I found myself relaying the following analogy to one of our farm-to-table producers recently, and I thought other farmers and producers might find this example relevant and helpful in their quest to build a business selling to chefs and restaurants. – Andy Chapman, founder at Eat Y’all
It’s Important to Keep Calling
Consider the parent of three children under the age of three years old. Imagine the stress and sleeplessness of her season in life: keeping everyone fed and cared for with life logistics and a schedule that is often not in sync with the rest of the world.
You know that she needs to go out for coffee and take a break, reconnect, do the right thing for her. So, you call her, but she misses your call. You leave a short message. She doesn’t call back.
What happens next?
Do you care enough about your friendship and her mental health to call her back again? And again. And yes, again and again.
I hope so. Your empathy and pursuit of the relationship lets her know that you care and that this break is important for her. The repeated calls keep this important fact in the forefront of her awareness, making it feel less awkward when she does have the opportunity to respond.
The Moral of This Story
Now, think about your prospective restaurant and chef customers.
Almost every business owner has said to us at one time or another, “I called, but I haven’t heard back.”
What SHOULD happen next?
If you know that you have a product or ingredient that is superior and is possibly the best thing for that restaurant, then you should keep calling until you get an answer – yes or no.
If you CARE about the success of the restaurant and the reputation of the chef, you should keep calling.
If you want to stay on the forefront of the chef’s mind, so that when they have an opportunity to finally respond, it’s less awkward and your product comes to mind first, then you should keep calling.
Let me be clear: It is incumbent upon YOU to call them back. Again. And again. And again and again. This is NOT the moral responsibility of the chef or restaurant.
When you keep calling, it shows that you believe in your product. It shows your empathy that the chef may be stressed and tired and running an opposite schedule to the rest of the world. And it gives them confidence that you’ll be available to them when they’re ready to take action.
I hope that with this analogy and context in mind, you’ll feel confident that calling back again and again is simply the right thing to do.
Are you showing chefs that you care – or are you sitting around waiting for a call back that’s probably never going to happen?
>> Want to know more about selling your product to restaurants? Check out our e-book called “How to Sell to Restaurants” for 11 easy-to-implement ideas addressing how to sell your farm to table or artisan made ingredient to chefs.