Whenever we receive an enquiry we always make sure we ‘qualify’ the enquiry in. We don’t want to waste prospective clients time and effort if our menu’s don’t suit, our costs don’t fit and we don’t have the date available. To make sure of this we always ask a number of pertinent questions, lets face it when someone enquiries about menu’s whether it is for an event, a party or a wedding, they roughly know what they want and at what cost. So beware the people who are deliberately vague. We have experienced 2 examples of this recently.
The first was a message via facebook from a lady asking what we charged to hire out our Vintage China and could we do Table Centrepieces etc? My reply was,… how much did she want, would she require coffee pots, tea pots, cake stands? Where was she based as we may need to include a delivery charge, where was the venue, and no we weren’t able to offer table centrepieces but a well known company we work with a lot (passed on the email and name) could. I emailed my contact who advised me that she had indeed received an email from the same woman asking if she could promote her range of vintage china through her company! The person in question has since opened a shop locally, an absolutely fantastic Vintage shop and Vintage China hire is a minimal part of what she does. She was simply carrying out market research prior to opening – not a bad thing to do, had I been aware of that I would have freely given costs, helped and advised. So honesty is always the best policy.
The second instance again happened today, when I met with a new wedding venue who we are talking to about putting packages together to offer a complete service with them. They took over a venue 8 months ago, which the previous owners ran as a conference and function suite … it did not succeed. They showed me the menu’s the previous owners had and guess what? yes, were our exact menu’s sent by me, to a lady who enquired. Again this lady was very vague about what she wanted and simply said “just send me everything you have got so I can decide what I want” – needless to say, she got the minimum and no price.
To the company I would say, it is not always easy to determine who is genuine and who is not, beware of sending prices and to the customers, if you do enquire, have an idea of what you want and you are far more likely to receive something specific to your needs. If you are on a ‘fact finding mission’ be honest and open. THE MORAL TO THIS TALE IS… IF YOUR COMPETITORS NEED TO STEAL YOUR IDEAS THEY WILL ALWAYS BE ONE STEP BEHIND YOU IN BUSINESS BECAUSE YOU WILL ALWAYS RE-INVENT – If you would like further information on our Hospitality Consultancy Services, please email is on firstname.lastname@example.org