Carol Verret Consulting 
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Client DNA - The Gold Standard
for New Business Development 
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March 14, 2007 - If you hate cold calls, the dilemma is how to find new business without using a list or a directory.  What do you do to locate new clients that fit the revenue management strategy?  Hint:  Answering the phone and closing inquiries isn’t it!  

New Business Development or prospecting for business that fits the revenue management strategy is becoming more of an issue for hotel sales as demand softens.  Anyone who receives the Smith Travel report for the US as a whole cannot help but notice that the demand index of occupancy began softening in the late third and fourth quarters of last year and has continued to do so Year to Date 2007.

While the REVPAR index has softened somewhat, it is only a matter of time before softening demand begins to exert downward pressure on rate growth in many markets.  As the economy as whole is forecasted to experience a slower growth rate in 2007 and new supply in the pipeline comes online, there will be more pressure on hotel sales departments to develop new business. 

What is Client DNA and how can it make the New Business Development process more efficient and effective?  The DNA of a person determines what that person looks like and how they are ‘wired’ – the same principles apply to clients.  

In the last election, both political parties developed the DNA profiles of their member and drilled it down into even specific precincts so tat they could tailor their message to the preferences and habits of their members.  For example, Republicans in some key  precincts tended to buy their morning coffee from Dunkin Donuts or other fast food outlets while Democrats in the same precinct tended to go to Starbucks more often.   Could I make this up!? 

Just as the DNA profiles told the political parties about the buying habits of their members, so can client DNA give hotel sales people information about the buying habits of potential clients and how they are wired.   With this information, it is easier to locate potential new clients and craft a message that appeals to their DNA.

Developing client DNA by market segment and opportunity periods is a process.  The following are the first steps: 

  • The DNA of Existing Clients.  Who are they? Do they represent a particular industry or client group?  Where does the booking originate geographically?  What is the position of the person who booked the business?   How did they locate the property?  This is key, what was their ‘tipping point’ in selecting you and your hotel over the competition – that answer might surprise you! 
  • Get Into their World:  How do they access information about hotels?  What is the process they use in making lodging decisions?  What associations or publications do they access to provide them tools to make judgments about the suitability of a property for a particular event?   How did your property get on their ‘radar screen’?
  • Communication:  How did the lead for this current client come to you?  How did it originate – phone, email, referral?   What is the client’s preferred form of communication? 
  • How Can You Plug Into Their World?   What info do they need from you to make a good decision?  Hint:  It is not a letter with bullet points of amenities like irons and boards, coffee makers, etc.!  What will keep you on their radar screen so that you and your hotel are at the top of their mind when they are ready to ‘buy’, make a decision on their next function?
How do you find out this information?  Ask the contacts at your existing good accounts the above questions – most people, if they like you and your hotel, are delighted to have the opportunity to talk about themselves.  Delineating the DNA of current clients tells you how to locate and approach new accounts like them.   Remember, in approaching prospective new clients, it’s all about them not about coffee makers and irons and boards!

In the next article in the series, we’ll discuss that approach without ever making that cold phone call and how to attract them to you!

Look for the next webcast coming in April: I Hate Cold Calls II’ "Creating Communities of Clients"



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 - 2007


 
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: The 'I Hate Cold Calls' Web Cast - The New Paradigm of Sales! / Carol Verret / February 2007
Hate Cold Calls? - Discover the New Paradigm of Hotel Sales / Carol Verret / January 2007
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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