So you think that now that you bought a bright and shiny food truck all you have to do is park it in your local downtown and wait for the money to come rolling in. What could be easier…right?
The thing many don’t understand is that a mobile food business, like every other business on the planet, is a sales business. This article will show you how to make the sales process run itself so you can concentrate on the fun part of operating a food truck…interacting with your customers and making great food.
The Sales Process
It doesn’t matter what you sell; every business must follow the same six steps in order to sell anything at all.
Every dollar that your food truck generates is a result of these steps, sometimes referred to as the sales funnel. If you aren’t making as much money as you think you should, odds are that you’ve got a hole in your funnel because one or more steps in your sales process is broken or missing.
Here are the six steps in order:
In our business we do this by attracting attention to ourselves. The first step is getting yourself noticed. Remember – if they don’t notice you, you don’t exist.
Qualify the customer
Qualifying means that you are sure that they are capable of completing the transaction. A qualified lead is one that has enough money to buy your food, and one that is hungry for what you serve. You will get qualified customers by being in the right place at the right time.
Make your presentation
Don’t just sell your food truck food, sell an experience. Have a theme, a gimmic, a hook. Your customer should be captivated by the experience, totally immersed in your world while they are at your truck.
Address the customer’s objections
Overcome a price objection by overwhelming them with quality, stocking unique condiments, offering them daily specials, and provide a totally unique dining experience.
One of the biggest objections food truck owners get is the cleanliness issue. Overcome it by keeping an immaculate truck. Wipe it down between every order. Even if it’s not dirty, the customer needs to see you cleaning. Display your business license and health department certificates to show that you are legal and that you comply with the food codes.
Another common objection is slow lines. Do what you can to move them through quickly without compromising the experience. This may mean spending more time prepping items in your commercial kitchen so it doesn’t take as much time in the truck to assemble an order…do what you can to keep your line moving.
Close the sale
That means putting the money in your cash box. In the mobile food business, once you have the first four steps working for you, closing the sale comes easily and naturally. This is a huge advantage over other types of business where the close is actually the hardest part of all.
Get repeat and referral business
It takes ten times more effort to get a new customer than it does to sell to an existing customer so you have to get ‘em to come back again and again. You might accomplish this with repeat customer incentive programs such as punch cards. The more they buy, the more invested they become.
Referrals are another way of leveraging your existing hard-won customers. Referral business is just a fancy way of saying, “word of mouth”. The experience that you give your customer will determine how much they talk about it to their friends.