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Suggestive Selling

Updated: Jul 31, 2019

Introducing Suggestive Selling

What is Suggestive Selling?

In this course you will learn about Suggestive Selling. This is not the same as up-selling, but rather a sales technique taking our Guests’ specific needs and preferences into account, while not aggressively pushing for a sale. We can maximise the Guest’s experience by suggesting an additional item that complements their order. We make these suggestions by educating the Guests about different products instead of trying to make a ‘hard sell’.

In this course we will learn more about the importance of suggestive selling by focusing specifically on how it relates to the food and beverage industry. We will look at the differences between suggestive selling and up-selling and at some great opportunities for implementing suggestive selling. We will learn how to read the Guest and understand the journey of suggestive selling as well as the principles of suggestive selling.

To be successful in our suggestive selling efforts we need to be prepared in terms of our menu and beverage knowledge, as well as our ability to pair dishes with beverages successfully, using flavour words, texture words and advanced menu knowledge.

We will look at the execution of suggestive selling by starting right at the beginning with the welcome and seating, moving to apéritifs, the orientation, doing a fantastic menu presentation, following up, and ending off with digestifs and desserts.

Then we will look at suggestive selling and how it can be a negative experience for the Guest. We will achieve this by focusing on the ‘don’ts’ and by looking at a few scenarios. Lastly, we will focus on advanced suggestive selling by looking at how we can serve repeat Guests and how we can make sure we continuously improve their experience. We will learn how suggestive selling can improve Guest loyalty, ensuring that Guests return to our properties again and again.

The Importance of Suggestive Selling

1. Revenue

Increased revenue is a natural benefit of successful suggestive selling. If a Guest orders a gin and tonic, you would generally provide them with the house pour. However, if you give the Guest options, for example, ‘Fantastic, we have several different gins on offer. My personal favourite is the Hendricks, it’s flavoured with Bulgarian Rose and served with refreshing cucumber. What gin do you prefer?’. You immediately remind the Guest that there is more than one type of gin they could choose from with an array of different flavours. They may then choose a brand of gin with a higher profit margin. This means a higher revenue for the company which could translate into higher salaries in the long run.

2. Guest satisfaction

Suggestive selling is a great sales technique because it is not only focused on the hard sell. The focus is on making the Guest’s experience better. You can increase Guest satisfaction by:

• Offering higher quality products.

• Educating the Guest.

• Offering complementary products.

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