Business Productivity

The one easy Yum Cha manoeuvre that can increase sales

- October 3, 2016 3 MIN READ

An important business lesson was reinforced by a waitress at a Yum Cha restaurant recently. It was a delightfully delicious reminder of how we can all easily increase sales.

Recently, my partner and I tried a popular vegan Yum Cha restaurant in the city. Aside from eating some seriously delicious food, a simple and powerful thing happened which reinforced an important business lesson about how to increase sales.

First of all, what the heck is Yum Cha?

In case you’ve never experienced Yum Cha, I’ll briefly explain the concept so this article makes sense.

With Yum Cha, rather than ordering from a menu, waiters and waitresses frequently walk by and present you with small dishes that you can either accept or decline. The food ranges from steamed dumplings and fried spring rolls to spicy noodles and mouth-watering vegetables (and a lot of other exciting dishes in between!). If you accept a dish, they mark it down on a bill sheet that’s located on your table. At the end of the meal you take your bill sheet to the counter and pay.

Here’s where our Yum Cha story begins

We were enjoying a number of dishes and progressively getting really full. So we made the tough, First World decision to start declining some. At first, we failed miserably. A dish would come by and we’d look at each other with eyes that said, “The chef would be offended. These dumplings just want a home.  Four more won’t kill us … Right?”

So we’d have yet another dish, and to our pleasant surprise, weren’t immediately dying.

But, that scene from Alien came to our minds. We imagined a kale-based Extra-Terrestrial bursting from our guts, eating everyone in the vicinity, and not marking it down on the bill sheet.

The thought of creating a human-devouring, EFTPOS-avoiding, tummy torpedo was too much to bear. We started turning down dishes in earnest.

Until …

A waitress came by with something quite unusual. Little hedgehog-shaped dumplings filled with a sweet bean paste.


But we held firm.

Just as we were about to sob, “No thanks,” the waitress did something out of the ordinary.

She pumped her fist in the air and yelped, “Sweet dumplings, woo hoo!”

It was delightful, refreshing and so unexpected. (It needs to be said that all the wait staff were polite, smiley and friendly, but this gal was excited.)  We got caught up in that excitement too.

I jumped up on the table, kicked off the plates and screamed, “I’ll take 100!”

Well, not quite, but I did stay seated and happily accept the three she was offering.

How does this relate to business?

The whole event reminded me of all the quotes/proposals I submit to potential clients, and how I end them with, “If you’d like to work with me, I’ll be excited to work with you.”  I write this in emails too.  It’s not just a throwaway line, I mean it. I’m genuinely excited to work with people who want a business tagline or their entire web copy revamped.

The Yum Cha manoeuvre

The one, easy manoeuvre to attract more customers is to simply be excited about your business and the amazing products and services you offer.  This excitement will manifest itself in many priceless ways. You’ll offer friendly and efficient customer service.  You’ll ensure quality is always top notch. You’ll exude a sense of enthusiasm that prospects and clients will find irresistible. They’ll love you. They’re refer you. They’ll return.

This was reinforced to me when a client provided the following feedback recently:

“You make people feel valuable and not just a transaction. I already recommended you to people even before receiving the copy.”

I was so humbled by that comment. And really, it all started with me just feeling excited to work with her. I guess all our communication and dealings after that helped her feel valued.

Rest assured, excitement in this context doesn’t necessarily mean jumpy joviality, especially if that’s not your personality type. It can just be a quiet, sincere happiness to serve.

Exciting news!

Excitement is free. It’s infectious. It’s effective.  And guess what, you can win customers with every figurative WOO HOO!

Now that’s something to get excited about.

What are your thoughts? Do you make it clear to people just how excited you are to work with them?