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Friday, March 25, 2011
Service that Sells
Service That Sells was well within the tradition of cheap though, at the car dealership I take my car to for oil changes they have a "leave one take one" bookshelf. The book was on the shelf and I thought I'd give it a whirl while I waited to see that extra services the shop thought they would try to sell me. After the oil change was finished I decided to take one even though I didn't bring any to give. Oh well, the used book economy at the car dealership has just become a victim of the free rider problem and I'm always happy to hand out an economic lesson.
Service That Sells is a quick handbook to running a restaurant. It was an absolute blast to read. Instead of being full of terrible parables or motivational speeches this book was full of practical advice on affecting the bottom line of a restaurant business.
Much of the advice applies to every kind of business, for example the chapter about employee motivation. This was the first business book I've read that discussed that people come into work to make money. The only reason you get treated nicely by anyone at a business is because they want to sell you something. People who don't want to sell you something want to bash your head open with a club and take your stuff so doing business with your fellow man by selling him stuff is actually what we call civilization. The book discussed how a successful business aligns the employees with its goal of selling stuff and if you provide the proper training and incentives your staff will treat your customers well and help you sell whatever it is you're selling.
Pure genius, I can't tell you how many books I've read that tell you if you pump people up with sunshine and "company values" you'll get good results. Pump them up with knowledge and pay that depends on good performance and you'll probably create an environment where people want to sell.
The book also has chapters on cutting costs, and promoting the business. Honestly this book was so good that it made me want to go out and start a restaurant right away. Honestly every time I've been to a restaurant since has been a disappointed because the authors gave such a clear vision of what top notch service could look like that I've felt short changed by they guy who doesn't offer to make a suggestion ever since.
So let me say that this book is probably going to be the best business book I read this year and let me close with a plug for a place that "gets it". Fat Daddy's in Nashua has offered the best service I've ever had in a coffee shop every time I've stopped by. They ask what I'm in the mood for and make helpful suggestions, they give service with a smile and make me feel welcome. I honestly would visit this coffee shop every day if I had the time. I'd just like to note that I don't receive compensation or any kind of coffee discount for recommending the place, it's just somewhere I'd recommend you go to see exactly what "Service That Sells" is all about.