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Career Story: Sales Executive In Catering

Sales Executive In Catering

Job Title: Sales Executive In Catering

Education: BFA in Interior Architecture, CU Denver

Previous Experience: I have extensive experiance in Telecommunications sales and the basic sales training that I recieved over the years has tought be the skills that I use everyday. I moved into Catering as it is a family business, however the sales process, while more simple from a product perspective, is similar.

Job Tasks: My company is a corporate catering company focusing on breakfast, lunch and dinner for the executive group. We do not focus on the wedding or social party business. I call upon office administrators who are in charge of ordering food for client meetings, trainings, executive lunches, etc. I spend at least four hours a day on the phone with prospective and repeat clients. I ask them how often they bring in food from catering companies, what kind of food they bring in and for how many. I attempt to establish if we would be a good fit for thier needs and learn how they do their business - as it relates to me. For example: they order in lunch everyday and have frequent breakfast meetings - this is a good prospect. Companies that run regular training classes are good clients for me. I call these companies at least once a week, frequently more.

Call backs to clients is also important. I call back to those who have tried our food for the first time, touch base with those who I have not talked to recently as well as call those who have not ordered in a few weeks in order to make sure there is not a problem.

The other part of my day consists of writting orders, assisting in database management, and some marketing. I do not travel.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the food! It is a fun thing to talk about. The worst part is when we mess up. It really puts people - my contacts - the ones that do the ordering in a terrific jam. And unfortunately, in every business there are mess-ups.

Job Tips: I suggest working for a larger organization with good sales training as a start. While this is primarily a relationship sale there are times when knowing how to handle objections and ask the hard questions are necessary skills. Start by being the small fish in a large pond - there will be successfull people to emulate and examples of what not to do.

Additional Thoughts: Catering is typically a very unprofessional business. Pick the company very carefully. A good chef does not necessarily make a good business manager.

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