What The Mall Food Court Teaches Us About Sales

The mall is a crash course in sales. Specifically, the food court is a crash course in sales.

How many times have you walked into the mall with a specific goal? Like, I’m just going to Bath & Body Works, but then you end up at Victoria’s secret? I’m just going to this place and then you buy something from that place?

Or if you’re me, you’re at the mall to go to the Apple store. Right?

But then you smell something on the way out. And you’re like, no, I’m not fooling with the food because I’m not hungry and I have food at home that’s cheaper.

Mysteriously, you have to walk through the doggone food court. You’re strong. You say to yourself, okay, I am 100% not going to eat anything.

Nothing wrong with a free sample, though, right? There’s always this guy with a toothpick and a piece of freshly grilled teriyaki chicken. And damn it, this is so good.

What’s brilliant about the teriyaki chicken?

The store knows if they could just get you a taste of this awesome, amazing teriyaki bourbon chicken, your life is going to change. And if you buy it, you’ll buy more than just the chicken. You say give me a number five with the mixed rice, with vegetables, and then you have a little bit of gravy on top. You get the brownie and the drink.

You’ve gone from absolutely convinced that you won’t buy food to a full meal. You have converted at their highest dollar period. You’ve gone from spending $0 to spending $13.62.

Here’s the point:

They didn’t give you a tiny bowl of rice or a piece of broccoli.

They led with their highest-value item, the delicious teriyaki chicken.


You became a customer in the mall because the store gave you a sample of the best thing the company had to offer.

So many companies want to give away things like:

  • Checklists
  • Videos
  • Newsletters

But these things are like giving away broccoli or rice, hoping your customers stay for the chicken.

Do you think about sales that way? We don’t want to give customers our best. Cause we’re like, oh, I’ve got to save this. We live in a world where there are too many options and I can try them all at no cost. If you’re not giving away your best stuff for free, you’re missing sales.

Sales is about our willingness to give the very best and to not live in scarcity.

It’s easy to say, well, Tiffany, guess what I’m going to do. I’m going to get it to them after they’ve bought this or signed up for that. But you won’t sell much that way!

What’s the best thing that your company has to offer? What’s the best thing that your company has to offer. And how do you get that in front of your ideal customer?

What is your highest-value thing, and how can you position it at the top of your sales funnel instead of the middle or bottom? If you need help re-organising your sales funnel, that’s exactly the kind of thing we do here at DTDT Nation!

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