Twenty-four degrees Fahrenheit at 1am. Each warm breath billows into the deathly cold air like smoke from a vape pen. The trash cans I must man-handle into the dumpster drip the night’s garbage water all over my polyester busboy’s shirt; a stench impossible to totally remove with even multiple washings.
Riding home with the car heater blasted to stay warm just magnifies the putrid smell. I am too tired from my busy shift to even care.
Some of you may think that my first job at sixteen bussing tables and washing dishes would be the dirtiest job in your restaurant.
I respectfully disagree.
What is the Dirtiest Job in Most Companies?
Last Thursday night, I was invited for a private dinner with my good friend and marketing guru to the IT industry, Robin Robins, one of her clients, and Mike Rowe, The Dirty Jobs guy.
We had dinner with Mike to discuss his keynote to Robin’s 1,000+ IT Sales & Marketing Boot Camp attendees.
He regaled us with stories of his beginnings as an opera singer in Baltimore, how he got his start as a graveyard host on QVC and the transition to the Dirty Jobs guy.
We even discussed his mission to bring back and make popular the need for a greater emphasis on trade schools. I happen to strongly agree with him on this.
There is a stigma associated with not going to college and getting a degree. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Many graduates of trade programs go on to make much higher salaries than their college graduate contemporaries with far less debt.
The big takeaway for me was what Mike considered to be the dirtiest job in most companies: sales.
How To Be Successful in Catering Sales
It is true. Most of you can do any position in your restaurant or catering business with great proficiency. You are ready, willing and able to jump in with a moment’s notice to save the shift.
But the thought of having to physically go out and sell leaves you feeling as vulnerable as being butt naked in the middle of Times Square during rush hour.
Even my son, who has sales experience with Cutco, has a skewed stereotype of selling. I have been advising him on summer internships and possible career paths when he graduates from Vanderbilt next May.
I suggested a career in sales: high earning potential and a lot of freedom.
His response to me: “I’m not an extrovert. I am not a talker.”
Today’s successful salesperson is not the fast-talking, slick salesman selling used cars and aluminum siding from years gone by.
To be successful in sales today, you must be a great listener. You must be more interested than interesting. Your goal is to uncover the needs and wants of your prospect.
The heart of a consultant wins the sale. Authenticity is what is craved from the buyer in today’s digital age of fake news and B.S.
Me, I don’t believe sales is dirty. I believe it is the noblest of professions. Each and every day I get to help caterers grow. They learn how to move the sales needle to reach financial goals for their families.
My sales efforts benefit my team members, my vendors and their families.
Today is the day to clean your mind of the dirty job of selling. Done properly, it is pure.
We have created the catering Sales Tempo system to make it easy for you. Even done half-way, you’ll get qualified catering decision makers seeking you out.
Today is the day to trade your spatula for sales. I promise with focus you’ll clean up!
Learn Sales Secrets from Other Restaurants that Cater
Let me encourage you to a join our new Facebook group I created for our industry: Restaurants That Cater. It is open to clients and non-clients alike. Please post your successes and challenges and share your knowledge with our community.
There are groups and associations for caterers and for restaurants, but none for restaurants that cater…a very important group that is grossly underrepresented.
We have built a large following with some great posts and answers. This is a no-brainer resource if you cater from your restaurant.
Click on the link below and request to join:
Please pass on this link to your colleagues and co-workers in the industry. The more of us, the better!