Sales Management: The Power of Asking for Business


In the bustling streets of Las Vegas where every establishment vies for attention, a seemingly ordinary visit to McDonald’s left a lasting impression on the power of strategic selling. This experience, centred around the intriguing offer of a complimentary apple pie, unveils a valuable lesson for sales professionals and sales management: the art of proactive engagement and the impact of a well-timed enquiry.

The McDonald’s approach
Picture this: a routine breakfast order at McDonald’s interrupted by an unexpected question: “Would you like to order a slice of apple pie?” This seemingly spontaneous enquiry, however, was no accident. It was part of a strategic initiative aimed at boosting the sale of pies. What set this approach apart was a small yet impactful sign at the cash register that read, “If I don’t offer you a piece of pie, it’s free.”

This clever marketing ploy encouraged staff members to actively propose the apple pie to customers, resulting in a significant uptick in pie sales. The strategy was rooted in the simple philosophy of asking, a principle that holds immense relevance in the realm of sales management.

The power of asking
Sales engagements often falter when professionals refrain from sharing their full range of offerings. This hesitation might stem from concerns about overwhelming the customer, fear of rejection or simply overlooking the potential for additional sales. The McDonald’s approach, however, flips this narrative by emphasising the value of proactively making offers. In the context of sales management, the principle is clear: if you don’t share your other offerings, consider them free for your customers. This bold approach challenges sales teams to break away from the traditional reluctance to cross-sell or upsell. It encourages a mindset shift where not offering the full spectrum of solutions becomes a missed opportunity, akin to giving them away for free.

The lesson for sales professionals
The McDonald’s example serves as a powerful lesson for sales professionals striving for increased success and revenue growth. Here’s how you can apply this principle in your sales management strategy:

1. Embrace proactive engagement
Don’t wait for customers to explicitly express interest in additional offerings. Actively engage them by proposing relevant solutions. This proactive approach can uncover needs the customer may not have articulated, leading to expanded opportunities.

2. Cultivate an asking mindset
Train your sales team to embrace the art of asking. Instead of solely focusing on product features or benefits, equip them with the confidence and skills to inquire about customers’ broader needs and potential areas for improvement.

3. Leverage the power of signs or statements
Just as McDonald’s used a simple sign to prompt staff to offer pie, consider incorporating similar cues in your sales environment. Encourage your team with visual reminders or statements that emphasise the importance of making additional offers.

4. Track and analyse results
Implement a system to monitor the impact of your proactive engagement strategy. Track the outcomes of increased offers, measure the conversion rates and analyse the effect on overall sales. This data-driven approach will provide insights into the effectiveness of your initiatives.

The McDonald’s experience in Las Vegas serves as a compelling reminder of the transformative power of strategic asking in sales management. By adopting a proactive engagement approach and offering your full range of solutions, you can unlock hidden opportunities, boost customer satisfaction and drive revenue growth. So, challenge yourself and your team with the mindset – if you don’t share your other offerings, consider them free for your customers. The results might just surprise you.

Looking for more sales management training advice from the team at SalesGuru? Check out our website for a whole library of sales management, sales training programmesarticles and video content.

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