Pitch Switch: Changing Sales Tactics Made This Reservation App Appealing to Restaurants

Pitch Switch: Changing Sales Tactics Made This Reservation App Appealing to Restaurants
Image credit: Pexels
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the February 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Greg Hong had a sales theory that went like this: “I wasn’t just there to sell them something, but to be their customer as well.” When he cold-pitched restaurants, he’d show up between 4 and 5:30 p.m., order a drink -- so that he was a customer -- and then casually ask for the manager. Then he’d explain his app, called Reserve: It enables diners to make reservations, rate restaurants and split the tab among friends.

“That’s the worst idea I’ve ever heard of!” one manager blurted out. Hong’s first 15 attempts went the same way; no restaurants signed up. Maybe, Hong thought, this app is just a bad idea. 

But he kept going. And as he did, he started to realize something: Managers needed to see that he understood them, not just that he could buy a drink. So rather than talk about the app’s functionality, he asked about the restaurants’ clientele. “When we started talking about how to make their customers happy, that’s when we started getting yesses,” Hong says. The first came after four months of sales calls. After a year, he had 400 in seven cities -- and a formula to keep getting more.

loading...
More from Entrepreneur
Our Franchise Advisors will guide you through the entire franchising process, for FREE!
  1. Book a one-on-one session with a Franchise Advisor
  2. Take a survey about your needs & goals
  3. Find your ideal franchise
  4. Learn about that franchise
  5. Meet the franchisor
  6. Receive the best business resources
Discover the franchise that’s right for you by answering some quick questions about
  • Which industry you’re interested in
  • Why you want to buy a franchise
  • What your financial needs are
  • Where you’re located
  • And more
Whether you want to learn something new, be more productive, or make more money, the Entrepreneur Store has something for everyone:
  • Software
  • Gadgets
  • Online Courses
  • Travel Essentials
  • Housewares
  • Fitness & Health Devices
  • And More

Latest on Entrepreneur