Word Of the Week #37: Recommendation

April 21, 2009 by  

Recommendation: an offering regarding something as acceptable and pleasing.

Are you like me when you go out to eat or to buy something that you would prefer the person who is waiting on you to make suggestions? I ask when I am undecided.

Everything's Really Good

Everything's Really Good

For example, when I am dining out, I ask the server, “If you could eat here right now, what would you eat?” The one response that drives me nuts, is when their answer is, “Everything’s really good.” And my response to that is, “I can’t eat everything on the menu! It’s physically impossible!”

People like recommendations and it’s up to you to be able to “help them buy.” When I work with staff, I never use the words “suggestive selling or up-selling.” There is a negative feeling among servers with regard to selling. I tell them it’s their job to “help their customers buy.”

That means they should offer two to three items. And the one thing I’ve learned is to ask open-ended questions to help the server decide what would be the best suggestions. Example: Are you looking for a hearty portion or a lighter meal? Do you have a preference for meat or fish? Do you prefer spicy or more mild dishes? Then from there the server can pick some items that the customer would like.

It doesn’t matter if you are selling food, or shoes, or cars, or jewelry, etc. This week focus on the appropriate questions to ask based on what you’re selling. Notice how much your customers, guests and members appreciate your input.

Reader Responses

“Are you going to make this a book? Let me know….love to buy it.” — Bob Brown

“I couldn’t agree more! I do the same thing when I dine out. Hey, if your server doesn’t know what is good on the menu, perhaps the restaurant dining choice is not the right one, ha, lol.” — Don Vance

“Generally, if a server or waitress replies that “everything is good,” he or she really does not know what the restaurant has on the menu. In many instances, waitstaff are either poorly trained and/or poorly paid and they just want to get on with the order.  That is too bad because the waitstaff is the “face” of the restaurant. If a customer feels that the people serving him/her are indifferent, it is not likely the customer will return. Customers don’t need to be entertained, they just want a pleasant person who is friendly. No one is expecting a sideshow.  An easy smile goes a long way in customer service. However, it is hard for some employees to “put on that happy face” if they don’t already feel appreciated by the people who employ them. These may sound like simple things, but they go a long way to helping restaurants get repeat customers.  As you know, Susan, it is not complicated. A smile speaks all languages. It is the universal communicator.” — Joe Moran.