Carol Verret Consulting 
and Training
Consulting
Training Seminars
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Hate Cold Calls? - Discover the
New Paradigm of Hotel Sales
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by Carol Verret, January 2006 

There is a huge difference in ‘pushing’ a product to new business prospects and ‘pulling’ or attracting new business to the hotel. The sales paradigm is shifting – not just in hotel sales but also in terms of the sales processes in most industries. 

The ‘cold call’, in person or on the phone, is pretty much dead -- no one misses it much. Anyone who is still using directories that begin with the letter A and end with total frustration know exactly what a waste of time it is. Many potentially talented hotel sales people have been totally burned out by this method because the ROI is simply not there. 

Potential clients check us out on the internet before they ever make contact with us. They receive industry newsletters and belong to organizations that discuss hotel experiences, both group and transient. People talk to other people in their positions in other organizations before they talk to you. These people are influencers who can make or break you. 

Our potential clients also access the travel review sites. They know the difference between trivial problems and major issues – they are sophisticated enough to make judgments based upon the specifics in the online reviews. Do you know what the reviews say about your property?

How can you ‘attract’ a potential new business prospect to you and the hotel? It all begins with image, presence and reputation – both the hotel and the sales person. 

  • The Web Site. Put yourself in the client’s perspective. Are you easy to find on the search engines, do you have a presence in key word searches? On the meetings and conventions page, is there a call to action? Does the list of key contacts have pictures and a brief profile of each sales person for each market segment? This is the age of communities, think MySpace, where people are more comfortable contacting people they feel they know. For that matter, does the GM have a picture and profile? (The profiles should not include info on the person’s family or the dog!)
  • Testimonials. The positive reviews you get on guest comment cards or in post convention surveys should become an integral part of all marketing initiatives. Ask permission to use names and organizations – these become a third party reference that resonates with potential clients. These should be on the web site, electronic sales kits (you do have electronic sales kits and brochures, don’t you?), one should appear on all correspondence, electronic and traditional as well as embedded in all presentations.
  • Become a Resource. Become a resource to your clients in terms of the lodging industry and how trends in the lodging industry might affect them in terms of impacting their travel or meeting planning. Offer to talk about the local industry to meetings and associations of people in your market segment. This cannot be commercial for the hotel. Everyone belongs to the obvious meeting planner organizations, you know what they are and they are a wonderful resource. However, there’s a lot of competition in those – seek out business organizations in your market segment and become a resource for them. Even if the planners themselves do not attend the meeting, let them know what you are doing and seek out others from their company or organization at the meeting.
  • Develop a Blog. Create a community with your clients and potential clients by developing a monthly or quarterly blog. Sales people are always looking for ways to stay in touch with their contacts without annoying them with ‘Hi, how are you?’ It’s incredibly easy to do and you can send the link to all of your contacts when you add new stuff to the blog. Again, leave out the family and the dog!
  • Develop ‘Attractive’ Electronic Communication. Cold calls may be dead but an attractive email approach with the WIIFM of your potential client in mind is alive and can be awesome. Give them value in the form of information that is useful to them and let them know that you have researched their business by approaching them with insightful references to their special requirements. 
There are many other aspects to this ‘attractive’ business development paradigm and not enough space to detail it all in this article. Stay tuned for more. This is creative selling at its best – it’s fun and a whole lot less frustrating than the directories that begin with A.
 



Carol Verret And Associates Consulting and Training offers training services and consulting in the areas of sales, revenue management and customer service primarily but not exclusively to the hospitality industry. To find out more about the company click on www.carolverret.com. To contact Carol send her an email at carol@carolverret.com or she can be reached by cell phone (303) 618-4065.

