Pizza’s pretty much on the “transactional” end of the sales spectrum, but a pizza order taker becomes a pizza sales professional by asking questions.
A pizza order taker might respond to “I’d like to get a couple of pizzas for delivery” with “sure, we’ve got Daily Special A and lots of people like our House Special. I need your credit card then I’ll confirm your address.” A rote transaction that’s really all about the order taker checking boxes instead of understanding their prospect.
Using the same opening from their prospect a pizza sales professional might say, “happy to get you a couple of pizzas. May I ask you a few questions so there are no issues with your order?” Few prospects would say “no” to that question (we’ll address those few later) because it’s framed as creating a positive outcome for them.
Prospect says “yes” then this pizza sales professional might ask, “are you hosting an event or dinner? How many people? What allergies or sensitivities are there in your group? Do you want leftovers for tomorrow? Are you wanting only pizza for everyone?”
As written, that may feel like a lot of questions. Time them for yourself. Probably less than three minutes, which will pass in a blink for a prospect who is open to answering questions to make sure there are no issues with their order.
Now, let’s say our pizza sales professional answers the phone and their prospect say, “I want to medium pizzas for delivery. Sausage and onion on one and pepperoni and mushroom on the other. My address is 350 “A” Street, apartment 206. I’ve got my credit card ready when you are.”
Even when our pizza sales professional’s prospect comes prepare with an order ready to buy there’s still an opportunity to ask a question or two, which might sound like, “thank you for your address. Happy to take your card in a moment. Curious were you only wanting pizza for tonight?”
If prospect says, “yes. I’ve got my credit card ready.” Take the order, close the sale and move on. Professionals don’t antagonize their prospects because they’ve got a shiny sales toy they want to play with.
If prospect says, “what do you mean?” Our pizza sales professional might say, “well often when someone calls for two mediums, they sometimes want leftovers for lunch the next day so they bump up one of their two mediums to a large or sometimes they want a salad to round out their meal. Either of those relevant to you?” If prospect says “no,” again close the sale. If prospect says, “yes,” our pizza sales professional will confirm which (or both) is relevant and close the sale to a happy customer who got exactly what they wanted.
We sell our stuff more often than our prospect buys it, even (hopefully) when it comes to pizza. Supporting our prospects means we must ask them questions even when they have a specific order in mind and payment in hand. Otherwise we are doing them and us a disservice.
Until next time… go sell something.
For additional insights and resources on asking questions check out Asking Questions the Sandler Way by Anontio Garrido.