catering sales scripts

Choose Your Words Wisely

Michael Attias Oct 13, 2021
Michael Attias

I am guessing at least once in your life…

At the beginning of a fight that was about to start…

You were told…

“Choose your words wisely!”

That is great advice to prevent a drag-out or a night on the couch with a flimsy blanket and Netflix playing in the background.

But what I am talking about is choosing your selling words wisely. Whether you are crafting a script for calls, cold calling, your drive-thru window or how your phone is answered, a well-crafted script can be worth tens of thousands of dollars to you.

How the Power of Words Affects Profits

Moe’s Southwest Grill has all crew members greet guests with a cheerful, “Welcome To Moe’s!” 

It puts guests in a good mood and probably, if tested, would show a correlation to better sales and tips for the crew.

John Dodd, a long-time direct marketing friend and list broker, used to call me and say, “Happy Thursday!” (substitute actual day of the week). It caught me off guard and made me smile.

I unabashedly stole that from him and used that greeting everywhere. It always takes people off guard and makes people smile. Oftentimes it gets me preferential treatment. People in service industries often are treated disrespectfully. A little appreciation goes a long way.

We are currently testing addressing the gatekeeper with a "Happy Thursday!" greeting.

Being on guard to protect the boss from unwanted callers, the greeting will help soften them a bit.

My late friend Gene Heller was one of the most brilliant businessmen I knew. At one point in his life, like many rich people, he decided to buy a restaurant. His desserts were all bought from his food distributor.

He instructed his waitresses, when asked if the desserts were homemade to say, “They’re better than homemade!”

They sold a ton of desserts.

Script Examples That Get Results

I learned an upselling script from the Slutsky brothers that made me a ton of money in my drive-thru window.

Every night we were flooded with people buying a Family Meal Deal for dinner. We decided to upsell a slab of ribs at a large discount. But that sale added an extra five bucks to our gross profit.

Here is the script:

"We have a manager’s special tonight. Because you bought a Family Meal Deal, you can get a slab of ribs for only $9.99. That’s a 50% savings over the regular price. Would you like to add that to your order?"

We had a very high close rate.

When selling catering for larger events, I would ask if the prospect/committee had eaten at Corky’s. If the answer was no, I invited them in to sample an array of food, either coming into the restaurant or me bringing food out.

It closed a lot of events and endeared them to me.

I hate discounting, but a fan of giving away a premium. I would rather throw in free brownies valued at $1.99, a twenty percent premium, than discount an event.

When asked how much barbecue came in our party pack:

"You get a third of a pound of barbecue per guest. That’s enough for one and a half good-sized sandwiches per person. Usually women will eat one and men two."

This gave them a visual and made them feel like they wouldn’t have to be embarrassed by running out of food.

I sold more jumbo barbecue sandwiches by coaching my team to explain the size difference:

"Our regular pulled pork sandwiches come on buns the size of a regular hamburger bun at McDonald's and our jumbo comes on a bun the size of a quarter pounder bun."

Everyone can visualize the size of McDonald’s buns. A regular hamburger won’t fill you up. A quarter pounder will.

Even though the regular pork sandwich came with more than most people could eat, that visual led to more jumbo sandwich sales.

I could pontificate all day about selling scripts.

Literally everything your team says on the phone or in person needs to be analyzed and an improved script created and used.

The incremental improvements will add up to a lot of profits with no extra investment on your part.

So which words do you need to choose wisely?

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