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7 Mistakes Hospitality Sales Executives Make

...with a reduced sales team

MISTAKE #2 No Courting

Would you marry a guy who never sent you flowers and chocolates?

In-bound sales calls are almost like a cash register ringing. The Hospitality Sales Executive (HSE) has the opportunity to set themselves apart by answering the phone, being alert and attentive. This is the time to be a matchmaker with the planner, not a data dumper. HSE, think of it as a first date, talk about the planner, engage them in a conversation, you want to make a great first impression.

Chances are the planner has been to your website, the website of your competitive set and the website of every city in your competitive set. They know about your rates, amenities, COVID-19 policy, if you have a shuttle, distance from the airport and food and beverage options in a 3-mile radius. Most hotels offer a complimentary breakfast, are pet friendly, have a pool and work-out room and shuttle to the airport.

  • Learn about them, what is the planner’s fantasy date? Talk about the implied needs and talk about the Meeting Professional.
  • Address only the topics the planner brings up, if the planner does not ask about the spa or golf course, there is no need to talk about it. Talk about your largest revenue generator, your guest room. What will the guest, the planner’s client, experience once they walk into the guest room?
  • Ask the planner —
    • “May I describe the guest rooms to be certain we are a fit for what you are looking for?”
    • Is it going to be the brand the planner and participants have come to expect, familiar amenities, good lighting, ample working space with lots of plug-ins at desk level for devices? Allowing the meeting professional and participants to embrace the space.
    • Ask, “Will this work for you?”

Are you a luxury resort property? Say to the planner, “Would it be alright to describe the guest room experience? I want to be sure I am meeting your needs and the expectations of your participants. Will the guest walk in the room to 1000 count sheets, incredible views, soaking tubs with TV in the bathroom, shoes returned polished in the next day, and muffins and juice in the gym?”

HSE, this is the time to use your wild card, describe an exceptional area on your property that would showcase a rare view and be a match for the opening reception. HSE, say, “I just thought of the perfect alcove for your opening reception, would it be alright if I described it to you? I know it is exactly what you are looking for! Would this work?” A Meeting Professional would not be able to find that rare function space on the website.

Discuss the meeting space: Are there windows, built-in sound, screen, close to the restrooms, all on one floor and neutral tones? This is where the Meeting Professional will use their site selection checklist to collect data. Where will I feed everyone, where will I have my general session and finally where will I be able to showcase my sponsors and exhibitors? HSE say, let me describe our meeting space, I want to be certain it works for you!

HSE, your job is to make it the perfect match for what the Meeting Planner is seeking.

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