Category Archives: Multi-Unit Restaurant Catering

Restaurant Catering Sales Tip #287 – Isolating Objections

Isolating Objections

Sales objections are just a part of selling.  Whenever a customer objects, they are never telling you the truth!  Of course, I am not saying that your customers are liars.  No.  I am just saying that they are not telling you what the real problem is.  The real reason why they are not buying from you.

The key to a successful sales call is being able to find out what the real objection is, and then isolating that objection to make sure that there is nothing hiding in the background of your prospects mind.  If you isolate the objection, you can now deal with it and close the sale!

Ideally, your Catering Sales Manager(s) will be offering solutions throughout the sales call to many of the possible objections that a prospect will bring up during the sales call.   Very often the customer may say “okay, I understand,” yet still not have accepted the solution.

A good Catering Sales Manager must figure out what needs to be asked in order to find out the real objection so it can be addressed. The process of doing this is called isolating the objection.

Move closer to closing by following these steps:

1. Validate The Objection:  appreciate the way that the customer sees the issue. Use phrases such as “I understand,” “I know how you feel.”

2. Ask why or what: “why is it that…?” “compared to what?” . An excellent Catering Sales Manager asks questions and finds out what the customer is thinking.  Remember, customers never say what they mean.

3. Isolate the Objection by Asking “Besides the (Objection) Is There Any other reason that is preventing you from purchasing today?  If they say yes, find out what it is and then isolate the two objections together..  if they say no, then move to step 6.

4. Find common ground and get permission to move forward:  “If we can get together on the issue of (objection), will we be able to move ahead?” Notice that you have not handled the issue yet, but have simply learned why and what makes it a concern to the customer. If the customer answers “yes,” then answer the question and close the sale. If the customer answers “no” or “maybe,” then continue to step five.

5. Stop Talking and Listen:   Stop talking and listen to the customer so you can figure out the real issue.  Great Catering Sales Managers realize that resisting handling the issues first presented and probing for other issues is essential to effectively overcoming the objection.  Keep going through this cycle until you have isolated the issues.  Once the issues have been isolated, then you can move to Step 6.

6. Solve The real issue:  The process of isolating the objection is a skill that takes time and practice to develop.  Once the issue is isolated, you can now close.

Let’s move to an example where the objection is, “It’s Too Expensive”. Here is a possible dialogue between the Catering Sales Manager and The Customer

CSM:  So, I understand you feel our product is too expensive? (Step 1)

Client:  Yes.

CSM:  Too Expensive Compared to What?  (Step 2)

Client:  Too Expensive compared to your competitor.

CSM:  Besides being to expensive, is there any other reason that you won’t move forward with our services today?  (Step 3)

Client:  No

CSM:  So, if price were not an issue, would you move forward then?  (Step 4)

Client:  Yes.

CSM:  Ok. If you place 12 orders with us, we will provide you with a 15% discount on select menu items.  (Step 6)

There is ALOT to discuss here.  Isolating objections every single time is the key to closing more sales.

Let’s talk catering!

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Restaurant Catering Sales Tip #214 – Opening the Sales Call

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At the Catering Institute, we are focused on helping restaurant operators to grow sales and increase profits by educating their people to be experts at feeding their customers where they Live, Work & Play.  Here and idea for your catering sales team.  Feel free to pass it along!

Always start off a catering sales call by covering 3 things:

1. Make sure your customers/prospects understand how long the call will take.  NEVER go past that time!

2. Make sure the customer knows what the objective of the call is.  Be clear and always close with that objective in mind.

3. Relate the reason for the current sales call to the previous sales call you had with the person, or to information you may have sent them in the past.

Connecting the current sales call to something previous gives the customer the comfort of knowing you remember fully everything that may have already occurred. This also gives the customer the comfort of knowing you respect their time.

Let’s talk catering!

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The Importance of Employee Training To Boost Catering Sales

My passion has always been about the people.  Nothing makes me happier than training restaurant employees to do more catering.  It’s the work we are focused on at The Catering Institute.

I believe that the only way to really impact sales in a positive way is through ongoing development and training.  I was doing research on the importance of training and found this video.  Thought I’d share it here.

Through my travels as the CEO and Founder at MonkeyMedia Software, The Catering Institute and Catering Insights, I have come to learn that it really is about the people.

Want to get more catering sales?  Invest in your people.  Send them to a Catering Sales Management Workshop in Dallas this October.

Certainly, you will yield results.

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