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The Basics Have Changed Big Time!



March 3, 2009 - 9/11 precipitated the last severe recession and was a watershed moment in the hotel sales prospecting process. Prior to this cataclysmic event it was possible to send legions of sales people on the road armed with business cards and tell them to walk into every door of every building and at least leave their card in the hope of locating new prospects. As a wise person once said, hope is not a strategy.'

That is why I am bit concerned when some experts insist that hotels should hire a quantity of sales people that should just go out and pass out business cards. There may be some smaller markets where this is still possible but in most markets it is not due to security restrictions deployed after 9/11.

In this recession, with the pressure on hotel sales departments to produce results or be potentially be downsized, it doesn't seem a very efficient way to prospect for new business if it ever was. There are good reasons that vacuum cleaner sales people don't go door to door any more --- if it worked, they would still be doing it! 

The world of sales has changed and not just hotel sales. Ask any sales person that is told to make cold telephone calls to a list' how many dials' they need to make before they reach a live person. Ask them the response of the live person if they reach them. Ask them the number of cold calls they have to make to get to a closed deal. The call to closing ratio on this activity is astronomical but then even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then'.

The internet has exploded exponentially and provides simple prospecting tools that enable a sales person to locate companies and organizations most likely to require the services that their hotel has to offer -- within their area and beyond for those hotels, such as full service hotels, resorts and conference centers who prospect on a regional and/or national basis.

Google Maps. If yours is an urban or suburban hotel that relies on the local market for most of its business, this is an amazing tool. It's like walking the territory in the confines of the office. Enter the zip code and refine the search to include businesses. Enter the address of a building in your market and it will pull up all of the businesses located in the building.

Google Search. This has a number of applications. Enter the kind of business you are looking for in a certain location or zip code. You can also do a search for your competitors. If a company or organization is holding a meeting or function at a competitor's hotel and it is mentioned on their web site, the info will pop up!

Key Word Search. Know what kind of client you are looking for by market segment. Once you a have ascertained the DNA of the ideal client by market segment you can enter key words to find more like them. For example, is you are looking meetings from alternative energy companies, enter the key word and drill it down by entering solar or wind and there is a list.

Market Specific Web Sites. This is especially applicable for the SMERFE market. There are multiple sites for military reunions, class reunions, weddings, etc. Log onto the local or state High School Athletics Associations for info on tournaments and events. Have you logged onto the web site for the university in your market to locate all of the departments so you can map' that account?

Online Business Publications. Most local Business Journals have an online version that, when signed up for, comes into your Inbox every day with the day's business headlines or log into the site and the headlines for the day and the week are displayed. The articles on specific companies and organizations usually have links to the companies' web sites. For example, a recent article in the Denver Business Journal provided a list of shovel ready' projects identified by the CDOT that will activate with the Economic Recovery Stimulus Package. It included bid dates and specific locations.

Online RFPs. There are RFP site s for virtually every market segment. StarCite is the preeminent site in corporate, association and government RFPs although there are many others. Priceline Groups allows a group to enter the type of property and rate range. The request is forwarded to those properties that fit the specification and the hotel can decide whether to take it or not. Groople allows groups to enter the type of group they are and the site then sorts the hotel options by the amenities that are important to those kinds of groups. Again, the lead goes to the selected hotels for follow up.

Does this mean you don't need to call or email them - no. Internet prospecting allows the sales person to identify organizations with the likelihood of having business so that they can develop a targeted, solution based approach to these prospects. Internet prospecting provides a shot gun approach versus the scatter shot' approach of passing out business cards indiscriminately to any one on the street.
Internet prospecting is a sound prospecting strategy - hope is not!

Check out the online prospecting module developed in conjunction with Newmarket at 

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 
To contact Carol send her an email at or she can be reached by cell phone (303) 618-4065. Visit

Carol Verret, Consulting and Training
Carol Verret
5910 S. University #C-18, PMB 374
Greenwood Village, CO 80121
Telephone: (303) 618-4065
Web Site:
Also See: Stimulate Hotel Revenue -- The Economic Stimulus Package Opportunities / Carol Verret / February 2009
2009 The Game Changer for Innovation in Hotel Sales Processes / Carol Verret / January 2009
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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