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There’s a huge difference between a fast food burger and a gourmet gourmet burger, don’t you think? In the first scenario, you trade a few bucks for a quick, greasy, paper-wrapped “meal.” It’s not much to look at. It tastes… okay. But it works and satisfies your hunger. In the second scenario, you wait a little longer, pay a little more, choose how it is cooked and receive something absolutely delicious. It comes out to real dishes. You get full service. And maybe there are even options for fancy drinks and decadent desserts!
When it comes to your own business, you know which version you want to be.
Providing the full “dining experience”
All the gurus say you have to ‘create urgency’ and ‘close the deal’. But if all you focus on is sales, you’re just running a drive-thru business: quick in and quick out.
On the other hand, if you focus on creating a complete and enjoyable experience, you will become memorable! You make an impression and you get stuck in the minds of your customers so that they think of you the next time they want quality. Then everything comes together!
Related: Here’s Where First Impressions Can Make or Break Your Brand
Guide them through the menu if they are unsure. Invite them to start with an amuse-bouche. Offer them a cocktail. Suggest they treat themselves to dessert, because that almond pie is really dreamy. You’re not pushy – you let them know what’s available so they can put together their own ideal dinner.
What options and extras are available in your company for your customers to enjoy? Be ready to give your customers the “full dining experience”.
The same goes for being attentive. A good server knows when to have a conversation (and when not to), when to fill the water glasses, and how much time to allow between starters and mains. They cherish their customers throughout the meal.
How do you nurture your customers and make sure they feel consistently cared for? How do you make sure you don’t overwhelm them?
Listen to what they say (and what they don’t)
This perspective is especially helpful when it comes to objections. From the “full experience” angle, you can see it as asking your audience to help them make a decision. It is an opportunity for communication and engagement.
Only when you are both well informed can you make an offer that really helps them. (Do they want the Angus burger or a vegan burger? Ketchup and pickles or mushrooms and Swiss? Is it extra for a side dish, or is that included?)
Related: Handling objections
Most customers need extra time to process your menu. You probably offer something unique, or they have a different name for your dishes (offers) in mind. So adapt patiently to your audience. Maybe:
Maybe they need you to explain it differently. Can you be clearer? Shorter or more detailed?
Maybe they need more information. Can you explain in more detail what it entails and what the impact or results are?
They may not be ready for this particular product or service. Maybe they would appreciate something else.
Listen to what they have to say, but also read between the lines. Ask questions, anticipate their needs, and watch for signs. If they turn down dessert first, it’s possible that nothing on the dessert menu sounds right… or maybe they’re too full, but “now you mention it,” they’d be happy to take a piece of that torte home for later.
It gives you warm feelings to visit a place ‘where everyone knows your name’. The servers have your drink ready before you even take off your jacket, and they ask how Jimmy’s football game went last weekend. They remember you. They have invested in you. And that makes you feel good† Maybe it makes you feel So good that you tip more than you normally would.
Emotions are a powerful thing. They move us in a way that nothing else can – not even that commercial sense of urgency.
Related: 5 ways to get to the heart of emotional marketing
How can you connect with their emotions when serving your customers? Especially if someone has doubts about buying your listing. Is there a way to give them an emotional reason why they will love it? How does your product or service activate those feel-good chemicals in their brain?
Does it support a purpose or spread awareness? (philanthropy)
Can it improve their productivity or efficiency? (performance)
Will it also positively affect their loved ones in some way? (caring/caring)
it comes down to
When you offer these small but valuable qualities through your brand and business, as opposed to an urgency-driven drive-thru, you don’t just get customers. You will gain loyal fans and followers who believe in your message, your vision and your purpose, because what you offer is so much bigger than business.
So don’t just create a business that allows your customer to dine and run. Be more mindful of the service you offer and provide them with an impressive and enjoyable ‘full dining experience’ that they will remember for years to come.