Friday, September 30, 2011

CONFERENCE: My Educational Sessions #1

Registration is about to open for our 2012 Catersource Conference & Tradeshow being held in Las Vegas February 26-29, 2012. Below is the description for the "sales" training session I will be teaching. I am very excited about our upcoming conference which will be our 20th consecutive year of offering outstanding education.

Evaluating Yourself As A Salesperson
Most catering salespeople don’t have a Sales Manager helping them evaluate how they are doing and what they might do to get better. This session will provide all salespeople, who wish to increase their closing averages, with the tools necessary to define, enhance, and unleash their skills to reach their selling goals.

• Learn to sell more catering by becoming your own mentor, teacher, and sales manager.
• Get Mike’s checklist for making better sales numbers.
• Understand the most often made selling “mistakes” and how to overcome them.
• Discover “in-the-trenches” selling tactics and strategies that work!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Food Amounts 101

How much food should be sent to an event? The answer is simple: It depends. You need to ask yourself a series of questions, and the answers change from event to event.
When it comes to planning the amount of food for an event, it doesn’t matter how much food a guest can eat; it only matters how much food a guest takes. Some caterers actually try to determine how much a guest of a particular menu item a guest is likely to eat, when they really should determine is how much will be taken by guests, whether they eat it or not.
Questions to ask when trying to decide how much food to send to an event include:
·   What is the purpose of the event?
·   Who is the customer?
·   Where is the event location?
·   What time of day is the event?
·   Who’s coming to the event?
·   What is the actual menu for the event?
·   How will guests be dressed?
·   What is the temperature inside the event going to be?
·   How many children are coming?
·   What is the educational level of the guests?
·   What are the ages of the guests?
·   What are the host’s views on food and hospitality?
How do you figure out how much food is enough? Every group eats and takes different amounts of food during a catered event. Who eats more, a group of 50 men or a group of 50 women? Are you sure of your answer? There are only men or women in each group—and that makes a difference. Many caterers have learned that the answer to the question is “both.”
Many husbands and wives eat differently and with greater abandon than when their spouses are with them. Men and women at a singles dance eat with more concern for how others view them than if they were at a ballgame. Eating is a social activity. While some people really don’t care how others view them as they eat, others are very concerned about their eating image.
A person who has just paid $1,000 for a political fundraiser is going to attack the shrimp! They feel they have something coming for their donation. A company’s employees will probably eat differently at an event their customers are attending than at their annual holiday party, where they may want to get even with the company by eating and drinking all they can. In a group of all men, if you place attractive female servers behind the buffet, they will take less food. The same is true in reverse with the women guests and handsome male servers. It’s just biology!
Some nationalities have folk songs about food and food is a huge part of their culture; others don’t have the same passion about the foods they eat. Some guests eat to live; others live to eat. Some guests come to a buffet and closely examine every food item, looking forward to tasting them. Others simply fill their plates and move on.
So, there really isn't any "sure-fire" way to always know how much food to send, so it is best to send more than you think you may need - it is very damaging for a caterer's reputation if they run out of food no matter who's fault it really is.


Just give me your email in the field directly under my photo on the right. Then, just confirm/reply your request once you get your confirmation email and you are ready to go! Thanks.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Take My Management Test

Get a handle on your management IQ with this simple test. This is a great way to start an evaluation of your current management situation.
Important questions to consider:
·   What type of mission statement is your company following?
·   What is the central focus of your energy?
·   Who drives your company—the kitchen or sales?

Simple “yes” or “no” questions:
·   Does your company have a policy manual?
·   Do you get your accounting information back within 30 days after you close out a month?
·   Does your company have a website? Are you happy with it?
·   Do you have a file with employment applications of your staff with references for each staff member?
·   Do you know how many orders you had last year?
·   Does your company sell and use everything that you purchase?
·   Do you book everything that comes your way?

