Julian Weisser

Music school → music startup → left to focus on my health (↓70lbs) → started Within to help people make empowered health decisions.

This café's sales tactic is brilliant

I wanted to share a story about the best sales tactic I’ve witnessed at a coffee shop. Ever.

About a year ago, Neighborhoods Café opened just a short walk from my apartment in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston. Between the great atmosphere, plentiful outlets, and constant smell of crepes cooking, it has become my go-to place to get work done while enjoying coffee and something sweet.

When I sit for a couple hours at Neighborhoods the same thing always happens - a potential customer will hover in the doorway looking at the big blackboard menu hanging up on the wall inside.

Here’s where it gets interesting!

The barista says to the potential customer, “we have a more extensive menu over here,” while gesturing at a small laminated sheet positioned in front of the café’s register.

Without fail, the potential customer will walk into the café, stand directly in front of the register, and pick up the menu.

I bet you know what happens next!

After witnessing the same interaction take place at least 20 times I’d estimate that the success rate of converting the potential customer was roughly 75%.

These people were on the edge of walking away just moments before!

I must admit, since I was focusing on my work it took me a few instances to even realize what was happening. That’s the best kind of sales tactic – not being sales-y.

There’s a lot of magic in this short interaction at Neighborhoods. Let’s examine it:

A potential customer visits.

They do a quick scan of what the business offers.

They seem hesitant but they haven’t left just yet.

As they are teetering on the edge, they are warmly invited to check out an extended list of options.

The potential customer walks further in and they are now positioned directly in front of the place where they can convert (the smell of crepes cooking is just off to their left).

The potential customer becomes a customer.

Sure, there’s a bigger menu, but the real magic is getting the potential customer inside. It’s letting them experience the best of what you have to offer. That won’t happen in the doorway (or on the landing page of your site)!

If you are offering a good product, the experience should do the selling for you. Just make sure you give potential customers a reason to step all the way inside!