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Blog

THE DINER

I had breakfast in a small-town diner recently and found it fascinating to see the living, breathing POP on display. Have you noticed it, too? In this case, the points of purchase were the servers. The wait staff greeted regulars – including the town cop – by name and bantered with them. Genuine affection, honest conversation and bold opinions were on full display.
Most of the diners knew what they wanted but staff made suggestions. “Honey, I’m out of sour dough. How about Texas toast instead?” “Why don’t you try our scrabble today. Guarantee you’ll like it.” “You look like you need coffee, hon.”
The staff knew their products – heck, they even made some of them themselves – and knew their customers. They provided cheery conversation, social commentary and fresh-brewed stimulants. They checked back often and handled everything with aplomb. This was good, old-fashioned selling.
Selling works best face-to-face, person-to-person. But you can’t expect to find it in every retail setting because it’s expensive, inconvenient and requires both product knowledge and communication skills. Can you imagine having someone seat you at the grocery store, take your order and collect your shopping list of items in your cart for you? When one-on-one selling and highly-personalized service aren’t practical, displays are the next best thing. And they don’t expect a tip.