Is your sales team ready to manage the pent-up desire to travel and meet face to face? Have you begun the training necessary to help your sales team deliver the results your property needs? Have you provided them with the sales tools they require to succeed in bringing group business back to your property?
If not, now is the time to set up your very own sales team “fight club” and provide them with new strategies and the training required for them to compete in these new times.
Use social media to educate your guests: Social media is both an efficient and a low-cost way to let your customers know how you are keeping them safe. Short informative videos of how your staff is working to keep guests safe can be effective. Or if you are in an exciting destination, try evocative posts with ideas of what guests would do first when they are able to visit. All of these create a sense of wonder and build the wanderlust that is growing among travelers.
Make sure your sales team knows where to sell: Your sales team should be mining your daily market segment and rate code reports to see who is traveling. Make sure travelers from your key accounts are welcomed and have everything they need. Great service now will lead to meetings when they emerge.
Think local for small meetings: Small groups have returned to the marketplace. This is a time when your team will need to focus on micro segments and not macro. Many of the companies in these segments may not have reopened their local offices. However, they have a need to meet face to face. Wouldn’t your hotel be ideal to fill that need?
Develop personalized messaging: Hard sales pitches are probably still a bit tone deaf. However, having a “we are here to help” message won’t go astray. For each type of outreach, your sales team should be armed with three tools:
- What to say if the customer answers the phone
- What to say in a voicemail
- What to say in an email
Each of these should be concise and meaningful and convey your venue’s value proposition. Purposeful messaging that piques the customer’s interest goes a long way in gaining trust and in turn opens the door for your sales team. While you might not like to “script” your staff, you will find having a basic guideline will help with consistent messaging and make your team come across more heartfelt than if they merely “wing” it.
Have people available: For the foreseeable future, booking windows likely will occur quickly. Make sure you have someone available during normal business hours to respond to inbound inquiries. Often meeting planners are calling and booking at the same time. Don’t miss an opportunity because there was no one available to check space and take a booking.
It likely will take more than a few rounds to get back into fighting shape. Dedicated sales teams view standing still as tantamount to fighting with their back to the ropes. The inability to travel and meet has most assuredly put a crimp in our sales strategies and left many of us feeling down for the count. But take heart, the end of this disruption will come, likely sooner than many of us think. And being in shape for the next round will position your sales teams to come out winners.
To become part of the Fight Club, don’t talk about it — that’s the first rule of the club. Schedule time with a Knowland meetings and events data expert today.