Do you think of a waitress as a salesperson?

February 9, 2013

Helping instead of Selling

Content Marketing gurus have referred to the concept of helping instead of selling. It’s a phrase I use myself when talking about Inbound Marketing.

Just this week I’ve had experiences (good & bad, on & offline) to make this concept feel even more real to me.

For example, have you ever thought of a waitress as a salesperson? I never had. Well, not until this week. Now I think a good waitress is probably the BEST salesperson a restaurant could have. Businesses, their content and websites included, need to behave more like a waitress i think.

Think about it…

Would a waitress come up to you and read you the entire menu? Going on, and on, about how great the restaurant is. Of course not! She knows someone else already did their job to get you through the front door. She’s not going to repeat it. She’s going to respect that you are the decision maker and that you know what you need. AND, since you have the information in front of you (ala the menu), she knows that her job is to be there when you need her, answer your questions, and ultimately serve up the perfect solution that meets your needs (even if you dont know yet, exactly what those are). You’re happy, she’s happy.

Helping? Selling? Serving? Yes!

In the end, who cares what we call it. It’s just good business. And yeah, I know this analogy isn’t perfect, but it is something that I had fun noodling on and i hope it got you thinking. If it did, let me know!

Here are two good articles to get your synapses firing:

Helping is the New Selling.” It’s a quick read and gives some practical examples that help drive the message home within a sales meeting context.

Why Content Marketing is Not Branding” This is a longer read, but an easy one. IMHO @ChrisBrogan gets it spot on in this one.


PS: that’s my boy Fox in a picture his father took while feeding him a piece of pizza about a year ago 🙂


2 Responses to “Do you think of a waitress as a salesperson?”

  1. I like it when a server makes suggestions – but even better when they ask whether or not we would like a suggestion. I often will choose one of the suggestions. These “specials” will often cost more. Now when they just take the order and don’t ask, would you like one of our special drinks, or our special appetizer? Would you like to try a sample first? Now that hooks me every time. That’s customer orientation.

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