Tips for Increasing your AOV

I'm Rachel!

Marketing strategist. Former Ayurveda Health Coach, Yoga Instructor & Holistic Nutritionist. Avid reader. Pitta. 4/6 Manifesting Generator. Obsessed with my Golden.

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I used to be jealous of RoseMarie.

She was the head waitress at PL Johnson’s and the daughter of the boss/chef.

She got every good-tipping table, knew everyone by name, and made waiting on a group of 22 people squeezed into a tiny backroom asking for separate checks look easy.

I started at PL’s when I was 15 – first as a dishwasher (I still cringe thinking about dirty meatball pans).

When I graduated from that role, my boss realized I would be much better chatting up patrons than I would be “following recipes”.

For reference,  I once accidentally doubled only half of a chicken salad recipe (the spices ended up in the 2x column while the chicken and mayo did not…womp, womp, womp).

I was, however, a pretty good waitress. I liked chatting with people. I was quick on my feet. I was nimble when it came to balancing heavy plates on a tray.

But RoseMarie always had the highest ticket sales. ?

No matter how often I recommended the Swedish Meatball like it was my favorite (it wasn’t) or rattled off the homemade pies, I just didn’t have the magic touch of persuasion I was sure she was hiding the secret for.

Then, she got pregnant and stopped working as often.

I got upgraded to the head waitress. 

I forgot about the ticket sales “competition” until years later, when Marty (the boss’ husband, who helped out at the front desk), mentioned I’d been crushing dessert and overall ticket sales.

I was probably about 18 at the time, so this was 3 years later.

It took me that long to uncover the “well-hidden” secret that RoseMarie used to dazzle her customers into ordering more, or higher ticket, food.

I’d naturally started doing it too.

?It wasn’t that I had a massive sweet tooth and visibly lit up when I talked about the fresh brownies that had just come out of the oven (although I did).

?It wasn’t that I started showing my regulars pictures from the Midwinter dance (see below for examples of what I was willingly sharing…).

?It wasn’t even anything intentional I was doing to try to up my tip.

This dress. These shoes. The necklace. ? No wonder they tipped well. They probably felt bad for me.

The secret?

That I knew the customers better than almost anyone else.

?I knew when my after-church couple brought their family with them on the Sundays they were celebrating something and would want a “special” dessert option (aka a surprise brownie sundae with a candle and sprinkles).

?I knew that some of my regulars loved the Coconut Crème Pie, so I saved them a piece when we started to run low.

?I knew which customers loved treating themselves to our specialty Lingonberry Crème Brûlée Coffee whenever we had it available.

It wasn’t that I dazzled these people into wanting something they didn’t want.

I didn’t make them eat when they weren’t hungry.

I never offered them extra dressing and then tried to secretly charge it to their bills.

The thing that made my sales go up was that I knew what my people wanted, how they wanted it, and when to deliver it.

Marketing and sales basics 101.

I love the service industry because so many marketing and sales lessons come naturally.

I always say that marketing is just having a conversation at scale.

But when you’re in the trenches, like when you’re wearing a floor-length hand-sewn dress and delivering people their Cabbage rolls, you realize how naturally and easefully these lessons come.

For many of you, your audience looks to you as an expert in your field.

When they’re going through something hard, when they’re moving through a big transition, or even when you’re simply a steadfast sense of stability in their lives, you can practice this technique.

Knowing what (or what not) to offer someone, when, and in what way is a learned skill.

?It’s the Yoga teacher who offers more of a Yin practice when the world feels like it’s on fire.

?It’s the Ayurvedic Counselor who makes a cheat sheet of seasonal foods and links to her favorite farmer’s market for her local community.

?It’s the Acupuncturist who knows that sometimes patients need to be seen and heard as much as they need the acupuncture.

Many of you are already doing this. So this email is to give you a major kudos ? and tell you to keep up the impactful work you’re bringing to this world.

I see you. Don’t give up.

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Hi, I'm Rachel.
Your Biz Bff + New Marketing Team.

I've been you. After graduating from business school and working at a digital agency, I left the 9-5 grind and went *all in* on studying Ayurveda, Yoga, Holistic Nutrition, and Reiki. I co-built a wellness brand for 3 years until I realized my magic isn't in being a practitioner, but in being the bestie, marketing team, and hype woman behind the scenes.

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