Kevin Price, Host of the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Kate Edwards. Here’s that interview
About the interviewee
My name is Kate Edwards (email@example.com) and I am the owner of a successful hospitality consulting and executive coaching firm based in New York City (http://kateedwardsconsulting.com). Throughout my 28-year career I have worked with the very best: Balthazar, Per Se, Le Cirque, The Plaza Hotel, The Viceroy Anguilla, Nutri System, Rabobank and ?What If! Innovation, among others. I have developed concepts ranging from small quick-serve restaurants to luxury resorts and to 3 Michelin star-awarded properties and have coached entrepreneurs and C-level leaders in a variety of service-based companies.
Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.).
My company is based in NYC and is focused on the hospitality industry as well as other service-based companies. My business offers 4 different areas of expertise: concept development (or concept revitalization), development of service systems, training of those systems and executive coaching. I work with businesses that are just starting out as well as those that need revitalization. In my coaching practice I work mainly with Entrepreneurs and CEO-level leaders to develop their “leadership brand”, help them to define their vision and improve management skills. I have worked with leaders in order to help them add new businesses to their profile and even to close businesses that are no longer performing.
Mine is a small business, there are just two of us. I hire outside contractors depending on the project, often when I am conducting a restaurant or hotel opening.
What type and size of companies do you have as clients?
I have a varied clientele. I work with many entrepreneurs on their first business or even their tenth (Le Cirque, Brooklyn Fare, Vien, Rosemary’s). I also work with many large global companies both in the hospitality sector (Viceroy Hotel Group, Fairmont Hotels, Jumeirah Hotels) and in other areas (Rabobank, Nutrisystem, ?What If! Innovation).
What comes to mind when you see this topic?
Relationships are at the heart of what I do everyday! It is the backbone of my business: my relationships fuel my client and referral list and keep me informed and connected to many worlds.
What are the best practices when it comes to this issue?
My entire strategy is to reach out to people, with warmth and authenticity, in order to identify connections that we already share. Whenever I meet someone new, I always follow up by sending a light and friendly email. I like to reference possible things in common, ie: “since you worked at xyz place in 2004 I’m sure we know many of the same people!” And just keep the tone inviting, warm and friendly.
I believe that not every conversation should be about business and that the more elemental “get to know you” connections are the ones that people will remember most. This is the approach that makes my emails easy to respond to as it is a soft touch, not a hard sale. The natural leap is that if I am this easy to talk to and connect with then I will be great to work with.