copyright © Carol Verret, 2002-2003 -2004 -2005 - 2006


 
Contact:
Carol Verret, Consulting and Training
Carol Verret
5910 S. University #C-18, PMB 374
Greenwood Village, CO 80121
Telephone: (303) 618-4065
carol@carolverret.com
Web Site: http://www.carolverret.com/
Email: carol@carolverret.com
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Also See: Issues in Hotel Sales Training - Metics for Success / Carol Verret / December 2006
Is the Party Over?; The Challenge of Decreasing Hotel Room Demand / Carol Verret / October 2006
The Habits of Highly Successful Hotel Sales People Ramp Up for 2006! / Carol Verret / September 2006
Identifying the WIIFM Factor – The Essential of Hotel Sales Success / Carol Verret / August 2006
Revenue Management for Hotel GMs – What You Don’t Know Can Jump Up and Bite You! / Carol Verret / July 2006
Feeding the Revenue Elephant; Hotel Revenue Management / Summer 2006 
The "Tipping Point" - Identifying the Touch Points in Hotel Sales / Carol Verret / May 2006
The "Tipping Point" - Touch Points Make a Difference in Customer Service Training / Carol Verret / April 2006
Selling Up! Taking Group Room Revenue to a New Level / Carol Verret / February 2006
Revenue Management 2006; The Risks and Rewards / Carol Verret /January 2006 
Revenue Management and Group Sales - The Partnership Not the Disconnect / Carol Verret / November 2005
Habits of Highly Successful Hotel Sales People / Carol Verret / September 2005
Triple Witching Hour - The Marketing Plan, Revenue Management Strategy and RFPs for '06 / Carol Verret / August 2005
"Smile" is a Learned Behavior - Creating a Culture of Customer Service / Carol Verret / July 2005
Revenue Management Systems -- Considerations for Evaluation / Carol Verret / June 2005
Disconnect -- Aligning the Revenue Management and Sales Strategies / Carol Verret / May 2005
Independent Hotels & Resorts; Ride the Wave or Float with the Tide? / Carol Verret / March 2005
Hospitality Sales Training Companies Reach Across the Competitive Playing Field to Combine Live Seminar Expertise with  the Convenience of the Internet / Carol Verret / January 2005
Revenue Management - The Challenge for Hotel Sales / Carol Verret / January 2005
Hotel Sales Departments -- Issues in Processes and Functionality / Carol Verret / November 2004
The GM'S Role in Revenue Management / Carol Verret / October 2004
Transforming the Hotel Sales Organization; Alignment with the New Realities of Sales / Carol Verret / August 2004
The Revenue Management Strategy - The Pre-Plan Marketing Plan / Carol Verret / July 2004
Hotel Revenue Management this Summer - a Game of Skill, Art and Most of All Nerves / Carol Verett / May 2004
What Do Meeting Planners Want? Hotel Sales Managers Want to Know! / Carol Verret / May 2004
Revenue Management -- The Integration of Revenue Drivers / Carol Verret / March 2004
CYBER SALES -- Hotel Sales in an Internet World is the New Reality / Carol Verret / February 2004
The New Realities of Hotel Sales - Focus on Revenue Generation / Carol Verret / January 2004
Hotel Sales -- Innovation in the Face of Limitations / Carol Verret / November 2003
The Good News & the Bad News; Improving Economy = New Hotel Development / Carol Verret / October 2003
Leadership - General Managers Managing the Sales Process / Carol Verret  / October 2003
When the Crystal Ball is Cloudy; Marketing Plans for 2004 / Carol Verret / July 2003
Partnership of Sales and Technology; Using Tech Tools to "Sell" the Hotels / Carol Verret  / July 2003
Back to the Basics? The Basics of Hotel Sales Have Changed! / May 2003
Creating Sales "HUNTERS": The Skill Sets Required in the New Hotel Sales Environment / April 2003
Heightened Security Requires New Strategies in Hotels Sales / Carol Verret Consulting and Training / Mar 2003
Revenue Recovery - Building The ‘A’ Team in Sales / Carol Verret / January 2003
Contingency Marketing Plan – War In Iraq! / Carol Verret / November 2002
Playing the Rate Game - Positioning -- Positioning -- Positioning! / Carol Verret / October 2002
The Rate Game - Playing to Win / Carol Verret / October 2002
The Challenge of Marketing Independent Boutique Hotels / Carol Verett / August 2002
Hotel Sales in a Limited Service Environment - The Rules Have Changed / Carol Verett / August 2002
The General Manager’s Role in Sales -Chief Marketing Officer of the Hotel / Carol Verret / April 2002
100% Market Share Penetration is Not Good Enough / Carol Verett / January 2002
The Key to REVPAR Recovery –  New Business Development / Carol Verett / December  2001
Trash the 2002 Marketing Plan - And Just Start Over / Carol Verett / September 2001
How to Use Consultants Effectively –  A View From the Other Side  / Carol Verret / August 2001
How Soft Is Your Hotel's Economic Landing?  / Carol Verret / Aprl 2001
The ‘Value Proposition’: Marketing Yourself to Prospective Employees / Carol Verret / January 2001
Generation Y:  Motivating and Training a New Generation of Employees / Carol Verret / November  2000
Why Customer Service Seminars Don't Work / Carol Verret / October 2000
Creating a Culture of Customer Service / Carol Verret Consulting and Training / Sept 2000 
FAT, DUMB AND HAPPY – The Seasonal Boom and  Bust Cycle / Carol Verret / August 2000
Surf's Up - Ride the Wave or Miss the Boat -The Effective Use of Technology in Hotel Sales / Carol Verret / July 2000 
Measuring Effectiveness of  Hotel Sales Departments / Carol Verret / June 2000
Hotel Sales Training - The Need for Immediate Results / Carol Verret/ May 2000



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