Little Phrases – Big Payoffs

Mc Donald's Fries“Would you like fries with that?”  This phrase, now often parodied, made a ton of additional revenue for McDonald’s.  It allowed them to add on to a sale by using the power of suggestion, a popular selling technique.  What was unique was not suggestive selling – it was who was doing the selling.  With the introduction of this “phrase that pays” to the cashiers at McDonald’s, these front line employees began to act like what they truly are – salespeople – rather than just order takers.

My husband, John Murphy is very creative and has worked ViewRoomas part of the selling process most of his business career.  When his youngest son was hired for the front desk of a major hotel chain, John shared a couple of “little phrases” to help up-sell rooms.  He suggested when a room is prepaid by a company to offer the person checking in an upgrade this way “I see your room is prepaid by your company, would you like to treat yourself to a higher floor or a water view for only X dollars more?”  The key phrase “treat yourself” is powerful and effective – his son leads the team in room upgrades.

Pampering, treats and luxury sell!  To encourage more loyalty program sign ups, John suggested to his son to use the phrase “Would you like to stay in luxury properties for free on your next vacation?” as part of the program description.  Again, very effective.

Lettuce WrapsLoyalty programs exist for many businesses and typically rely on front line employees to enlist new customers.  Arming your staff with “little phrases” can have big payoffs.  The secret, capturing the benefit in a few words.  Free meals, priority boarding, luxury properties, exclusive discounts, premium seating – all phrases to entice consumers.

Which would you respond better to?  “Do you want to sign up for our loyalty reward program?” or “Would you like to enjoy a free meal?”

At Sleep Country there was usually some sort of promotion going on in our stores.  Rather than greet customers with “May I help you?” our staff were trained to ask “Did you come in on our big sale today?”  People who hadn’t seen or heard an ad were pleasantly surprised and would ask “What’s on sale?”

Up-selling is an important contributor to a healthy bottom line.  Incremental increases of even one or two percent can make a big impact.

If you are responsible for a team of front line employees, craft a few “little phrases” of your own and teach them to your staff.  Don’t just tell them to offer upgrades, loyalty programs or “anything else” – give them the key phrases that will touch on pampering, treats and luxury – little phrases with BIG payoffs!

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One Response to “Little Phrases – Big Payoffs”

  1. Robin Ryan Says:

    As usual, Sunny shares sage advice that can put more dollars in any business owner’s pocket and improve service so customers come back.

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