Thursday, July 31, 2008

Enterprise Sales and 18 ways to be a better waiter

I recently led some sales training for our team and stumbled across these tips on how to be a better waiter on - it fit so perfectly into how to be a great enterprise software sales person - i used the analogy throughout the day -

... (the italicized text are my little comments when i think one was necessary)

  1. Learn everything you can (nuff said)
  2. Never fight over tables with other waiting staff. (dont fight over territories)
  3. Learn the menu as soon as possible (know what you are selling)
  4. Learn your regular customers' names as soon as you can.
    ◦People love having a regular place to go to, where you know what they like to eat and you call them by name.
  5. Develop a file system for your regular customers (learn the organization)
  6. Do one thing at a time.
    ◦Don't count on finishing writing the order down as you walk to the order counter. Do it now! (stay organized)
  7. Break down the "wall" between you and your customer.
    ◦Depending on the situation, sit down at the table to take an order, squat down to take a child's order, shake hands, …
  8. Always be clear about your order.
  9. Be tactful about questioning customers.
    ◦If you feel you must question why a customer is making a special request, be tactful
  10. Remove the plates, glasses, and other used items from the table as they are finished. (follow-up on support and other commitments)
  11. Don't just assume when the diner is finished and wants the check. Ask if there is anything more you can get for them (When the checkbook is open....)
  12. Be polite in the face of irritable, difficult and unfriendly customers
  13. Don't let a bad tip ruin your shift. (don't let one deal break your stride)
  14. Happy service is infectious - Happy service is infectious
  15. Check back often with your tables. You'll always have that table who always seems to need something extra. (stay in touch)
  16. Leave drama, bad moods and personal issues at the door.
  17. Never sit around. If you have nothing to do, clean! (cold call, research, etc.)
  18. Be honest about the food/kitchen practices when asked by the customer. Serious consequences can result from mis-information. Allergies and intolerance to food products or practices could result in death. (overselling will kill a relationship)

So - a great waiter… (like a great enterprise salesperson)

◦Fits the menu to the diner - and not the other way around

◦Highlights appetizing and healthful options and ingredients

◦Offers irresistible side dishes

◦Is mindful of inventory and high margin options

◦Is attentive and inquisitive without being intrusive

◦Identifies who is paying early in the meal, communicates payment options and delivers the bill

◦Does not need to know how to cook!

◦Is rewarded with a gratuity that is proportionate to the bill and their level of service

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The best defense is a good e-fense

I'm advising on a new venture, qi-fense, an anti-phishing and reputation management service that filters a huge volume of real-time emails to provide early warning on phishing, reputation attacks, competitive tactics, etc. Check it out at

I think it is very cool because of its low cost, low friction and potentially high value proposition - if you're interested in learning more (or have ideas) - LET ME KNOW (remember - ideas only have to be good - not original ;)

Thinking outside the box is no different than thinking inside

Truly different approaches to problem solving erase the box - afterall, depending on on the size of your box (and the size of your universe - string theorists can relate) thinking outside the box might actually offer fewer options than the alternative.

Is it possible to unlearn - or forget - that the box ever existed?