Best Practices: Seller Advice from Tumbleweed's Steve Brooks  5/1/2015

As a veteran of almost 30 ECRM EPPS events, Tumbleweed Tex-Mex Grill and Margarita Bar director of purchasing, beverage development and IT Steve Brooks has sat in more than 1,000 one-on-one meetings with vendors, so he knows a thing or two about what goes into a successful meeting.

Here are some of Brooks’ tips for vendors attending ECRM events:
  • Check out menus. When you are planning to meet with a foodservice buyer, review their menu prior to getting together. See what we offer beforehand to make sure to focus on items that make sense for us. Don’t set up a meeting just to have one. If you are selling Indian food, for example, chances are that a Tex-Mex restaurant is not a good bet. Your 20 minutes may be better spent with another buyer.
  • Focus on the future: If you don’t have a product ready for me now, but may in the future, I want to meet you. We’re in this for the long haul and you should be, too – you never know when a change in our menu may help move the process forward more quickly. 
  • Customization works: If you can tailor your offerings to our menu, your chances of doing business with us rises significantly. For example, we met with a tequila vendor who demonstrated her knowledge of mixology by mixing a custom drink for our menu in the meeting room. She made it perfectly, and within three months we were buying their product. Three years later we are still doing business with them.

Joseph Tarnowski

VP Content

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