Carol Verret Consulting 
and Training
Consulting
Training Seminars
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2009 The Game Changer for Innovation
in Hotel Sales Processes 
 

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January 2009 - 2009 is going to be a game changer! The end of 2008 has lead to period of transformation in many areas of business – the government rescue of legacy industries that will be transformed by the aid they seek, consumer behavior transforming from conspicuous consumption to value experiences and business processes that can no longer succeed on the assumptions of the last 5 years.  Hotel sales and marketers cannot assume that business processes will ‘snap back’ into the same model that worked for the past several years when the economy recovers. 

Scott Anthony in the Harvard  Business Publishing Weekly called the current economic cycle the ‘Great Disruption’ and went on the say that “In 2009, managers will realize that they are no longer dealing with a crisis; they are dealing with a condition.”   Jeff Stibel in a post entitled 2009 Will Be an Economic Engine for Change in the same publication postulates that “… 2009 is shaping up to be a trigger for an unprecedented surge of innovation.”

It's about figuring out what will provide optimal value to customers in your product/price segment. Value isn’t a price point – what is value to a $99/night customer is not the same as value to a $500/night customer. However, you can't expect customers to immediately pay a premium, unless you give them a good reason to do so.

Jill Konrath, in an eBook entitled “The One Piece of Advice You Can’t Generate Leads Without” (RainToday, 2007) provides a hint on what this innovative value transformation is all about – the customer. “Occasionally a savvy marketer or seller captures my attention. ... What are they doing?  They are completely focused on my business and the impact they can have on it.  That’s what’s relevant to me – not their offering.”  

Selling into this transformative economy will require innovation and transformation of sales processes not only in the hotel industry but all other industries as well.   The processes of targeted prospecting, pre-approach qualifying and strategic approach development will take precedence over blindly contacting a fixed number of warm or cold prospects based on the assumption that even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then. 

What then does this transformative innovation look like?

  • Clarity of Vision.  Be very clear on which potential new customers will find value in your product.  Narrow the focus to laser in on those customers -- leisure, meeting planners, etc, that are more likely to be of high value to the hotel. Understand what value means to these potential customers or prospects – remember value is not a price point. Set a goal for how many new business prospects you will locate in a week.
  • Do the Research.   Once you have identified a set of new prospects, do the research.  Who are they? Which facilities have they used in the past? What is the economic condition of their industry?  How is their business model changing in light of the economy – how can you plug into their new realities and provide value to their experience?
  • Develop a ‘killer’ approach.  The approach is the least mentioned and most neglected of all sales processes but it is probably the most important.  If you don’t capture their attention in the initial approach, you may not get another shot at reaching them. Whether by email or phone or referral, have a message that appeals to their business process improvement, their leisure experience -- whatever segment they are in, however they are approached, the principles are still the same. 
  • Measure Results.  The three steps above assume innovation in the prospecting to approach process.   This innovation is more time consuming than obtaining a list and calling or contacting at random.  Hence, it assumes fewer but more qualified contacts to new business prospects. Management needs to align itself with quality not quantity but the strategy needs to demonstrate pay off.  Measure the call to closing ratio, measure the average revenue per customer or group.  
Good sales people welcome innovation!  Don’t get stuck in the same way you were doing business last year and the year before – embrace the change.  Are you ready to play the new game of sales?  

Has your annual meeting been forced to cancel or scaled back?  Find out how a web cast especially designed for your team can give them a group experience to meet the challenges ahead. carol@carolverret.com.     

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.net. To contact Carol send her an email at carol@carolverret.com or she can be reached by cell phone (303) 618-4065.  Visit www.hotelsalesblog.com.


 
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: Contrarian Strategies for Hotel Sales Departments to Thrive in an Economic Downturn / Carol Verret / December 2008
‘Selling Into’ a Bad Economy – Overcoming Fear and Stealing Share / Carol Verret / October 2008
Habits of Highly Successful Hotel Sales People – Accelerated Sense of Urgency / Carol Verret / September 2008
The Challenges and Opportunities for Independent and Boutique Hotels in a Difficult Economy / Carol Verret / August 2008
The Science of Hotel Sales* – The Benchmarking Imperative for Success in a Difficult Economy / Carol Verret / July 2008
Marketing & Revenue Management Plan 2009 - Succeeding in a Difficult Year / Carol Verret / July 2008
Tactics to Drive Business in a ‘Not So Hot’ Summer / Carol Verret / May 2008
All Marketers Are Liars - Web 2.0 Strategies for Hotel Sales and Marketing / Carol Verret / April 2008
Contingency Hotel Revenue Management Strategies 'I Will not Cut Prices'/ Carol Verret / March 2008
The Contingency Hotel Sales and Marketing Plan - Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst / Carol Verret / February 2008
Change is the Buzz – Rebooting Hotel Sales Activity at the Property Level / Carol Verret / January 2008
Habits of Highly Successful Revenue Managers Ramped Up for 2008 / Carol Verret / November 2007
Five Tips to Improving Hotel Customer Service with User Generated Reviews / Carol Verret / October 2007
Habits of Highly Successful Hotel Sales People – A Seismic Shift in 2008! / Carol Verret / September 2007
GMs – How User Generated Review Sites Can Make you a Better Manager! / Carol Verret / September 2007
Web 2.0 and Hotel Sales Strategies for '08; What Are Your Clients Saying About You? / Carol Verret / August 2007
“It’s not the big that eat the small, it’s the fast that eat the slow” -- Five Revenue Management Tactics for Independent Hotels / Carol Verett / June 2007
Developing New Hotel Business Using Client DNA / Carol Verret / May 2007
The Jigsaw Puzzle – The Fit of the Revenue Management and Internet Group Sales Pieces / Carol Verret / April 2007
Client DNA - The Gold Standard for New Business Development / Carol Verret / March 2007
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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