their everyday life. People spend tons of money to see shows that will make them forget what may have been going on at home and give them something to remember for years to come. In a town where building memories is so important to people it’s sometimes very surprising that the people who work in the Hospitality Industry in Branson don’t always seem aware of that big picture. Of course, we all want to make money, but even more importantly the key to making that money is helping people to really enjoy their experience.
I am devoting this Blog to the Service Professional that wants to bring their game to the next level, or feel they have something to offer in what they do. I don’t know everything and I am counting on the feedback of the audience of this Blog to assist me on this Journey. I am going to use examples I have experienced to point out aspects of this and I am hoping it will become a springboard to your sharing of great experiences you will have as well. In addition to that I may at times point out some of the other opportunities I have had to witness some experiences that were not so great, not to embarrass those making the mistakes, but to help us all learn. Please feel free to interact with me in this process so that we can all take this journey together and enjoy the ride.
Much of my experience in service has been in the Hospitality Industry has been in Restaurants, and Hotels. I would hope that this Blog will be something anyone in the Service Industry can use with a little application tweaking to make it fit their given situation. I have done stints in other areas of occupation in my life and so I am hoping I can find a practical middle ground for those working in Hospitals, Grocery Stores, or even Ministry. Again, this is going to be where you come in; I will need your input to make that an even better offering as time passes.My vision is something that will help us all get better, and I am looking forward to seeing how this develops and what stories may arise through the course of time to follow.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this Blog; it is my pleasure to serve you with this vehicle your great service experiences.