Helping Hand Archive


These quick tips barely scratch the surface of important business sensibilities. For more details or help implementing these ideas in your company culture, contact us now!

To Improve Immediately

We suggest you complete the following sentences :

- I wish my CPA would….

- Due to the current economy our primary strategies for success are….

- The differences between my order takers and my proactive sales people are….

- I must rethink our company’s closing ratio expectations because….

- The most important decision I must make right now is….

Call me at 312-953-1102 this week to review!

What Six Key Attributes Do Top Sales Teams Have In Common?

High-performing sales organizations:

  •  employ a more structured sales process
  • hold their team members to a higher level of accountability and are quicker to terminate underperforming salespeople
  •  are not afraid to aggressively raise year-over-year revenue quotas
  • do not shy away from increasing prices nor do they pass on random discounts
  • place great importance on supporting their colleagues
  •  are passionate about great service

-adapted from Harvard Business Report


Employees are usually wrong when stating ‘There’s No Time’ for difficult things like proactive sales and taking inventories. A solution is to sit together and look 10-12 days forward on their calendars. Those days are almost always open -  so key activities can begin there. Be available to coach, teach and encourage your employees. - Adapted from popular podcast, Manager Tools

Also, schedule a few minutes so I may share more tips to such challenges. Thanks!

 Here’s How To Increase Net Profits 100%

“… Do Not expand your business, hire people, invest in inventory or open new locations. Instead, RAISE PRICES!

In a business doing 5% net on revenue, a 5% price increase nets a ONE HUNDRED PERCENT increase in profit …”

- JHW Business and Strategic Advisor, CEO Chief Executive Boards International, Terry Weaver

A company's success starts with the leadership style and behavior of the person in charge. Leaders must:

  • Set an example of stellar and consistent behavior.
  • Work to create a strong culture and a safe, stimulating work environment.
  • Compensate employees fairly and encourage a mutual trust.
  • Refuse to tolerate employees who fail to follow their leadership cues.

The Pen Is Sharper Than the Sword...

...And Often Sharper Than the Sales Pitch

Strong writing skills are key to distinguishing one professional from the next. Learn to customize your emails, proposals, and memos. Read your work out loud, get feedback, and you'll win over both clients and colleagues.

- Adapted from Jim Collins' Good To Great and Harvard Business Review

Great Leaders Inspire Rather Than Command

When talking with employees, don't make goals sound like dictates.

Instead, frame them as essential to the employee's success and as opportunities to reach meaningful targets.

- Adapted from Susan Fowler and Harvard Business Review

Internal Interaction ≥ Customer Service

How you treat your co-workers is as important as how you treat your clients:

  • Do your job well
  • Problem-solve together
  • Attitudes are contagious

Enjoy Some Time Off During the Holidays...

...But Don’t Relax For Too Long

Your sales team needs to stay ahead of your competitors. So jump right back into the fray and make your 2015 a great success!


Read more for specific strategies!

Take a lesson from the airlines!

This is busy season for many caterers and pricing should reflect that.

Save lowered prices and “signing bonuses” for the slow season.

High-demand dates should come at a premium.

Great caterers always outline and document.

Write down specific goals and track processes from start to finish. Make sure everyone knows who is responsible for what, why, how, and by when.


This is no easy task, but it’s essential for efficient execution and successful growth!

Business owners and executives: don’t let others stop you from taking the journey from good to great!


Employees may resist change at first.

Once you make your expectations and performance metrics clear, allow everyone time to vent.

Soon, emotions will dissipate and something new and spectacular can begin.


-Adapted from Good To Great by Jim Collins and

from Harvard Business Review

Do your clients choose you or do you choose your clients?

Remember: there is no “one size fits all” and it’s OK to disqualify Bad Fit Clients. Use your resources strategically by focusing on your premium customers.

Successful leaders are characterized by their ability to communicate clearly, to listen and learn, and to exchange information and ideas. The ability to communicate trumps talent, creativity, amiability, and a number of other attributes we hold dear.

Don't waste time on irrelevant things.

It doesn't matter how much you polish the underside of the banister!

The Keys to Developing a Winning Sales Team:

  • Ongoing education
  • Coaching
  • Leadership
  • Accountability

In the Sales process, many people are uncomfortable with "closing." Remember that you set the tone. Don't pressure a client to buy; rather, give them an opportunity to complete the sale.

