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Catering, Food Handling and Awareness *OnTopic* Forum to educate us on safe food handling. Not specifically for Catering or competition but overall health and keeping our families safe too.


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Unread 02-21-2010, 07:14 AM   #1
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Default Calling client about a contract

Starting out catering this spring, I have a client that anted to lock a menu and date for our services. We agreed on the menu and the price and I told him I would send the contract to him and to sign it and send a check for $250 and the date was his. All sounded good and happy when I hung up the phone but I sent the contract by mail on Feb 11 and I have not gotten it back in the mail yet.

My question is what is an appropriate amount of time to wait before giving him a call and making sure he got it and see if there is a problem? The Monday after I sent it was a holiday (no mail) and the postal service has been slowed by all the snow we have gotten.
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Unread 02-21-2010, 08:04 AM   #2
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What was the agreed date for the event? It's been over a week, I don't think that a call to just say hello (if you get my drift) would hurt anything. Do you have a specific time that the deposit and contract must be returned prior to the event?
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Unread 02-21-2010, 08:58 AM   #3
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No contract and I can book another event. I make that clear up front. Usually the client says I'll get it back to you by X date.

But it's only been a week that it's been in their hands. I'd say wait until next Monday. Now if it's a date in March then that's different. Call Monday.
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Unread 02-21-2010, 09:30 AM   #4
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It's a May date, I have have told him the date is open to anyone until I have a deposit and signed contract in my hand. I took it to the post office the afternoon of Thursday Feb. 11 which means it probably shipped out on the 12th then post office was closed Monday the 15th so he probably got it Tuesday the 16th. So if he looked at it a day or two and then sent it back I may not have it till early next week sometime.

I'll give it until next Monday to give him a call and see if there is a problem. I would hate to think he sent it off last week thinking I have it and I don't.
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Unread 02-21-2010, 09:40 AM   #5
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When we send a contract like this, we specify a date that the deposit and contract need to be back by - All spelled out in the email. If we don't receive by the requested date, we call to see if there has been a change in plans, etc.
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Unread 02-23-2010, 05:34 AM   #6
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For anything that I want to track I use delivery confirmation on a priority mail envelope or a box (first class or parcel post), for the extra couple of bucks and the time to take it to the USPS, it takes all the concern out of the process, at least that way you have a clue when it was delivered, and you can always include that in the price somewhere.
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Unread 02-23-2010, 08:18 AM   #7
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It has been roughly 10 days, I would not get to anxious. If you want to call and ask if he had any questions, but I think at least three weeks until you need to call and ask if he is sending it back.
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Unread 02-27-2010, 01:41 PM   #8
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Well I was going to wait until this Monday and call to see if the client had a change of plans and I opened the mail today and I have the signed contract and deposit.

So this is my first official paid event! I have several that in talks about certain dates but this is my first contract. WOW I can wait for this snow to clear out so I can get to it.

Thanks again

Ruben
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Unread 02-27-2010, 03:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HogBack Mtn Comp BBQ Team View Post
Well I was going to wait until this Monday and call to see if the client had a change of plans and I opened the mail today and I have the signed contract and deposit.

So this is my first official paid event! I have several that in talks about certain dates but this is my first contract. WOW I can wait for this snow to clear out so I can get to it.

Thanks again

Ruben
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Unread 02-27-2010, 03:55 PM   #10
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This is sales. Most people are not good sales people and have tendency to put off contacting their potential clients.

I train sales people for a living. And my expectation would be to call the people the day I expect the contract to arrive in the mail, should I be mailing it.

No waiting...never ever wait...

Always be closing....
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Unread 02-28-2010, 10:39 PM   #11
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i am in the same Boat and the Party in March 13 for 80... i am also trying to figure out how to ask about the contract or send a reminder email... i really don't want to get it her deposit last min
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Unread 02-28-2010, 11:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ Grail View Post
This is sales. Most people are not good sales people and have tendency to put off contacting their potential clients.

I train sales people for a living. And my expectation would be to call the people the day I expect the contract to arrive in the mail, should I be mailing it.

No waiting...never ever wait...

Always be closing....
There is a method of sales, that stresses getting your prospect to a "no". This gives you a couple of ways to go.

You can use a "no" as a way to continue in the "sales cycle" and uncover what the real issue is (Money, time, resources, etc), and then propose an alternate solution (Solution in catering does not equal lowering price IMHO).

Personally, I use a "no" as a way to move on to the next prospective customer, and not worry about what I might have missed. If I can't meet their request, or the date isn't available, I concentrate on what I can do, and make money doing.

Apologize - channeling my old corporate life (lol).
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