Speaking with my customers I am seeing that more and more private event sales managers are going “old school” and doing more outbound calling to drive catering business. Outward bound marketing with e-mail, direct mail and calling is a good strategy but event sales managers need to be careful when placing cold calls.
Potential customers are wearing more hats these days and are asked to do the work of many, therefore their time, and patience is very short. It is critical that before you place that call you have as much information as you can get your hands on. Companies like Jigsaw (www.jigsaw.com) and linkedin are good places to start.
Customer Relation Management (CRM) software that is integrated into your catering software could be the most important tool you will need. Why? Because you will have a complete picture of your customer. You will know what they have booked in the past, what type of menu’s they like with the old Banquet Event Orders, and when they have events. By having this information at your finger tips you can make more calls and spend less time hunting thru endless paper files stored in boxes tucked behind some old menu’s.
With catering software and CRM working together you can feel confident that your offer will meet their needs. You will not waste your customers time and you can start booking more business than competitors who are still using outdated paper systems.