Discounts and Price concessions are unreliable tools. If you sell on price, you'll lose on price. Offering a price-cut doesn't inspire trust. Clients are looking for a good value, but they don't imagine impressing their guests with "low low prices!"

Are you wasting your networking opportunities? Stop missing those valuable connections!


  • Plan your strategy in advance.
  • Network in the places where your target clients are.
  • Set quotas.
  • Perfect your 30-Second Elevator Speech.
  • Have an action plan to follow-up.

If your company is deciding whether or not to bid on an RFP, ask yourself:


  • Are your services compatible with the client’s needs?
  • Why do you really want the account?
  • What are the hidden costs?

And above all…


  • Does the account help your financial success?

The Week Between Christmas & New Year Is Prime Selling Time!   


Get on the phone and reach business owners (decision makers) directly.  The executive staffs of many businesses are in their offices during this week, working to get a jump start on the New Year. Therefore, they are accessible, have fewer pressing deadlines, and there are no gate keepers to hinder your sales efforts.

Be S.M.A.R.T!  


Success should begin with goals that are:


Specific – Measurable – Achievable – Relevant – Time Based

The First Six Steps To Success

  • A Unique and Powerful Mission
  • Passion
  • A Need to Please
  • Tireless Work Ethic
  • Absolute Determination to Excel
  • Courage and Honesty

Effective talking points will...

  • Support every aspect of your communication efforts
  • Safeguard against marketing missteps
  • Simplify the efforts of your sales team by appearing on printed materials and emails
  • Provide an important message to all throughout your company
  • Differentiate you from your competition

Prevent problems on event day by asking this question during the initial inquiry: “What has been your experience using off-premise caterers in the past?”


Discover each client’s hotspots. Are they looking for an abundance of food? Free-flowing liquor? Invisible service? This question helps you anticipate where a client will focus their attention.

When done right, a proposal is just a formalization of an already-done deal. Those who are most experienced don’t propose until a prospect is close to saying “YES!”

Part of effective sales is understanding what drives your client. Instead of just touting your company’s expertise, strategize how to address your client’s needs.

No sales system or software can replace the hard work of selling. Make sure that your sales tools do not take time away from your interactions with your clients.

If it isn’t written down, it doesn’t exist!


Strategies – accountabilities – processes – organizational alignment – business goals – employee performance – personal goals…


Write ‘em down to make ‘em real!

A proactive post-event strategy helps develop ongoing client trust and referrals. Begin with:

  • A next day client call to say "thank you" and to review event. For more involved events, schedule a debriefing meeting.
  • Call your venue contact and say "thank you."
  • Hand write "thank you" notes to the client, your venue contact, and all significant players.

Alongside revenue tracking, Activity-Based Tracking Works Wonders!


Those who routinely execute a number of activities (calls, prospect meetings, existing client touches, emails, etc.) put themselves in a position to increase opportunities!

Question: Are your proposals addressed directly to The "MAN"? Does your client have:

  • Money– Does the client have the available budget to buy at your company’s price point?
  • Authority – Does the client have buying power or is he simply a “recommender?”
  • Need – Does the client have a pressing need? Does he have a want or fear that needs a solution right away?


Regardless of the client's gender, salespeople should always make sure they're dealing with The MAN.

Too short on time? Need to increase productivity? Wishing you could add 15-20% to your work day? Some radical things to try:


  • Leave your cellular in the car. Make and take all calls strictly on your office phone.
  • Stay completely off-line unless researching a specific, client-related question.
  • Break the habit of responding to emails on cue. Instead, schedule 2-3 specific times daily to email.
  • Stop texting, chatting, or checking Facebook during business hours.

 The actions you take everyday are as important as the big picture goals.

Multi Tasking Leads to Multi Problems!

If you do two things at once, both efforts suffer:

  • Once you’re distracted, it can take up to 23 minutes to return to your original task.
  • It leads to increased frustration and stress.
  • It's an epidemic that hurts business
  • One solution is to shut off devices and use that oft-forgotten piece of office technology: the telephone.


These points are based on studies by Carnegie Mellon University (Jon’s alma mater), UC Irvine, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

A proactive post-event strategy is essential:

  • Call your client the next morning to say "thank you."
  • Send handwritten “Thank You” notes.
  • Generate a prompt and accurate final invoice.
  • Take care of your business: generate an event P&L, assess the client, and review your team’s performance.

 Essential Duties For Anyone In Sales:


Sales Teams must practice their techniques and

put them into action every single day.


Sales Directors must set big goals,

communicate expectations, and measure results.