Suggestive Selling Resources

Ok, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the best at suggestive selling. Therefore, my people aren’t very good at it. Can any of you recommend a good book or website for suggestive selling that is specific to the foodservice industry?


oooh this should be good. I’d also benefit from it!

The Black Book by Kameron Karington is the best I have seen for the pizza business. It costs a fortune, and you’ll get some on here saying it isn’t worth it, but he offers a complete money back guarantee so you have nothing to lose by trying it. The website is It also addresses many other aspects of marketing.

I believe you can find his books on Ebay from time to time as well. My advice to you now is “just do it”. Work the phones and every time a customer orders a pizza say “extra cheese”? Just do that with every order and you will be surprised how many people say “sure”. Just say it with the flow of the order like of course they do.

If you know they have kids., throw in a “how bout some cinnamon breadsticks for the kids”?

If someone orders a pizza with ham you can say “ever tried that with pineapple”. Its really popular that way."

It really is that simple and surprisingly effective. Just don’t make it sound like the fast food drive-thu places. Sounding like a robot with a pre-programmed message is not very enticing or motivating.

I read here on the think tank recently keep asking if they want extras until they say no.

Usually at my store it goes like this 14"? (my largest) Extra cheese? A side of cheese sticks? Dips for your crust? Cheese cake for desert? any drinks?

I have found the tone of vioce the staff use can also makes a big difference in the results. I have one girl that blows everyone esle out of the water when it comes to suggestive selling. Needless to say she is the first choice for phones.

I would rather talk to a girl with a sexxy voice than a guy any time. Of course nowadays it’s sometimes hard to tell over the phone. haha

Here’s another suggestion for increasing your ticket average:

example #1: Customer calls and orders a medium pizza. Employee says “We’re running a MANAGER’S SPECIAL today. You can upgrade that medium to a large pizza for ONLY $2 more!” (you can play around with the price point)

example #2: Customer calls and orders a large pizza. Employee says "We’re running a MANAGER’S SPECIAL today. You can add an additional medium pizza for ONLY $4 more. (Once again play around with the price point and combinations)

The key is call it a “manager’s” special and use the phrase “only” $4 more to make it sound like it’s not that much more.

Great suggestions so far. I saw that Kamron is speaking at Pizza Expo in Vegas. His 3 hours workshop is $397 which includes his black book. That sounds like a decent deal if it’s good. How much does the book cost by itself?

I really like the “manager’s special” line. I’m going to work up some lines for the staff to try this weekend.

I remember Big Dave had mentioned the “extra cheese” upsell. For a little while, that was almost a losing proposition with the price of cheese :? But maybe it’s time to start using that one again.

Suggestive selling was the new thing about 20 years ago, and today really should be a no-brainer. It is easy to implement, free, and has a very measurable impact on your bottom line. No reason why you shouldn’t be doing it on every call. Ways to get your staff on board are contests, but it really is a training issue.

Here is what Kamron wrote in the BB (he copied it from somewhere else and only pawns it off as his own):

Would you like to increase your business? There are only three ways (or a combination thereof) to increase your business and make more money. They are:
[list]1. Increase the number of your clients
2. Increase the average size of sale per client
3. Increase the number of times clients return and buy again[/list]

#2 is the basis for suggestive selling. It is the lowest hanging fruit and easy to pick off for a 10% increase in sales with little to no effort.

You can really give away the house to your staff with this one. Suggestive selling is a habit, and once you have the habit ingrained in you and your staff, it will pay off for years to come. Make an upselling thermometer. Publicly write that you need to sell another 1000 cans of coke this month, and that you need everyone’s help to do it. Next month do the same thing with extra cheese. Then with a medium 2 topper special (anything, just keep it up).

Kamron’s book is great, but the bottom line is nothing will help you if you have poor implementation. You aren’t going to get your crew on board if you can’t take the initiative to do it yourself first. They are watching you closer than you might imagine. Take that initiative and start tomorrow with a small goal of upselling 5 cokes before the end of the night. As you do it, it gets easier, and doing it is really the only way to make it a habit…

When I was a young fellow I worked at a pizza place called “Mothers”…One night they had a contest to see who could sell the highest % of pieces pies to customers…So as I introduced myself to every table that night, I told them we were having a contest and I could win a pair of Edmonton Oiler’s tickets if I sold the most pieces of pie…I asked the folks to save room for desert…My appy sales sucked that night but boy did I sell lots of pie…