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High Tech - High Touch

Two Must Have Skills Sets Every
Hotel Sales Person Needs!


November 16, 2011

Once upon a time,  way back in 1999,  a man named John Naisbitt published a book called  High Tech – High Touch:  Technology and our Search for Meaning.   While Naisbitt’s search  for meaning was a little different than the  issues we will explore here, it is an apt title.

There are two schools of thought in sales – the good old fashioned way that many managers revert to when times get tough.  Get out there, make those cold calls, come back with a leads.    The other way is stay in the office and do it all on the internet but that assumes that you know exactly what you are looking for and don’t consume too much time going from  link to link until you’ve forgotten what you where looking for!

Make those phone calls – you are measured by the number of phone calls you make. There was a recent article (that shall remain nameless) that said the minimum number of calls a sales person should make is 60 (that’s right 6 zero) per day.  That was 60 calls that resulted in a conversation! Since we are going by the numbers here, that works out to roughly 7.5 calls per hour assuming an 8 hour day – doable but doesn’t leave much time for lunch or other interruptions like clients.  How many dials do you need to make to have 60 conversations?

Emails and Text messages are a little cold if that is all you do without scheduling live conversations.  There was survey that indicated that over 50% of decision makers were more likely to respond to a cold email solicitation than return a cold telephone message but that assumes it was a ‘good’ email..

Most solicitation emails that come into my Inbox are poorly targeted and all about the sender with no relevant message as to how they can help my business (most cold calls I receive are the same) – many aren’t’ even related to the business, just blasted out!  Please don’t use text messages  for cold calls – most people resent SPAM Texts.

So which is it – high tech or high touch?  It has to be blend of both with right content targeted to the customer.

High tech/High Touch: 

Prospecting.  The internet and social networks afford us with a universe of prospects and a wealth of information but it is still starts with who are viable prospects in the backyard.  If you haven’t located those, don’t go any further.  However, secure buildings and locked doors make it more efficient to identify the names of the companies in those buildings and then research online. Google Earth is lot of fun and can be an excellent tool for both of these. 

Cold calls:  The cold phone call and the cold email are both methods that can and should be used in tandem as part of an integrated approach.  Can’t get a prospect to answer the phone or return a call – the cold email approach can be very effective but the point is that it is the content of both that will make a difference not the methodology!

Qualifying.  There are two types of qualifying – pre call and post contact.  Pre call qualifying is where you go on the internet and find out about the company or organization  so you can craft a meaningful  approach. Qualifying a prospect for new business almost always requires a ‘high touch’ either by the phone or a live appointment.  PS. Use social networks to learn more about the person you are calling and see if you can find a picture so you can visualize the person you are speaking with on the phone.

Site Inspection.  If the prospect is local or within a reasonable distance, the personal site is always best.  However, increasingly, either people are too busy or they are at a significant distance such that doing a telephone site online on the website is a viable alternative.   Point out the features of the hotel that relate to what they told you during the qualifying process on the web site just as you would if it was a live site inspection. Have a script that you can use for each.  Don’t forget, they have probably qualified the hotel by going to the web site and/or the Facebook page to view the pictures – one good reason to post good and plentiful pictures there.

The Close.  Unless you have done a masterful job of all three  of the above and the prospect says or emails ‘send me the contract’,  you will have to ask for the business at some point.   This is preferably a ‘high touch’ in person or on the phone process.   It is just too easy for a prospect to squirm out of an email close if there is any doubt.  They will not send a read receipt or respond to emails, much less phone calls.

Technology is an important part of the way we communicate and do sales but without the ‘high touch’ it is difficult to form meaningful relationships and at the end of the day, that is what this process is all about and creates clients for life. 

It is at this Thanksgiving time of year that I and my team at Carol Verret Consulting & Training give thanks for our readers and our publishers.  We look forward to the opportunity to continue to provide insights and information that you can use.    If there are any topics you would like me to explore, let me know with a quick email to 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.
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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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