It only takes one poorly constructed email to blow your chances at securing a £3000 to £5000 or more catered event. It’s important that your response to prospective customers is not only timely but professional.

To make your response timely, consider this. You have just spoken with an excited company who think that you could be the perfect fit for them. To be timely, get that email out to them within 2 hours. If you wait 24 hours to respond, you could have lost the deal.

What should you write in the follow-up message? Keep in mind that this might be the only opportunity you have to set yourself apart from the competition. Any materials that you send should be crisp, clean and updated. They should also be easy to download and access.

Restaurant Tips: How to Secure Your Catered Event Every Time

Excellent images are a must. If your photos are of poor quality, then you’ll immediately be mentally put into the ‘low quality food’ category. Whatever you send should not be too long and easy to read. Do not refer people to your website for information. Your client may not be computer-savvy and you may lose them at this point because it’s too much hassle for them.

If you really do want to impress, then go the extra mile. Courier printed materials to them the next day and send over a sample of your food. If you really truly want this event, then go for it and set yourself up for success.

It’s most likely that your competitors aren’t taking those extra steps to impress by sending printed information to them. If you do decide to send food, then make it simple but very well presented. For example, you might want to send over some cookies with a branded label and pretty ribbon tied around the top of the cellophane bag. You can show your style and give them a fun treat at the same time.

Don’t send over anything that will look or get messy, or will get cold and spill on the way over. No Styrofoam and no plastic trays.

Whatever you decide to send, accompany it with a handwritten note telling them that you were glad that you could speak with them and that you look forward to setting up a meeting soon. You can follow this up with an email within 24 hours to set up the meeting. A handwritten note these days has plenty of value compared to an email.

Another idea that some companies do is to send an introduction video. It ‘shows off’ the company and your clients will take notice of it.

By going all out you could win yourself that catered event that keeps your business thriving.