“What Would You Order?”

Picture this. A nice restaurant, low lighting and candles lit. You ask the lovely waitress for an entrée suggestion. Her reply, “Try our prime rib po-boy. It’s wonderful. I get it all the time.”

She was direct, polite and believable as she shared her personal favorite on the menu. What could possibly be wrong with that?

At a restaurant serving $40 prime steaks with lobster tails, she had just suggested an $8 sandwich.  Not only that, but she repeatedly sold the most sandwiches of anyone in the house! More than half of her tables ordered at least one sandwich every night.

Her boss was not happy. So, for the next five tables he encouraged her to try and sell the filet by saying, “We have an amazing filet. The owner’s wife put it on the menu herself and we named it after her. You will love it.” Then he even said, if the next five people didn’t buy a filet, he would give her $1,000.

As the cook of that restaurant and at the age of 18 years old, even I wanted to take that bet. In hindsight, I am glad that I didn’t. To everyone’s surprise, including the server, she went on to sell more than twenty filets that night. 

The power of suggestion is real. Clients wouldn’t be asking for our advice if they didn’t trust us and whether we realize it or not, we make suggestions to our clients every day. So, it’s important that we are intentional and make each suggestion count. 

Now I can already hear the chatter. But, what if the $8 sandwich was the best option for that person?  Isn’t that upselling?

Thankfully, our job is not to tell people what to eat. But, we should show our clients the full menu and help pair them with the best option. If the $8 sandwich is their best choice, they will tell us, but only if we earn that trust along the way. Our interests and our client’s interests are mutually beneficial. As they begin to trust us, they will continue to select our services and therefore growing our business.   

Most clients will never know what they are missing if we allow our suggestions to be dull-normal.  We can better fulfill our mission when we take the time to intentionally expand our clients’ horizons, even if it means leaving our comfort zone.

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About the Author

Nick Reiber is a wealth advisor at HORNE Wealth Advisors. With an eye for the future, he brings energy and insights that make his team and his clients better every day.




Topics: Client Service, Proactively Guiding

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