Generating catering leads is an essential part of marketing and growing any kind of catering business. These leads are your potential customers, and you need to make sure you attract the right people and warm them up the right way to turn them into paying clients.
This can be tricky, as your target customers are faced with many different catering options and marketing messages. Your job is to make sure these people choose your business.
So, after generating leads, make sure you warm them up and convert them into customers as effectively as possible. Here are some of the best tips and tactics to help you achieve this.
How To Boost Your Catering Leads
Be Highly Visible
New catering leads may still be in the awareness stage. This is when they know they have a problem - in this case, requiring catering services for an upcoming event. However, they still need to put more planning and consideration into what kind of catering business they’re looking to work with.
This is when you want to make sure you make your catering business as visible to these leads as possible. You can achieve this by developing a strong organic presence online, targeting these leads with paid ads, and making sure your business is available to connect with them when they’re ready to move on to the next step.
Respond to Leads Efficiently
When you generate new catering leads, it’s important to reach out to them and respond efficiently. Make sure you open up the line of communication, and make it easy for any new catering clients to get in touch with your business.
This is typically achieved through automated emails, but you can also reach out to leads via phone calls, or any other communication methods your business prefers.
By quickly responding to leads, you show them that you value their interest and are there to answer any questions they have. This helps you develop a positive first impression, which is important for turning catering leads into catering sales.
Use Automated Email Workflows
There are two major advantages of doing this.
First, email workflows are triggered automatically, which means you don’t have to manually reach out to each potential catering client. This saves time and effort while ensuring each catering lead is properly nurtured.
Second, email automation helps you personalize communications with prospective clients. You could have different types of email sequences set up based on how you generate leads. For example, you could have a drip that talks about wedding catering for leads that sign up on your wedding pages, and an email sequence specially designed for your corporate client list.
Doing this means you send more relevant information to all catering sales leads, which boosts engagement and helps move your leads down the sales funnel faster.
Build Relationships With Your Leads
After you generate catering leads, focus on building lasting relationships with them.
You can do this by being genuinely interested in their needs, sharing relevant content with them, and keeping in touch via consistent communication.
Adding personalization to your lead nurturing strategy goes a long way. Using email automation (as mentioned above) is important for this. However, you can also personalize relationships with leads even more by using CRM software to monitor their interactions with your brand and reach out to qualified leads individually.
Showcase Your Portfolio
Potential catering clients will want to see what your catering company can do. When reaching out to leads, it’s always a good idea to share positive testimonials and reviews from previous clients. Include photos, and possibly videos, of successful events you’ve done in the past.
This helps to build trust and shows your catering leads what your business is capable of doing.
Of course, this is more effective if you personalize the testimonials and portfolio display to match the kind of events your leads are interested in.
Depending on your catering company, it could also be a good idea to offer tastings to qualified leads. Let them taste and experience the quality of your food and catering services, which can be an effective strategy for converting your catering sales leads.
Highlight Your Unique Selling Point
Make sure that every prospective client understands what makes your catering business unique. This is key when generating leads, but emphasizing your unique selling point (USP) is also key for nurturing and converting leads.
This involves understanding your competition, understanding your target audience’s pain points, and making it clear how your business offers a unique solution to your clients.
Be Transparent About Pricing
When it comes to event management and catering, pricing can often be a tricky topic. This is because so many events follow a custom pricing plan.
However your venue or business manages its pricing, it's important to make this clear and transparent to your catering leads. Provide a detailed breakdown of all your costs, and make sure leads understand the different packages and budgets that your business caters to.
As price is such an important factor for catering clients, making your pricing transparent can go a long way in turning new leads into customers.
Consider Partnerships and Collaborations
One of the best ways to generate more leads and discover local customers is to partner up with relevant businesses - like event planners and other professionals in the events industry. This can help your catering business generate a lot of word-of-mouth referrals - which is incredibly powerful for your marketing strategy.
So not only will this help you generate more leads, but it can also help you get plenty of repeat business from event professionals in your area.
Share Engaging Content
You’ll want to keep your catering leads consistently engaged and interested in your business. This is where publishing valuable content is so important.
Use your blog, social media channels, and website to publish useful content for your leads. This content can help answer their questions, inspire them, and move them down your sales pipeline.
The right kind of valuable content is key to attracting and retaining high-quality leads.
If you have catering leads that are stuck in the sales process, consider reaching out to them with special deals, incentives, or discounts. This could encourage leads to book your catering services instead of the competition.
Focus on Retention
After you’ve converted your leads into catering clients, their relationship with your business shouldn't end. Staying in touch with existing customers and keeping them engaged with content and personalized offers can be highly valuable.
It can cost up to five times more to sell to new customers compared to your existing ones. So, by focusing on retention, you can get a lot more value from all of your corporate catering clients.
Follow the strategies above, and you’ll be in a far better position to turn your catering leads into clients. Once you get this process down, you’ll see just how much easier growing your catering and events business becomes.
You’ll also want to use the right event management software to help you keep your venue managed, and provide great client experiences. Perfect Venue offers all the tools you need to do this in one platform. Try it for free to see how it can work for your business.