Chances are, you've ordered food from a drive-through before. Whether it was from Starbucks or any other chain, your order was likely followed up with the same basic question: "Is that everything?" or perhaps "Anything else?"

Your brain is prepared for this question. It knows how to answer before it is even asked, which means asking either of those common questions will not encourage the customer to buy anything else. Of course, that is the goal of asking questions like this in the first place, but most businesses have accepted that this is what you ask because this is the way everyone has always done it. But what if you reframed the question?

A simple reframe is why I was completely unprepared for the genius question I was asked by the barista at Starbucks the other day. Instead of the old standard, after I ordered my chai tea latte, she said: 

"What else sounds delicious today?"

Isn't it amazing how differently your brain wants to respond to that? My first inclination was to say, "Well, a marshmallow dream bar does sound amazing!"

This starts a conversation and a much easier opportunity for an upsell. The barista could respond with, "Ooh, great choice! Would you like me to add that to your order?" or "I love those! Enjoy it a little extra for me, OK?"

You are now in a place of an assumed sale--though the customer can still say "No, thank you" if they want. However, because the human brain loves a default, the customer is more likely to accept the offer than to opt out

While this tactic does not guarantee every customer will buy an extra treat, it is much more likely to convert than the tired, old "Anything else?"

How to Use This for Everyday Sales

This flip of the frame can be applied to any business--not just those with tempting sugary treats. Here are some examples to get your creativity flowing:

In a retail environment, instead of saying, "Is there anything I can help you find?" to which the standard response is "I'm just looking," you could ask, "What would you be excited to find today?" or "What are you on the hunt for this afternoon?"

At a networking event, instead of asking, "What do you do?" you could ask, "What is the best thing a client has ever said after working with you?" 

Instead of saying "Did you find everything OK?" at the grocery store (to which everyone pretty much says yes regardless of their true feelings), you could ask, "Was everything where you expected it to be?" or "Is there anything you weren't able to check off your list?"

Whatever your reframed question, remember that the intent is to open up a dialogue and rapport that can increase customer satisfaction and increase sales. How can you shift experiences with a simple flip of the frame?

Published on: Jul 9, 2019
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