Lessons About Sales From My Dessert Bar

I love to nurture and take care of people. Since I love to cook and bake one way I get to satisfy this need is to cook and feed them.

I hosted a dinner party for twenty recently.

I checked in with my guests to see if there were any dietary needs. There were two vegetarians, one person who didn’t eat beef and two who avoided gluten.

The menu covered all the bases. Everything was gluten free. I decided on a chicken, a beef and a vegetarian dish. The side dishes and appetizers would be gluten free and vegetarian.

There would be plenty of food. Everyone could have a full serving of everything I prepared.

For dessert I decided to make a gluten free chocolate cake and bake a pie. Since I had some truffles and cookies left over from another party I had hosted, I would serve them too.

My guests arrived. Everything was delicious and they ate a full dinner.

Then came dessert.

(Bare with me… this has everything to do with your sales in your business)

The desserts were beautiful and very tempting. My guests, who were already full, took little pieces of the various options because they didn’t want to be rude. They nibbled.

When it was time to go they were all very full, even uncomfortable.

As I put away the leftovers it occurred to me, this is what so many people do in sales conversations.

First, we check in with our prospective client to see what their special needs are. This is what I did when I asked about dietary needs.

Then we work to fill that need by sharing information, ideally specifically related to them, about our product or service. I made sure to have foods that they would be able to eat.

Then we oversell, we don’t know when to stop. We think if some is good, more has to be better.

I wanted to share it all. I wanted to play in the kitchen and yes, I wanted to impress them. I left them full, uncomfortable, overwhelmed, and feeling guilty because they wanted to please me and try everything.

My guests and I would have been better served if I had prepared less of each dish and simply offered some coffee or tea with one or two small desserts. I still would have been able to play, they would have been impressed, they would have been more comfortable and happier.

The same thing happens when we give prospective clients too much information or too many options. They don’t know what to do with it. They can’t process it all. They come to the sales conversation excited about the possibility of a solution and end up full and uncomfortable.

Giving them too much kills their appetite to make a decision or take on more. It leaves them laying on the couch in a “sales conversation coma” saying, “I can’t eat another bite”.

Here’s my suggestion to you.

Pay attention to how much you give during your sales conversations. Focus on what your prospect needs. This is about them and not you. Stop trying to impress them. And when your client is enjoying what you’re serving, but before you’ve filled them up, ASK for the sale.

Do you offer too many desserts during your sales conversations?

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