Suggestive Selling in the Restaurant
Business : a Framework Connecting
Selling Approaches to Sales
Encounter Outcomes
By Jean Lagueux
Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec
1
Objectives
• Three fold
– Define a framework of selling approach in the
environment of restaurant selling.
– Measure the impact of the different sales
approach on sales encounter outcomes.
– Explore the restaurant / waiter’s social
responsibility context
2
Selling Styles
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Suggestive selling
Consultative selling
Transactional selling
Persuasive selling
Seduction selling
Relational selling
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Partnership selling
Adaptive selling
Cross-selling
Up-selling
Add-on selling
Value-added selling
3
Suggestive Selling
• Lacks
– Proper definition
– Theoretical basis
– Based on :
• Professional experience
• Anecdotal evidence
– Effects are not well defined
4
Background
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Courtesy in a restaurant setting and suggestive selling (Brooks, 1961)
Factors influencing restaurant servers to use suggestive selling (Johnson &
Masotti, 1986)
– Definition : “asking a patron if he would like wine with the meal ordered”
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Suggestive selling versus the volume of business (Redmon & Dickinson
1990)
Recommendations made by the server at different times of the meal (Lynn,
2003)
“the art of selling a customer the original item he or she came in to buy, plus
additional items that complement the original item” (Kizer & Bender 2007)
70 % of 1066 restaurant servers use suggestive selling (Lynn & McCall,
2009)
Conclusion
– Economic benefits
– Not connected to customer’s needs
5
Consultative Selling
• Type of awareness attributed to restaurant servers
– Mars and Nicod (1984)
• Customer-oriented selling :
– Comes from the marketing concept
– Customer satisfaction is integrated in the equation of success
– Seen as a problem solver
• Saxe and Weitz (1982)
• Providing information - an advisor
– Job satisfaction, organizational commitment, sales training and
sales skills
• Liu and Leach (2001)
6
Consultative Selling
• Approach used in situations when a customer needs to
find a solution to a problem that has not yet been
resolved or when he needs help or a suggestion
– Zeyl (2003)
• Upselling technique that has the goal to increase the
average check while enhancing the guest experience
– Shock, Bowen, and Stefanelli (2004)
• Conclusion
– Difficulty assessing customer’s needs
– Specific needs have not been satisfied
– New approaches can be suggested to him
7
Transaction Selling
Products are well known to the customer (Zeyl, 2003)
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Large amount of information available to the customer
Previous knowledge
The use of salespeople is less required
To describe features
To take orders
8
Persuasion Selling
• Manske and Cordua (2005)
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Use of different approaches to persuade
Reciprocity
Scarcity
Liking
Credibility
Power
Similarities
Physical attractiveness
Empathy
• Extrinsic aspects of the purchase situation.
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The Server
Self-Monitoring
• Adaptation in response to the perceived differences
(Snyder, 1974)
• Motivation to alter the behavior
– Theory of social exchange (Thibaut & Kelley, 1952)
• Cost of effort versus personal gain
– Adaptive selling
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Empathy
Androgyny
Being an opener
Locus of control
Self-efficacy
• Service Predisposition (Lee-Ross, 2000)
10
Selling Environment
Differences with retail settings
• Sequence of service (McMahon & Schmelzer, 1989)
– Roles and responsibilities
– Simultaneity
• Contact points
• Captive aspect of the service encounter
• The importance of the menu
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What makes it suggestive ?
• Bringing to active memory, options
– Forgotten
– Ignored
– Unknown
• Altered behaviour
– Considering needs
– Trying to persuade
• Not simply related to presentation
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Figure 1: Suggestive Selling
High
Customer Orientation
Low
Consultative
selling
Transaction
selling
Persuasion
selling
Low
High
Sales Orientation
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Figure 2: Effects of suggestive selling
Consultative
selling
Variable
Higher
Sales performance
Lower
Persuasion
selling
Higher
Variable
Transaction
selling
Variable
Customer satisfaction
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Contribution
• Definition for suggestive selling
• Redefining the SO-CO in a service
environment
• Contrasting sales to customer satisfaction
in a new way
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Conclusion
• Marketing my products
• Marketing to the customer
• Marketing with the customer
16
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Suggestive selling in the restaurant business: a framework