Far too many ideas seem like good ideas after a frozen margarita with a Coors Light chaser. However, I am pleasantly surprised to find myself struck with enlightenment as I sit bar side at a Chili’s. I am out to dinner alone after delivering a successful on-site training for a dealer client. As any consultant will tell you, these dinners on the road are commonplace and very little changes from city to city.
When across the bar does my curious eyes spot a sales process secretly displayed for the bartender at this Chili’s establishment. Within moment’s I arose from my stool to see what was the matter. I was incredibly pleased to see a list of steps to follow for this bartender that closely resembles our very own road to the sale. The Chili's Steps to the Upsell, so to speak.
I’ve attached this picture so you can follow along as we compare proven best practices. I have made it easier for you by spelling out each step they've provided to their employees.
Chili’s: The following is the minimum expectation for every bartender. If they cannot execute these, then they should not be responsible for driving our most profitable position in the restaurant.
Joe’s: This is what we expect from you as a sales representative. If you cannot proudly, competently, perform these tasks and follow these steps after we’ve trained you, you may want to consider another line of work.
Summary: You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.
1. Greeting every bar guest with “Welcome to Chili’s, my name is ------, I’ll be taking great care of you today and your name is….?
1. Every customer is greeted, preferably on the lot, (at the very least on the showroom floor) before they reach a manager, with “Welcome to ABC Motors, my name is -----, and you are…? Are you here for anyone in particular? No? I will be happy to assist you and answer all of your questions.
Summary: The best pick-up line in the world is still your name, asking for theirs, and asking a simple question.
2. “Let me tell you about a few great happy hour specials we have”, or weekends “Let me tell you get you started with our Presidente Margarita or ice cold draft.” (Yes, theirs is grammatically incorrect, or (sic) can be said, but nonetheless a similar practice would be
“Allow me to tell you about our amazing new vehicle incentives” or, used “Let me tell you what I feel are some of the hidden gems and best buys on our lot.”
Summary: They’ll never like it if they don’t try it. Make sure to introduce them to your specials.
3. “Can I get you started with ______ or _______.” Being suggestive with appetizers choose their favorite and let guests know why it is their favorite.
“I personally believe this vehicle is likely the best fit for you and your family because it is both ______ and ________, both features/needs you said were important to you on your next vehicle.”
Summary: I told you that you were going to enjoy it.
4. “Check down after every item is rung up, no “I will get it in a minute.”
4. (If I am reading this correctly) Answer and address every question they have immediately so as to overcome any potential objection in the future and then confirm it is answered.
Summary: Don’t let problems linger or questions go unanswered as it looks as if you are avoiding the subject or not caring about their needs.
5. Engaging lounge area tables even when there is a lounge server working.
5. If a customer is walking around on the lot or showroom, whether you are aware if someone is assisting them or not, make sure to approach them and ensure that someone is working with them and they are having their questions answered/expectations met.
Summary: Engage every lone/abandoned customer regardless of the situation to let them know someone is there is assist them at all times.
6. Running bar beverages at all times when not engaging bar top guests.
6. If you don’t have a customer, you should be either out on the lot familiarizing yourself with vehicles, looking to assist other managers/guests/salespeople, or looking to follow-up with active/past customers.
Summary: No coffee clutching. This is work. If you want “me time”, stay at home. When you are on the lot, you are there to produce and be productive.
7. Coaching team members on up-selling beverages that come to the bar screen.
7. Listen to your coworkers with their customers. If you can offer any guidance after the fact, constructive criticism and helpful hints should be widely accepted among the staff.
Summary: Role-playing will help you improve consistently.
8. Energetic, friendly, and sociable.
8. No other way to say it.
9. Constructive with free time
9. Get busy. There is ALWAYS something you can be doing to improve yourself and make money.
Summary: In all aspects, Chili’s has it right. And yes, in the picture below, that is a margarita. I did partake in one. After all, you have to reward a good salesperson.