In our ‘Independent Food Businesses Fighting Back’ series, we see how many independent food business share common ‘success’ traits. Previously we saw how they are more ‘tuned in’ to their customers, and how they ‘out-work rather than out-spend’ their big competitors by focusing in on who their core customers are and the problems they can uniquely help solve for them.
The next success trait is the ability to SELL
Success is built on sales, not great ideas. If we can’t sell, nothing else matters. Having the ability to sell and meet customers’ needs is a hallmark of any successful business. It starts with the ability to sell the business idea and vision to family, to business partners, to the bank manager or investor, to employees, and finally to the customer that walks through the door.
While the dictionary definition of selling is “the exchange of goods or services for money”, a more appropriate definition of selling is “the process of providing solutions to our customer’s problems”.
In food, successful selling is a process that leads to the repeated exchange of good food for money. The sale process starts with creating awareness through location, signage, and marketing to get the customer through the door. It continues with visual cues such the menu, point of sale graphics, specials, cleanliness, food preparation, the staff presentation, friendliness and manners. It finishes with the presentation and eating of great food. At all critical points, the customers experience must exceed expectations.
Any weak points and the sale process breaks down, sales stagnate and inevitably decline.