Last week I learned about a caterer who had two sweet opportunities dropped in his lap through a referral. One was a wedding meal for 60; the other was the rehearsal dinner for 25.
He lost both opportunities because of poor email.
The bride to be is a friend of ours whom I'll call Annie. Annie contacted Mr. Caterer by email. In his reply to her first email, Mr. Caterer began by saying that he had had a busy weekend and was sorry for the delay in responding. He did not respond to most of her questions, and he made no congratulatory reference to her wedding. He said he would "hopefully put together something this evening and send you some information."
Mr. Caterer's next contact was an email about 24 hours later. He began by saying he had given Annie some incorrect information in his first email. Nevertheless, Annie liked the menu he proposed and replied that she wanted to hire him for the rehearsal dinner. She said she would call him the next day, and she invited him to call her if he wanted to talk sooner.
Apparently, they didn't connect by phone. Annie emailed Mr. Caterer asking a few questions, and he replied five days later. Once again he said, "Sorry for the delay." He went into unnecessary detail about how he paid his staff. Annie didn't need that information. Unfortunately, she didn't get the information she did need to feel confident about Mr. Caterer.
In the end, Annie decided Mr. Caterer was not a good fit for her wedding. His email presented him as late, casual, not focused on details, and not listening to his customer.
I am sorry Mr. Caterer couldn't communicate better in email. The chick pea salad, Spanish cheeses, Spanish olives, tortilla español, and sangria sounded wonderful.
Do you think Mr. Caterer's behavior is typical? Please share your experience.