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How To Motivate Your Staff To Up Sell To Your Customers

Suggest-Sell promotions, or up selling is something as simple as asking, “Do You Want Chips With That?”

While many businesses, specifically restaurants encourage their sales staff to promote extra items like desserts to customers, most waiters/waitresses and sales reps fail to really push them effectively. 

This of course is a big shame, because getting customers to buy one extra item can translate into 10%-20% increase in order value. The more you make, the better off everyone is. The customer receives a better experience, the sales rep earns his keep, and the business remains profitable and healthy, etc.

How do you choose the right product to up sell?

Well, you need to identify a product or service that is high margin and has broad appeal. Then, give the customers a reason to buy it on the spot. Remember, once a customer trusts you enough to buy from you, you have overcome the biggest challenge, and now all you need to do is suggest an up sell, and probably 50% of the people will buy it.

A great story from the US we have recently come across goes like this:

A restaurant couldn’t seem to motivate their staff to up sell Mississippi Mud Pie desserts, even though everyone loved them. So, the owner ran a hilarious and awesome contest, “the Server who sold the most pies in one month would win one Mississippi Mud Pie, to throw in the Owner’s face!”.
As we are sure you can imagine, the restaurant increased dessert sales that month by 50%, and the residual effect was a 20% increase in dessert sales overall.

Just think about the Return on Investment from this one promotion. For the cost of one wholesale pie, and the dry cleaning of a suit, the restaurant added thousands in profits each week.

Of course the employees had a great time with it. The key factor is they didn’t feel like they were being pressed to “PUSH” something. They enjoyed it and the customers enjoyed it with them! 
In fact, if we were in the restaurant and the server told us about the contest, we would probably order extra to take home just so our server could win.

We wonder what kind of fun promotions you could come up with to motivate your staff?!


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Brenell Quality Desserts provide you with products of unsurpassed quality and exceptional moreish taste. Our tradition of incorporating the highest quality ingredients is the foundation for our successful line of wholesale frozen desserts and cakes, enjoyed in some of the finest hotels, cafes, restaurants and now… by you.