Help us make great restaurants accessible! 🤩

Channeling my inner vlogger... What is up guys? Amos here with blog post number #2! Weird intro I know, but we have a running joke in the office about starting our sentences like Youtubers, so I had to start with that...So let's jump right in! (We're cool I swear...)

Here at WalkIn we’re making the best restaurants in the world super accessible. We’ve been rapidly developing our app and are now looking to expand our team to help you be able to get into any restaurant you want any time at the touch of a button.

We wanted to share how we started out signing restaurants and realised over time how if you’re selling something that genuinely makes people’s lives significantly better then you’re doing a noble thing and it’s something you should be really proud of. As a result we want amazing people to come join our team and make a positive difference to people’s lives!

If you’re interested and want to skip story time you can go straight to the “I’m in, how can I apply section” at the bottom.

Not having a queue how to sell 🥁

When Frazer, Archie and I started WalkIn we knew that none of us had officially done any real sales. I had some useful training while working at Mars Inc but never had been able to test it out in the field. It was agreed that I’d go do the sales while Archie and Frazer finished off the product to launch in February 2018. This was something I found really intimidating at the time. I didn’t know anything about how restaurants operated, how to go about getting a meeting or how to convince them that WalkIn would solve their problems.

Figuring it out 🤔

After doing some research and getting encouragement from Frazer and Archie I plucked up the courage to go door to door at restaurants and start selling WalkIn (without a product yet). I remember the first day I went out selling; getting off the bus, psyching myself up, pacing outside the restaurant at the top of the road like some deranged tourist before finally walking up to the door…..and then walking right past it. I was too nervous to go in.

I couldn’t tell why I didn’t go in but I kept walking and it affected me. Our company is called WalkIn, if I couldn’t walk in to a restaurant then we were going to have a pretty big issue. As I was walking around trying to psychoanalyse my life to find this magic reason that I was so scared to do something so simple, I realised this fear is just going to be a bigger and bigger problem the longer I left it.

I agreed with myself to go in and just ask for the manager, whatever happened after that I'd have made a little step to our goal that day. I turned back went in and the manager wasn’t in…of course. But I had got over my fear and tiny victories like that make start up land worth it as you keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to get to the next level because if you don’t either your company dies or you won’t be there very long.

After a couple weeks we managed to get some meetings with some cool restaurants. We realised I needed to practice my pitch before having these meetings or they were going to be very short (particularly as I had no product to demo). I started researching different sales models and there were so many; SPIN selling, N.E.A.T. selling, The Challenger sale etc.

While looking through it and getting a bit distracted I ended up watching an interview with Jordan Belfort (The Wolf Of Wall Street guy) who obviously was a very questionable person morally but in the interview he mentioned how after his prison sentence finished he setup a new company selling mortgages door to door and it turned over millions in its first year. Given his reputation had been ruined with his “Pump and Dump” scams which meant investors constantly lost out I found it unbelievable that he could build up another successful company immediately out of prison. My conclusion was if he’s able to sell mortgages door to door given his reputation this guy could definitely sell.

As a result I trawled through YouTube watching a bunch of his videos on his sales techniques and breaking it down step by step. The image below depicts the basic premise of how the straight line technique works.

This is obviously a basic version and if you ever join us at WalkIn HQ we will help teach you the rest and hopefully you’ll be able to teach us 10x more than that! That being said there are 3 key things I took away from the straight line technique that really seemed to help us which I’ve listed below.

Straightline

3 Key learnings:

  1. If you’re selling a product that genuinely helps the people you’re selling it to, then you’re doing a noble thing and you should be proud of what you’re doing. If you sell something to someone and you know it won’t really help them, then:

    a) You’re a bit of a douche, b) You’re going to damage your reputation (which happened to Jordan Belfort). As we really believe we’re helping restaurants and diners it’s not just our sales team that sell. If any of the rest of our team are out at dinner and see a queue they’ll be pitching us so you never have to queue again!

  2. The sales process is a straight line from “hello” to your potential customer signing up. The goal is to get that potential customer to the end of that line as quickly as possible because you’re helping them (if you’re not then don’t sell it to them). As a result you should attempt to close your customer several times by asking them to sign up multiple times in the process. You start with your 1st pitch and it should be your weakest. If they say “Yes”, great! If they say “No” and give a reason why that’s them going off the straight line because they either; don’t see the value in the product, don’t trust you or don’t trust the company. In some cases it can be all three things 😬 Your job is to loop them back and when they’re a 10/10 on those 3 things they’ll almost always sign up.

  1. The straight line works for people that are closable. I mention at the end of point 2 that potential customers “almost always sign up” and that’s because you will come across places where even though you believe you’ll help them massively you can’t close them and by constantly pitching people early in the sales process you’ll get a sense of this very quickly and therefore not waste their time or yours. Also for someone who was new to sales like me it helped relieve the pressure of failure. As long as I had done absolutely everything I could have by the straight line technique then I couldn’t have closed them. On the flip side it was super useful as when I got a rejection but felt like I could have converted them, it was pretty easy to see where the mistake had been made and what to try next time!

After learning all of this I felt equipped to go into these pitches and it gave us a fighting chance. I got a lot wrong along the way but with enough practice, it worked. The first time I successfully pitched the product was to Eggbreak in Notting Hill! At the time, we didn’t even have the completed product, which was good enough evidence for me that the sales technique worked! With the support and trust of Eggbreak’s amazing GM, Hana, we built the product with their input, and on February 16th 2018, WalkIn went live.

Once we signed a bunch more restaurants including; The Breakfast Club, Flat Iron, Kricket, Hoppers, Chick ‘N’ Sours, Vagabond Wine, Din Tai Fung and Granger & Co. we hired Molly (my sister). She had never done sales before either but after learning the straight line technique (sorry, I feel like I’m pitching this now but it really worked for us) she has been an absolute machine at signing restaurants and is way better than me at getting meetings with the best restaurants in the game! Now we’re looking for someone else to help us on our mission to make great restaurants accessible to everyone.

Image from iOS (4)

I’m in, how can I apply?

We’re now looking for another awesome person to become WalkInite number 8 and help us end queuing for the busiest restaurants in London. If interested please hit us up at: [email protected] or on our Instagram; @WalkInldn.

Love from the WalkIn Team ❤️

Written by: Amos WalkIn CEO

Amos Profile