Friday, September 7, 2012

Roman's Simple Tip

After shoppers purchase from you, offer them a 5 percent marketing discount if they give you copies of menus and bids they got from the other caterers they shopped with before they chose your company.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thoughts on Advanced Fundamentals

As you read these advanced fundamental concepts, please think about how they pertain to your company.
·   Always say “Thank you for calling” or “Thank you for coming in” or “Thank you for seeing me.” Thank you is a magic phrase in life and sales.
·   Send handwritten thank-you notes before or after you meet with a shopper.
·   Talk about why you choose to work for ABC Catering.
·   Never use the phrase “They’re in a meeting.” Caterers are “at events” or “in the kitchen.”
·   When walking with a shopper or client, never walk past any staff person without introducing them and explaining what they do for your company.
·   Never ask a client, “What is your budget?” Caterers advise shoppers on the price of admission to their professional catering.
·   Offer or bring something to taste every time you meet with a prospective customer.
·   Live by the motto, “It’s easier to resell happy existing customers than it is to keep finding new ones!”
·   When selling an event through a proposal format, always involve the five senses of the buyer.
·   Make the buyer understand that you’re more concerned with their event’s success than you are in making a sale.
·   Always offer three price options: Cadillac, Buick and Chevy.
·   Find excuses to see your best clients in person or to talk with them on the phone at least once a month.
·   Stay in control of a selling situation by asking questions.
·   Explain to the client when they are making a mistake.
·   During a closing situation, it’s best to give the buyers some time alone.
·   Never apologize for what appears to be higher prices, just explain what they do for the buyer and their guests.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Please don't forget...

The easiest way to convince shoppers that you are different and the best caterer in your city is to use glowing testimonials from your happy clients. What others say about your greatness is always better than what you say.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Guest Article: Timeless Hospitality by Jon Wool

My wife, Carole, planned a wonderful birthday weekend for me in Milwaukee. (No gifts please. Your readership and comments are gifts enough.) The trip included a Brewer’s game at Miller Park and a stay at one of the country’s coolest and best-run hotels, The Iron Horse. Carole announced that she had a surprise outing planned during our stay. Immediately, I thought…a tour of the Harley Davidson Museum or, better yet, enrollment in Harley’s Motorcycle Boot Camp. I imagined myself decked in black leather, boots, and a shiny helmet racing on a V-Rod, jumping canyons à la Evel Knievel.  Instead, we drove down a pretty little country road to a quaint museum called Ten Chimneys in Genesee Depot. Ten Chimneys is the famed estate of the iconic couple of theatre’s Golden Age, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. While not what I had envisioned, it was, indeed, a surprise and the experience was wonderful.

The Lunts staged their house as if it were a Broadway set. Each room is designed in a different motif, with a liveliness and style that lured Hollywood and Broadway luminaries. Rooms magically combine the garish with the elegant. Some rooms are named appropriately to reflect eras of the theatre. Others touch on humor like ‘The Flirtation Room.’ Bedrooms are named for beloved guests such as Laurence Olivier, Katharine Hepburn, and Noël Coward.

The Lunts went to great lengths to make their guests feel welcome and to create for them memorable experiences.  Guests were hosted in beautiful suites, wined, dined, entertained, and bestowed with gifts. The Lunts maintained that hospitality is all about thoughtful planning, theatricality, and attention to detail.

“Thoughtful planning, theatricality, and attention-to-detail.” The very pillars that caterers and hospitality professionals hold dear. They are also the foundation that makes The Iron Horse such a special hotel.  So, while I didn't take Harley lessons, I did take a lesson from the famous couple: we should imagine ourselves as theatrical producers or directors. We set the stage and create the magic so that our clients may star. As they take their bows, we can await the best of all client requests: “Encore!’’ 

NOTE from Mike: Jon has been a loyal contributor to my blog. He is also a great friend since he lives in Chicago. I thank him for his efforts in making this blog interesting, fun, and educational!

I invite others to consider publishing their thoughts on this blog. Just contact me to learn how easy it is to freely make you thoughts know to hundreds of caterers.