7 Ways to Utilize the ‘By the Way’ Technique

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Guests don’t like to be pushed or manipulated. Therefore, use the ‘By the Way Technique’. It's soft, casual, charming, fun, and easy to use.  It's the ace in your pocket. Why? It offers guidance in a personal, yet professional, manner.  And it helps you perfect the principles all great salespersons use, whether selling 747s, beach towels, or calamari.

1. Upgrade without being pushy. Gently offer higher-quality items. When a guest orders a vodka tonic, say, “By the way, we offer a great selection of vodkas that includes Grey Goose, Kettle One, Belvedere, and Absolut.” Avoid the manipulative, “Will that be Grey Goose or Kettle One?” And stay away from, "Do you have a preference?" It's another "I'm trying to up-sell you" turnoff.   

2.Answer objections with a positive alternative. Guest says, “I hate Chardonnays. They're too dry.” Will you think to yourself, “Gee, I'm sorry I bought it up?” No! You say, “By the way, we offer an excellent semi-dry Chateau St. Michelle Riesling with flavors of apple, honey, and lime. I'd be happy to bring you a complimentary taste.” An objection is an expression of an interest to buy. 

3.Accessorize. Offer additional items that complement. A guest orders a peanut butter mousse pie. You say, “By the way, a snifter of Gran Marnier and an Illy Cappuccino would go perfectly with that.” Guests love to be sold to when it enhances their experience.     

4.Explain benefits.  You're waiting on a guest who's in a hurry and it’s freezing outside. You say, “By the way, I recommend our Okra Gumbo. It's soothing and warming and I can have it out in two minutes.” Whether guests are tired, cold, hot, or hungry, tune in with a “by the way”  benefit meal plan.           

5.Direct attention. You say, “By the way, on your left is our wood-fired pizza oven. I recommend a Margarita Pizza for the table to start.” Open guests’ eyes to a signature appetizer on the next table, your bar star shaking up a Mojito, or the best entrée on the menu.   

6. Add dramatic effect.  Six guests order six well-done New York strips. You walk away and slyly turn around as if something slipped your mind and say, “By the way, since your steaks will take a little while, I recommend sharing the calamari and ravioli.” Guests respond, “Sure.” Remember to adapt the volume, tone, and pace of your voice. Be theatrical. Have fun.         

7. Endorse. “By the way, I've been working at Paolo's for three years, and guests are blown away by our Shell Bowl with steamed mussels, clams, and shrimp over saffron linguini.”  Guests like to know what others like.  

The By the Way is your secret weapon—guaranteed to put you in the winner's circle with its artful, caring, and prosperous approach.     

Bob Brown, president of Bob Brown Service Solutions, www.bobbrownss.com, pioneered Marriott’s Service Excellence Program and has worked with clients such as Disney, Hilton, and Morton’s of Chicago, Olive Garden, and Red Lobster Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons and the famed Burj Al Arab in Dubai. He will be speaking at the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show on March 7-9 in Las Vegas.  Early Bird Registration is now open! www.ncbshow.com