Do You Miss This Cafe Cake Counter Trick?

Another finding from the world of retail. This time, from a marble counter festooned with cloche entombed afternoon treats. That one front-left contained the juice of a dozen oranges.

I have sat at the other end of this tabletop. I heard several inquisitive teatime-treaters ask what the offerings are.

The answer always tripped out in the same way. Waitrons tend to point to each wonderfully presented temptation and say;

orange chiffon cake, baked cheesecake, florentine…

They simply list the name of each item.

It is ineffective. A total absence of Sales acumen. Which is in no way the fault of the waitrons, by the way.

They have terrific enthusiasm. They just as of yet have not had their eyes opened to the winning approach.

They can easy scrap how they do it now and embrace the future.

Let’s start with posture. I’m not just making what we solution sellers would know as a ‘smile-while-you-dial’ point. These youngsters display genuine grins as they stretch out their finger. It is rather that I’ve noticed none of them manage to generate any eye contact during their call-outs. Glancing up just once or twice would prove a real winner.

Now let’s tackle the actual words. Merely uttering the name of each is not the answer. We have several options. I’ll lather it on here a little to show each point.

First, from the foodie school. Those immersed in the restaurant trade urge use of emotive expressions.

Zingy orange chiffon cake that melts in your mouth, natural subtle cheesecake without the sugar overload with unique creaminess, florentine with lovely toasted almonds beautifully complimented by a layer of rich dark chocolate

They like to evoke textures and trigger the taste bud senses into salivating action.

Then there’s the school of sheep. Or should that be shepherds? Those that feel you ought connect with popularity and duly follow it happily.

Our longest serving cake and also the one people buy the most is this orange chiffon, our own cheesecake which we have to bake at least two of each day in our own oven, and smallest guilty pleasure, the crunchy smooth florentine that people have morning noon and night

I’m sure the vaunted trust school warrant a mention too. Especially useful when you have a good relationship with the enquirer, revealing your preferences can prove that decider.

Here’s the orange chiffon cake that I love with a coffee, the baked cheesecake I have when I’m in a cream mood and when I’m feeling particularly decadent I pay a little bit more for the divine raspberry coulis, and the florentine which is my favourite to nibble alongside a green tea

I couldn’t resist adding the cheeky little upsell throughout.

And lastly for today, a word from the hardcore solution school.

Never answer something straight out. Whenever you get asked a question, ask two back. If you don’t know what they want, then surely your ‘pitch’ cannot possibly work.

Well, there’s quite a choice. You in the mood for chocolate or fruity? You fancy more cookieish or cake? Which have you had before? After a full-on indulgence or more a cheeky craving? Would you prefer something that goes with cream on the side or not? You sharing or is it all your treat?

And a sneaky reminder of the alternative close school too in this one.

There’s plenty of different routes. Any adaptation of these could work. Note that my examples are designed to show the same technique for all three treats in a batch. It’s worth bearing in mind that you’re best not using the same technique three times in a row. No-one responds well to over-selling. Experience would sculpt the ‘pitch’ into the tiny amount of extra words that sound the most natural and which have hugest impact. Mix up the formats. A word before, a snappy phrase after. As with any sales pitch, test and test again to find what works, and when, for you and your prospects.

Interestingly, I also overheard the manager getting close. Describing four items himself, for two he gently added ‘with a hint of lemon’ and ‘very chocolatey, very moist’.

Then finally there’s the reminder to practice for the shortest, most succinct version. How about slants of;

‘well, there’s zingy, creamy or crunchy…which you fancy?’

Whilst we are not selling ‘cake’ as such, this does relate to a typical b2b scenario. From app module to techie machine, from services to general widgetry,

Even in my first cub rep role with erp software, I remember being asked at closing time, as the prospect perused my order form, “what are this lot listed down here?” If you simply replied, ‘fixed assets, cash book, payroll’ you’d get nowhere.

Think of your product name as the noun. You are perfectly entitled to add an adjective. If you go overboard, then like a press release littered with self-praising hyperboles, you’ll end up in the bin. If on the other hand, you make them relevant to the buyer, then they’ll be glad to place their order.

And to box this off, the longtime seller will say that after you’ve said your piece, keep quiet. Let the salivations of the eater close themselves. Old school purists will insist you tag on a close though. The obvious beginning with “which…” Far be it from me to recommend one over the other. The good news is, once you understand the process, you’ll find out easy enough what works best for you and your prospects.

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jamie@example.com
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