When your client asks if you can do it cheaper


World-class customer service arts advice and training for restaurant and hotel owners and managers plus servers — for over 25 years.  


Last week, I received an email from a corporate cog of a high-end hotel asking about my fees and services. She started by telling me she heard great things and wanted to incorporate my sales and showmanship philosophies into their corporate culture. I was flattered!


The company wanted me to create a custom standard operating procedure and conduct a workshop for 150 people over the course of five days. The goal: is for their people to learn how to provide a more intuitive service to increase sales and profits. That’s right up my alley.


But this is big, requiring a lot of planning, people, and resources. I went to the lab and consulted with my team for the right solution. And we found it. Today was the follow-up call…


I not only offered the right solution that would increase their sales by 10 to 30% over the next 90 days and beyond, but my fee also included three more visits from me over the next nine months to ensure their front-line service workers stay on task.


I also guaranteed the result by offering to keep my fee in escrow with the attorney of their choice until we hit the target. Yup! Read that line again.


(that’s something I will occasionally do for much larger projects, especially when other properties are on the horizon).


The call was going well until I was asked to lower my price. At first, I went with it and started making concessions to the fees, which also came with making concessions to the material I could offer. One goes with the other. The moment I realized the new program based on a much lower fee would be less effective for their people, I paused, chuckled, and said,


“You know what, I’m sorry, but I have changed my mind…this won’t work.”


What’s my point: if you know you won’t be able to provide a wow service for the customer based on concessions you make to make it work for bean counters, then it’s best to walk away. Provide the best.


Know your value. And stick to it!





PS to learn how I can help you increase your sales and your profits click here now.


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About Me

Eric Valdivieso has over 25 years of sales and showmanship experience, including 5 years of film and theatre training and 9 years of table service, in high-paced and competitive environments. 

He helps restaurant and hotel owners and managers cultivate experiences that people talk about, and seek out. 

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Jonathan Tisch

CEO Loews Hotels & Co-Owner of the New York Giants

“Over the last few years, my family and I have had the pleasure to watch and enjoy, as Eric Valdivieso, nightly deliver a dining experience that is truly enjoyable. From the moment that we are welcomed by Eric at the door, to sitting at the bar and enjoying the suggestions and company to an amazing dinner, it is always one of our favorite nights. And Eric graciously and seamlessly choreographs this entire experience, without breaking a sweat. Eric truly understands hospitality, and what makes a great restaurant so great.”