Most of the food truck owners I have met over the years don’t come from sales jobs. The problem with this is that they aren’t able to take sales lessons learned from those jobs and convert them into food truck sales lessons.
The most successful vendors seem to be the most effective salespeople I have had the pleasure to meet. You may have a great menu and your marketing plan has you parking in great locations and engaging with your social media fans and followers, but you may be missing on key factor in taking your food truck business to the next level.
Part of owning a food truck requires that you learn how to sell to products and services. You need to be able to get walk ups or prospective customers to not only walk up to your truck, but you need to learn how to close the deal resulting in them making a purchase.
5 Simple Food Truck Sales Lessons
f you spend as much time outside of a food truck as I do, you will realize that most people walk by, but a precious few stopped to ask questions or actually order. Here are 5 tips to create a simple sales format that will not only get more people to stop at your food truck, but also make a purchase.
The first of our food truck sales lessons is the need for customer engagement. Position yourself or one of your employees where you engage the people walking by your food truck. Greet everyone (and I mean everyone) who makes eye contact with you. A simple, “Hi there. How’s your day going?” Simple, authentic and effective.
When people stop, ask a simple question to engage them. “Do you like (insert your cuisine here)?” In most cases you’ll get a yes. Now follow up with, “Do you (one dish off your menu) or (another dish off your menu)?” At this point to your menu at the item that fits the customer’s preference.
Now is your chance for your 30 second elevator pitch. Explain your truck’s concept and any of the extras that you different than any other truck or restaurant that serves the same cuisine. (Think local products, organic, non-GMO, scratch made, etc…). The presentation should well-rehearsed but at the same time exceedingly conversational.
Related: Developing Your Food Truck Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
The close doesn’t need to be complicated. “Would you like to order a (the item they suggested they preferred)? It’s just $10.” Make sure you deliver the question with a smile on your face and act as though their answer will be “yes.”
The final of our simple food truck sales lessons relates to gaining additional customers from referrals. Once you’ve made the sale, your job isn’t done. Hand every customer a business card with your website and contact information, then ask them to post their thoughts on the dish on their social-media networks. There’s nothing like getting online referrals from happy customers.
The Bottom Line
While you may not think you are a salesperson, as a food truck owner you need to understand the basics of the selling process. You must exude passion for your menu and willingly put yourself outside of your comfort zone to connect with customers and ask for the sale.
Have you used one or more of these food truck sales lessons, or are their others you employ? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section, our food truck forum or social media. Twitter | Facebook