There never is such a thing as too much business. Leads are the fuel that help every business grow and sustain itself. Today, there are many different mediums to generate leads from. Some work better than others depending on the type of person or business you are running.
If you are in need of more catering leads, check out all the different mediums you can use for collection and how to go about them so you receive the highest qualified leads possible.
If you do a good job catering at event, you should tell other guests that you would be happy to work with them as well. Referrals can be huge for catering businesses. You wouldn’t want to push event guests during an event, but have business cards available. If you are using menus at an event, make sure your contact information is listed somewhere.
2. Social Media
Social media is the new normal. It’s where most people do a large amount of communication. Each social media platform can have different opportunities for collecting leads. On Facebook and LinkedIn, you can run lead generation ads for just a few dollars per day. These types of ads have forms attached to them. When someone clicks on a fun banner you create, they are then prompted to enter their information.
3. Open Houses
Blast it out to various channels that you will be having an open house. In your open house, you can provide a variety of tasting options. It can be a great opportunity to showcase different menu items and a way to collect people’s information. You can do a fish bowl for business cards, and have a winner at the end of your event. You can give away a free platter or even a discount for someone’s next event.
There will be more than 3.8 billion email users before the start of 2019. Everyone has email these days, and most people have more than one account. You may be asking yourself, “How do I get these people’s email addresses?” It’s not as hard as you may think, and there are many ways you can go about doing it. One, is at network events. Make sure you collect all the business cards or contact information you can, and input them into a database following the event. Second, you can purchase a list of email addresses. Companies for this are everywhere, but sometimes their pricing can be a little high.
SEM is search engine marketing and SEO is Search Engine Optimization. Both can be quite complicated and you can overspend if you don’t know what you’re doing. SEM and SEO are newer concepts for generating leads, but they have many great resources you can learn and develop your skills over time with. If you are looking for something easy to implement immediately and you have a decent sized budget, then you may want to consider hiring someone to take this over for you. There are many agencies out there that work with both small and large businesses, and even some that specialize in the catering sector.
Who doesn’t love a discount or promotional offer? It can be a huge enticement for people to purchase your catering services especially if they are choosing between you and someone else. It doesn’t have to be for very much either. Just a small percentage off or a BOGO sale could go a long way. There are some people who host more than one event a year, and if you give them a special, you get more business and more exposure to new potential customers.
Every successful business has a website. Today, a website is how people find your business. If you don’t have a website, it can also look like your business is not trust worthy. Websites don’t have to be expensive either. You need to start by purchasing a domain name which start as little as a $1.00. Then find a service to host your domain and find a platform to build your website on. Some platforms are harder than others to build others on, but they usually come with templates to make things easier. You can also hire a web developer or agency to get your website off the ground if you feel you are not very technical and have the budget. Don’t forget to build into your website a place for a form people can contact you with. When you have a beautifully built website and an easily accessible contact form, it makes it easier for leads to contact you and to have the ability to farm their information.
8. Old Customers
Reach out to old customers if you haven’t heard from them in a while. You never know, someone who used you as a caterer 2 years ago for a Memorial Day bash may be thinking about throwing a Christmas party. They will appreciate that you thought of them, and they will prefer to work with someone who they trust instead of risking their event on something new. Remember that reaching out to an old customer that didn’t appreciate your business is not one to contact. Chance is, since you were not able to rectify the situation in their eyes means that you probably won’t be able to do it again.
Remember that it’s not enough to just collect the leads. It’s important you harvest your leads at whatever point they are in the sales cycle. Not all your leads will be ready to hire you as a caterer right off the bat. They may have loved what you featured on social media, and are only thinking about having an event soon. Whatever the scenario, it will be your job to stay fresh so you keep a steady flow of business.