News for the Hospitality Executive
Don't Be Miss-Led, Technology 'Has Not' Changed
by Bernard Otis
Despite the "hoopla" being made over how new technology has changed the way we Generate Revenue, nothing could be further from the truth. Yes indeed, communicating and exchanging information has evolved but we still need to find those who can best use our products/services, establish a personal relationship with them, gain their confidence and trust and through an exchange of information determine their needs and how we can best address them.
Unless your depend entirely upon the Internet to generate the sale with no, or little personal contact with your marketplace, then you need to master the Guidelines set forth in the following paragraphs.
These Guidelines for meeting your objectives were established by Samuel J. Fuller, AKA The Fuller Brush Man, in the early 1900's and still, with slight adjustments, are the key to revenue generating success. Simply put he taught us to:
A. Find our most likely Prospect
B. Meet that person
C. Establish a relationship with them
D. Briefly tell our story in broad terms (speak for 30 seconds and then shut up)
E. Listen to their response and identify how your products/services fit those needs
F. Respond accordingly and Close the Sale.
Here are the Guidelines in more detail:
1. Carefully target those individual firms and individuals who are the most likely candidates for your services, by attending their Trade Shows, reading their Trade Journals and getting to know, though your own vendor network, who they are.
2. Develop an "Elevator Speech" - a short, less than 30 second introduction of who you are, what you do and who you serve.
Sell the Sizzle not the Steak-i.e. "We Develop Boutique Hotels Nationally (not we are Real Estate Developers)" "We Design, Build and Install Commercial Lighting Fixtures (not we are Lighting Fixture Manufacturers)", "I am an Architect Specializing in Schools, Healthcare and Hospitality Industry Projects" (not we are Architects).
When you do this even if the person you are speaking with does not need your services they may very well know some one who could be likely "Suspect" (A Suspect is some who might need your services, a Prospect is one who you have clearly identified as having a requirement for them).
3. Call the firm, and if you have the possible Prospect's name ask for them. Always only send information after you have spoken to the possible Prospect. Always tell your story only to the person you have identified within the firm as being part of the decision making process. And Always, no matter how well you know someone, only call if you have important information for them.
While Secretaries, Administrative Assistants and other so called screeners, are very important persons with whom to have good personal relationships they are limited in their knowledge of a firms requirements for your products and services and are often charged with keeping you way from. After you have opened a relationship with your Prospect the Secretary, Administrative Assistant becomes your best means of keeping the lines of communication open.
If the person who answers your call tells you that the individual you are asking for needs to receive information first simply reply by saying "I would be happy to send information, but because of the number of products and service we offer I would need to speak to them to determine which ones best meets their requirements" that usually solves the problem. If it does not ten say "I will be happy to send some general information. May I have their correct E-Mail address?" extend your appreciation and terminate the call,
Once again Technology, while not changing the process, shortens the communications process by eliminating mailings -for the most part and reducing the time it takes to get them your information, providing that you observe the following rules:
a) Emails should be brief, personal in nature, not generic advertising, informative about specifics you and your contact have spoken about limited to no more than a few documents (unless you need to send several different sheets of good information, but keep it less than 10) that tell who you are, what you do, who you serve.
b) Avoid sending catalogues, pages and pages of project pictures and sales pitches
You can include a WEB Site address as part of the submission, but be certain the main documents can be opened, read and transmitted to others very easily.
c) Sending out blast E-mails which featuring your accomplishments or showing pictures of your projects for the most part wastes your time & money and will be deleted and/or forgotten instantly.
Always be cognizant of the fact that when you mail information it either gets thrown out, filed for future use, or as I tell my Prospects when I follow up on their specific mailing request and they tell me they know they received it but have not read it and do not know here its, "look on the bottom of the file on the left hand side of your desk"
Also, we all receive more Emails daily, than we can possibly handle and so the delete button works fine. Repeating-if your Email looks like an advertisement, a generic pitch, lacks quickly seen specific information or is full of loon attachments and books; it will be deleted without being read.
In the final analysis if you want to be successful generating revenue you need to Tell, Not Sell, Listen and Ask, Close not Push and keep and when you meet simply adapt these processes to the meeting procedure.
Finally I will close with 5 additional comments, again taken an updated from my Guru Samuel J. Fuller:
1. Successful Revenue Generators understand that their success comes from the development of strong Personal Relationships, the ability to be Professional at all times, Perseverance and Patience and how to use technology to support, not create or make the sale.
2. When making presentations put away the Power point and look at and speak directly to the Client(s). Address their specific areas of interests instead of going through list of your sales points.
3. Answer their questions and observe if they seem to have concerns, etc. about what you are saying.
4. If in the process of making your presentation or preparing your documents you cannot find 3 things that set you apart from others than Quality, Price and Service that you will always be in a low bid situation.
5. Always ask these 2 question of your Prospects:
a) What do you get from your current supplier that you really like?
b) What do you not get that would make your life easier?
Bernard S. Otis
Member Advisory Board Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association
Associate Member American Society of Professional Estimators & NIGA
Toll Free: (855) 413-6899
Author: Revenue Generation Through the Sale of Kumquats--------and Other Things
Independent Advisor &
R.W. Smith & Company
Food, Beverage & Laundry Facility Planning Consulting/ Design/ Equipment Specification/Purchasing & Installation
3186 A Airway Avenue
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
714-540-6633, Fax: 714-540-9523