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2022 Best Practices Survey Results

Lynne Wellish
CMP, CHSE

LoriAnn Harnish
CMP, CMM, CED

2022 Building Better Relationships
in Today’s Fluid Marketplace

Survey • Responses

Observations & Recommendation

The Survey

2022 Building Better Relationships in Today’s Fluid Marketplace

Survey • Responses

Observations & Recommendation

The Survey

As the hospitality marketplace is in flux, there is one constant: salespeople continually negotiate and navigate these changes. We surveyed our sales networks about the current trends they see and challenges they have throughout the sales process to provide up to the minute helpful advice.

We will discuss the common themes and experiences that respondents encountered and make recommendations on new Best Practices.

The four questions we asked in our survey:

  1. What kind of salesperson are you today as compared to a year ago?
  2. What do you see as the biggest challenge in responding to inquiries?
  3. What’s your biggest obstacle while adding new clients?
  4. What was the biggest hurdle in contract negotiations?

We are happy to share the responses today compared to a year ago indicate that salespeople are feeling positive and optimistic, they are truly ready for customers. As a bonus, they feel they are more personable and better in their roles overall.

While the last two years have been “tough” for the hospitality industry the good news here is that salespeople feel positive and optimistic and that they are more personable and better at their jobs now than a year ago.

The Responses

The Responses

Positive Changes

  • More personable approach and understanding of how to navigate the current climate and COVID-19 requirements
  • Improved sales skills overall and are more optimistic in booking business
  • No barriers or obstacles when it comes to growing client list or negotiating contracts

Relationship Building

  • Willing to spend time building relationships and seeking aligned clients
  • Employing people skills to work within shorter timeframes and smaller budgets
  • Transitioned from reactivity to proactivity, particularly as it pertains to maintaining relationships and earned trust of clients
  • Communication has transitioned to email and away from verbal communication or in-person meetings
  • Building capabilities to respond to inquiries in a faster manner, clients are becoming increasingly time sensitive
  • Increased emphasis on contracts and conditions with COVID-19 making it difficult to predict and navigate potential cancellations

Resources

  • Challenges arise with delayed responses and inquiries which are more general in nature
  • Pressure on resources as calendars are becoming increasingly full
  • Client budgets and expectations don’t match the value provided
  • The need to move towards more digital resources as manual processes including credit cards, estimates and contracts are now inconvenient

Job Performance

  • Increase in diligence and determination to close sales
  • Realizing and adjusting to the time investment required to respond to all inquiries
  • The need for creativity to ensure potential client replies and increased communication

Professional Knowledge and Skills

  • Higher focus on problem solving and negotiating skills
  • Spending the time to go through processes thoroughly
  • “Soft” skills like patience and understanding are more valuable in client and supplier communication
  • Lean staffing levels pose a challenge

Values, Perceptions, and Thoughts

  • Overall feeling more hopeful as to the current and future state of the industry
  • Increased need to balance flexibility with forward planning as event calendar fills
  • New entrants into event positions sometimes mean communicating with less experienced potential clients and contacts, requires thoughtfulness and patience
  • Finding creative ways to understand a potential client’s vision for an event via written forms of communication, previously was easier via in-person meetings or phone calls

Flexibility and Adaptability

  • More in tune with the need to pivot and provide virtual content and services
  • Clients require more consultation to understand needs and move towards being ready to book
  • Shifted from administration to the need for marketing with the increasing need to identify buyer audiences, purchasing habits, preferences, and unique needs
  • Determining the best practices to qualify leads for best use of time and resources
  • Adapting to the short-term nature of more opportunities compared to last year
  • Still navigating how to be flexible and adaptive during COVID-19 times and potential last-minute cancellations

Intuitiveness and Awareness

  • Sales professionals are realizing they are now more cautious while others are experiencing frustration, and for some they have learned to become patient

Observations & Recommendations

Observations & Recommendations

Given the responses to this year’s survey, we have revised our recommendations to remedy some of the challenges and issues.

All themes explored in the survey play an important role in each person’s development as they reassess their skills to move forward effectively. A noteworthy observation is that goals are shorter than they have ever been before and that the market and environment have truly changed.

Contract negotiations are becoming more tedious making salespeople stressed as clients strive to cover every little detail, particularly as it pertains to COVID-19 regulations. This has meant that contracts take longer to finalize. We highly recommend ongoing contract reviews for both sides to identify realistic terms and conditions with a quarterly review before negotiations are final.

When it comes to building better relationships, flexibility and adaptability are key skills that require continuous improvement to have the ability to fulfil each client’s specific needs on an ongoing basis; this will be a major factor in negotiations and successfully securing business.

If you’re interested in learning more about securing and growing your business in these new economic times, please feel free to get in touch with me at Lynne@lynnewellish.com , I am more than happy to chat with you about how I can help.

As a sales activator, Marketing and Business Development Specialist, Lynne Wellish, helps unique boutique businesses in the hospitality industry who have no time or staff for business development or marketing. Like a magic wand, Lynne acts as a seamless extension of your team producing the results you desire.

Watch her at https://www.lynnewellish.com/about-the-team/#media

You can contact her at Lynne@LynneWellish.com 
602-628-7026 www.LynneWellish.com