Sales Training Systems – How This 4 Step Food Court Model Applies To All Sales

A while ago, I was out of town on a business trip and stopped by the local mall to buy something. It was around lunchtime and as I was walking past the food court I decided to check it out.

Passing by the Chinese food store, one of their employees had a tray of samples. He came up to me, showed me his food samples, and offered me one. The samples looked good and I was hungry so I tried one. Then he mentioned the special lunch they were offering today.

I like Chinese food and the special looked good so I decided to buy my lunch.

Over lunch, I thought about how the food court sales system models an effective sales training systems model. It has all the ingredients that good sales seminars and programs teach about sales. Let’s take a closer look.

The 4-Step Food Court Sales Model

Is that how it works:

  1. Interested stranger – How do food court vendors get interested strangers (prospects)? They rent a commercial space where hungry people go (in a food court). That is a common strategy for retail sales. Other marketers may use different forms of prospecting to attract interested strangers.
  2. Listener – How do food court vendors get people to listen to their offer? A hungry person is shown a sample of an attractive food. Other sales tools for turning strangers into listeners include telephone application scripts, direct mail announcements, and websites.
  3. Tryer – How do food court vendors get people to become testers? They ask a hungry person to try a free sample of their product and give it to them. A car salesman offers a free demo ride, the pet store salesman offers to let you hold the puppy.
  4. Buyer – How do food court vendors get people to become shoppers? They offer you their lunch special right after trying their free sample. This is the ordering part that all good salespeople do.

So it all starts with the search for interested strangers. Then we convert a percentage of those interested strangers into listeners. We then convert a percentage of those listeners into testers. And finally we convert a percentage of the testers into buyers. It’s a numbers game.

Think about the product you are selling and your particular sales process. You’ll find that you have each of these four steps of the food court model in some way in your sales process.

Your Action Item of Sales Training Systems:

Take one of the four selling steps at a time and improve it a bit. That will create an exciting multiplier effect on your sales.

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