What All Sales Professionals Can Learn From Starbucks?

Sep 01, 2017

By Brent Kelly

As I was sitting at my laptop one afternoon in a Starbucks I realized something obvious. Starbucks employees know how to ask for a sale and they are very good at it.

When I first went to the counter to order my coffee (plain, no cream or sugar), the nice lady asked if I wanted a delicious cookie for some sugar energy. I politely declined (thank you My FItness Pal), but actually had to think about it for a few seconds. She didn’t just say, “Would you like a cookie with that,” she said, “do you want a delicious cookie for some sugar energy?”

I don’t know about you, but I like delicious things, sugar, and energy.

As I began to work, I overheard one customer after another being asked if they wanted a “warm roll, yummy treat, or a bigger drink for only $0.30 more.” About half of the people who were asked agreed. HALF. There was no pressure, no pushing, and no hard sell. They simply asked.

It got me thinking. Why do some sales professionals have such a hard time just asking for a sale? I can attest to this as I have been guilty in my sales career.

I believe it comes from three main reasons.

  1. Sales professionals don’t believe 100% in their product or service. There is often a slight resistance in the back of their minds. Therefore, they feel a little pushy.
  2. Sales professionals are fearful of rejection. Let’s face it, if you are in sales you probably get rejected multiple times a day. Why subject yourself to one more possible rejection?
  3. Sales professionals are lazy. Yep, I said it. I don’t mean sales people are always lazy, but I know sometimes it’s easier to just be content and not take that next step.

How Can Sales Professionals Overcome Not Asking for the Sale?

  1. You have to believe that your product or service is the best in the world. Not just because someone told you, but because you feel it in your gut. It has to be so strong that you feel you are doing a disservice to your client by not asking.
  2. Belief that rejection only means no for now or that they simply are not the right customer for your product or service. That’s ok, your product and/or service is not for everyone.
  3. Understand that you owe it to yourself and your company to be the very best. To be the best, you have be on top of you game at all times, not just when it’s convenient.

As one of my favorite sales trainers says, “People love to buy, but don’t like to be sold.” If your product or service is the best. If your provide education, value, and enthusiasm. If you love what you do, people will want to buy.

Yes, Starbucks has a great name, reputation, and a great product, but they also know how to ask for the sale. So should you.

Question: Do you always ask for the sale? Why or why not? 

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