Category Archives: Catering Leadership

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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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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Erle’s Top 13 Reasons Why a Restaurant Catering Operation Fails

letstalkrestaurantcatering

Erle Dardick, CEO & Founder of the Catering Institute and MonkeyMedia Software

I was looking at some old files today and then I found this fun image that my friend Mike Tyler made for me a few years ago!  Those were from the days long before the Catering Institute!  Life is so much different today…. As the Catering Institute continues to evolve, so do I!

Today at the institute, we have successfully trained more than 2000 satisfied foodservice students using our various classes and curriculum.  We have also had tens of thousands of restaurateurs download our various resources, articles, essays and webinars.  Check out this video to see how much fun we have during our training sessions.

Much of my work these days in our software division,  MonkeyMedia Software ,is to remind and teach our team to remain true to the key principles that we have documented using the business framework of the ‘5 Pillars of Successful Restaurant Catering‘.

The way I see it, our software division has a core client responsibility.  They must use the 89 characteristics of the 5 Pillars to benchmark the operations.   (Call me at 604-831-7422 if you’d like to discuss the characteristics).  Using our scoring systems allows the group to decide as to whether or not a restaurant company is ready to implement our world class technology into restaurant operations.  We have so much experience now to know that  companies that are trying to implement sophisticated technology on top of poor business processes, are not suited for a successful implementation.  They must score high on the 89 characteristics that we have documented to succeed with software implementation.

And so of course the story goes.  It is the 89 characteristics that the Catering Institute will to continue to work on…..

And so, this leads me to today’s list of reasons why I believe off-premise programs fail.  I’m sure there are dozens more that we could add.  Here goes…..

1.  Lack of a documented takeout, delivery & catering strategy 

2.  Inability to establish standard operating procedures.  Management of off-premise business by “seat of the pants”

3.  Frequent critical incidents “putting out fires is common practice”

4.  No focus on takeout, delivery & catering as its own business unit

5.  Lack of investment

6.  Lack of  leadership and catering business experience

7.  No Separation of Menu Items between takeout and catering

8.  No differentiation in packaging between takeout and catering

9.  Too many service gaps

10.  Lack of catering authenticity

11.  Lack of management commitment to catering

12.  Lack of operational evaluation tools

13.  Inability to start entrepreneurial businesses 

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