Friday, June 22, 2012

Roman's Consulting Topics

I thought I would just remind everyone that since I began my semi-retirement last July, I am doing more onsite consulting around the U.S. and Canada. Here are some of the concepts that I help with:

Possible Targets For Consulting Solutions:
1.     Product lines.
2.     Management structure.
3.     Qualification process.
4.     Contracts and sales letters.
5.     Staff motivation.
6.     Improving sales and culinary relations.
7.     Exit plans.
8.     Staff compensation strategies.
9.     Quality control evaluations.
10. Kitchen management considerations.
11. Labor saving concepts.
12. Quality of life issues.
13. Marketing strategies.
14. Opening new divisions.
15. Maximizing profitability.
16. Establishing sales scripts.
17. Contracts, refunds, and guarantees.
18. Pricing strategies.
19. Customer service tactics that make sales.
20. Just about anything else pertaining to a catering operation.

Just contact me to learn more. Remember, if you keep doing what you are now doing, you will always get the same results that you always get. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Marketing And Selling Go Hand-In-Hand

Marketing is not the same as selling. Selling is not the same as marketing. Knowing the difference between the two helps salespeople gain an advantage in their sales goals. Selling new clients or creating ongoing sales from past clients is enhanced by understanding how marketing and selling work together. Marketing doesn’t make the sale, salespeople do, but good marketing can help increase sales.
Marketing’s goal is to prepare the shopper for the salespeople. Marketing puts the benefits and advantages of a caterer’s products and services in the mind of the shopper in a positive way. Marketing also provides the shopper with a reason to take action and contact the caterer. Marketing is what gets the shopper to call or email your company in the first place; the shopper gets the caterer’s marketing messages before talking or meeting with you.
The goal of selling is to stop the shopper from going to other caterers. Selling happens when the shopper is in close contact with the caterer on the phone or in person. In the selling process, you give the shopper reasons to select your catering team over the competition. When a shopper gives a deposit to the caterer, it is a result of the combination of great marketing and intelligent selling.
The salespeople in your company should be involved in the creation of any marketing concepts, programs or materials. Marketers create the first messages, but salespeople touch the prospects and complete the process. Combining forces makes both more likely to succeed. The biggest mistake when marketing catering is giving information about your company without focusing on what benefits and advantages you can give the buyer.
For example: You may market your great food or your professional staff, without tying that to how great food or staff benefits the buyer. A stronger pitch is “great food that will excite your guests” or “professional staff, which lets you be a guest at your own event.” These kinds of statements make the benefit for buyers clear as they read or hear your marketing.
Nothing is more powerful in marketing catering than letting shoppers read or hear what others think of you. You can tout your greatness all you want, but most prospects will simply dismiss your statements as marketing fluff. When a prospect reads a testimonial, signed by a person who has already spent money on your catering, they view it as truth. If you use testimonials, your sales will soar.

My newest clinics – Sales, Marketing & Management!
Take any one day, two days or all three!

Ft. Lauderdale – July 16, 17 & 18
New York City – July 23, 24 & 25
Irvine – August 6, 7 & 8
DC area – August 13, 14 & 15
Boston – August 27, 28 & 29
Seattle – September 10, 11, & 12
Chicago – September 17, 18 & 19

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Discussion Points

Here's some more discussion and thinking points:

1. A good catering salesperson always answers objections before they arise.

2. Call some of your best clients today and just say "hi".

3. Answering machines during regular business hours lose sales. Nobody wants to get a message recording when they feel they have an emergency to solve. Every call counts.

4. Advertise what your company sells ... not who you are!       

5. Help your own business image by helping sponsor community fundraising events… anything from a new fire truck to helping a hospital.

6. Send plastic gloves along for the secretaries to use with lunch buffets. It demonstrates your concern for sanitation.

7. Create a Customer Advisory Board of ten of your best buyers. Ask them for their help. Let them help you determine your direction, new menus and marketing messages. Place their names on your letterhead and you will create the ultimate testimonial.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Importance of Alcohol Awareness Training

States require that staff handling liquor take a certified training course and pass a test that shows they are aware of the dangers, responsibilities and techniques of serving liquor to the public. This kind of education keeps the caterer and staff to be in compliance with state and local regulations and protects them and their clients from alcohol liability lawsuits.
Since caterers work in unique venues, some without walls, keeping control of guests’ alcohol consumption can be difficult. In a restaurant situation, it’s unlikely that an adult can get away with getting a drink for an underage person at their table. In a private home, where servers are unable to see or be everywhere during the event, it is much easier for an adult to get a drink for an underage guest.
Caterers generally are able to serve a host’s spirits without a liquor license, but it is unlawful for a caterer to sell liquor unless they are licensed by the state or municipality to do so. Whether the caterer is just serving the client’s spirits or if they are licensed and sell directly to the clients, the caterer and their staff assume the liability of serving spirits during the event. The caterer and their staff may be named in a lawsuit if a person who attended their party or event is involved in a violation or accident. Check with your state or municipality to learn of training courses available to your staff that will prepare them to understand the dos and don’ts of alcohol service. The training and test are also given online.

My newest clinics – Sales, Marketing & Management!
Take any one day, two days or all three!

Ft. Lauderdale – July 16, 17 & 18
New York City – July 23, 24 & 25
Irvine – August 6, 7 & 8
DC area – August 13, 14 & 15
Boston – August 27, 28 & 29
Seattle – September 10, 11, & 12
Chicago – September 17, 18 & 19

Monday, June 18, 2012

Even More Discussion Points

OK... here's some more to discuss and think about:

1. Sometimes it important for owners to go with the delivery van to “touch” their best buyers. When you walk in with the delivery person you are a pleasant surprise.

2. Your staff needs to know that they can share their thoughts on any and all subjects with you.

3. Successful catering companies have regular meetings on a consistent schedule.

4. Don’t forget to always celebrate the personal and professional accomplishments of your staff.

5. Send thank you notes to the spouse or significant other of your workers thanking them for the time they have to spend away from their loved ones while they work for your company.

6. Good managers know that when it comes to motivating staff you get what you give.

7. In most cases, the quality of your staff is more important than the quantity.