Talk about multitasking, this chap had mastered the art, he carried out the transaction almost blindly and engaged me in a riveting conversation. As I took the paperwork from him I’d realised I’d been cross-sold and brilliant it was too.
Let me explain.
Travelling and staying overnight in hotels is a constant feature of my work. Since my early days as a trainer, I’ve always preferred locally run Bed & Breakfasts to the big hotel chains. You get a pleasant, personalised service and I enjoy catching up on the local town gossip with the owner during breakfast and this has allowed me to break the ice with my groups because I know a little bit about their town or city.
And they’re cheaper too!
And the chap at my Bedford Bed & Breakfast was exceptional.
He took my booking details and credit card, whizzed through the transaction, didn’t take his eyes off of mine throughout, engaged me in a conversation which made me laugh and glue myself to him. He asked about my trip and when I might be back in town.
As he handed me the VAT receipts, beautifully written out, I’d realised that he’d also booked me in for two days next month.
You don’t get long on the counter or checkout when handling customers, especially if there’s a queue, and we often make ourselves rush to get on to the next customer putting pressure on us. The trick to be able to cross sell, is to engage in a little conversation to squeeze out a hook or two. And the best way is to do this whilst carrying out the transaction at the same time. Learn how to do it blindfolded so you can give your customer the eye contact that’s needed.
The customer will appreciate it as you’re not chatting unnecessarily, the transaction is happening whilst you’re chatting and this is normally quite ok with people. It’s when you stop the transaction and chat, that customers get wound up.
Buy yourself time at the counter by explaining what you’re doing. “The computer’s just processing that now but in the meantime how have you found…..”
Find out ways of multi-tasking the transaction and seeking hooks simultaneously time and if you ever want to watch a master in action, head towards my little Bed & Breakfast in Bedford.