Food tastings are a great opportunity to drive a sale to close. Use them as a chance to get in front of the decision maker and highlight the quality of your products. Some sales prospects may also require a tasting to see the food before making a commitment.
How to make a food tasting successful
A tasting usually lasts 60 minutes. Plan to arrive 10 minutes early to set up, as when the prospect arrives they’ll be ready to get started.
- Before the meet, get prepared. Cut everything into sample sized bites. Pack utensils, napkins, sample cups and any marketing materials you wish to leave behind.
- Check in at the front desk and meet with your contact so you can get escorted to the meeting room.
- Heat up any food that should be served warm. Organize entrees, salads, drinks and snacks in the sized cups. DON’T throw away all the food packages. Make sure you lay the packages beside their corresponding product samples so people can look at the different brands and the nutrition facts for each. Just lay one to two packages per product (depending on the size of your audience) so the table looks organized.
- Be sure to greet and introduce yourself to the decision maker and the rest of the attendees at the tasting.
- Now that you have everything set: start with introductions to understand who is in the room, then walk through the sales deck. Be prepared to answer questions.
- Leave behind any food and encourage the prospect to share with other employees.
- Once you are done, pack up everything, wash dishes and clean any spills to leave the meeting room just as you found it.
Take notes of what products your attendees liked or disliked to inform how you stock your store. This information will help you determine their first food mix when you close the deal. That way the items they receive on their 1st food delivery will be the ones they will enjoy!
Be sure you have everything you need beforehand:
- Business cards
- Insulated bin or bag and ice
- Knife and cutting board
- Plates, sample cups, cutlery, and napkins
- Your best fresh food products
Follow up promptly after the tasting
It is important to follow up after the tasting with your contact. The information you send will depend on the stage of your deal, but it’s always good to (re)send the proposal, list of food that was sampled, and answers to any questions asked during the tasting.
When not to offer a tasting:
Tastings require a lot of time and effort. There may be instances where it is not warranted, such as:
- If you don’t have enough qualifying information about the company or they don’t meet your ideal client profile.
- If the company has no budget for food onsite or not enough employees in the office.
- If your contact does not plan to invite the decision maker to the tasting or involve him/her in some way.