How to Sell Like a New York Waitress

By Jeremy Blake on April 11, 2017

A few years back Bob and I found ourselves in a great little hotel in New York, on West 47th St overlooking The Brooks Atkinson Theatre. A few doors down was a family owned Italian restaurant that made their own house wine.

The waitress approached us with menus which offered too much choice. Our expression must have belied the fact we didn’t know where to start, so she began, “I’m Marie and married to the chef so I have tried everything and get to try every new dish we put on the menu. Shall I help you choose?”

We both smiled and said that would be great and knew we were in safe hands.

“Our signature dish is our meatballs and pasta with our tomato sauce, our most popular dish is the Tortellini Ricotta and Spinach, and my personal favourite is the Penne Arrabbiata which has just the right amount of red chilli.”

How much more powerful and precise is our waitress’ recommendation when it is prefaced in this way.

Signature – it conjures images of her husband developing the meatballs in the very smithy of his soul. Using all his years of experience to get the right balance of herbs and spices in the meatballs and the tomato sauce.

Our most Popular – social proof at work here. We see Tony, Joe, Marge and Adriana giving the nod to Marie to bring some of their treasured Tortellini.

My personal favourite – Marie told us about her close bond with the chef and therefore the ingredients of everything that the kitchen created, so how can her choice not be wholly informed through taste, experience and reflection.

Now it’s your turn. Can you take these three words and help your customers make an informed choice? Or do you need to translate this situation to your industry and buyers so it takes full affect.

Reducing decision time has always been key to making more sales. Reducing choice based on sound principles and understanding demand makes the buyer choose wisely and happily.