What would happen if you . . .
·   Announce to your kitchen and other staff that no personal calls can be made on company phones?
·   Insist that all event staff servers have the same uniform shoes at events?
·   Announce that the company is installing video cameras throughout the facility for security purposes?

Other questions that help measure your company:
·   How many proposals did you send out last month?
·   What were the food costs for last month?
·   How many thank you letters from clients did you receive last month?
·   What was today’s kitchen labor cost?
·   Which employee excelled today?
·   What customer difficulties were encountered today?
·   Do you have a dedicated in-house food-tasting procedure?
·   Do you have a realistic post-sale customer evaluation program?
·   Do you know what your competition says about you?
·   What is the average age of your management team? Your serving team?
·   What types of books make-up your in-house reference library?
·   What type of continuing education are you offering yourself and the team?
·   Do you think of your team as family, or at least like a family?
·   How much repeat business do you have?
·   Are the company and the staff earning a proper reward for their efforts?
·   Do you have an exit policy?

Well, at least I've got you thinking!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Don’t Be Afraid Of Motivational Or Discount Pricing

There is a difference between a buyer haggling with the caterer for a lower price and a caterer offering some sort of discount. Haggling happens on the spur of the moment by a shopper. Discounts, on the other hand, are explained to the buyer in advance of their making a decision. Discounting gives buyers a sense of gaining value to the point that the buyer is motivated to make a purchase more quickly and also limits their “haggling”.
Discounts are offered either openly in marketing messages or one-to-one during a sales presentation. A caterer can have multiple discount programs at the same time—but remember that discounts lessen the profitability for the caterer unless the price of the catering is already inflated.
The smartest discounting is when the actual price of the menu is increased beforehand by the same percentage of the discount being offered to the buyer. If you want to offer a 10 percent discount and yet achieve a price of approximately $20 per person, then the pre-discounted price would be at least $22.
Here is a list of situations where a caterer could offer a discount:
·   For being a regular buyer.
·   For buying an order over a certain volume plateau.
·   For buying two orders in one week.
·   For buying two orders in one month.
·   For buying on a certain day.
·   For ordering early.
·   For ordering earliest.
·   For picking-up the order.
·   For using a Fax or email for ordering.
·   For not using a Fax or email for ordering.
·   For ordering two orders at once.
·   For giving you a referral.
·   For letting you use their testimonial as a reference.
·   For paying COD.
·   For paying a 50 percent deposit.
·   For paying the entire amount in advance.
·   When paying with a credit card.
·   When not paying with a credit card.
·   When they give you a reference letter after the event.
·   When they mention you on the invitation or in the program.
·   When they get your name mentioned in the media.
·   When they give a certain gratuity to your staff.
·   When they pay the rental company directly.
·   For an early signing of their agreement.
·   For catering that starts after or before a certain time of the day.
·   For catering purchased in the slower months.
·   For self-service catering.
·   For full-service catering.
·   When they take care of their own bar.
·   When you get the mailing list information of their guests.
·   When they put out a sign or other notice about your company.
·   When you are permitted to send the guests a letter before the party.
·   For using your rental company.
·   For celebrating your company’s fifth anniversary.
·   Because you are a manager, and not one of the regular salespeople who earn a commission.
·   If they are referred by one of your regular buyers.
·   When your company has made its sales goals for the month.
Don’t buy back the business. Discounting is fine up to a point, but when a caterer sells menus that are below all logical margins for no valid reason, they are basically buying back their own catering. This leads to financial problems.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Discussion Points For Your Next Meeting #6

Here are some more "thinking" topics to discuss - anytime you wish to contact me to discuss them just call me at (773) 549-7210.

1. Great selling doesn’t have a beginning, middle or end.
2. Great selling “charges” the salesperson and “excites” the shopper.
3. Acknowledge your strengths and your vulnerabilities.
4. Selling is about expression.
5. Don’t think too much or get in the way of the sale.

Think On!

Just give me your email in the field directly under my photo on the right. Then, just confirm/reply your request once you get your confirmation email and you are ready to go! Thanks.