Carol Verret Consulting
Surf's Up - Ride the Wave
or Miss the Boat -
The Effective Use of Technology
in Hotel Sales
Carol Verret / July 2000
|In my practice I often
walk into hotels that have only one computer in the sales office connected
to a modem or only the GM’s computer is connected. The most common
reason cited for this is that it is unnecessary for everyone to be connected
With regard to number three, I would like to make a case that the benefits of providing everyone in the sales office with competent hardware and a modem are many times the cost of providing the equipment. The proper use of internet based technology not only saves time and makes the salesperson more efficient but the revenue potential of this tool is enormous if only the sales staff and the General Manager truly understand the opportunities it affords and how to manage it to maximize revenue.
Let’s begin with the basics.
Email is the most efficient tool for communication and correspondence yet developed. Most business people use it instead of mail for correspondence and only use ‘snail mail’ for original documents. It is significant that President Clinton just signed a bill which will make email signatures as legally binding as hard copy originals. FedEx and US Mail look out!
However, there is a definite etiquette to email.
All emails should be acknowledged within seven to ten days and if the recipient
is out of email communication for longer than that, an automatic response
should be sent indicating that.
Because email is so immediate, it is tempting to become too casual or informal in tone and address. Don’t make the mistake of assuming too much familiarity.
Most computer based contact management systems (you do have an automated contact management program, don’t you?) have word processing and an internal fax function. What can demonstrate a sense of urgency and timely follow-up more effectively than faxing a contract or proposal within minutes of hanging up the phone with a client! All documents are neatly stored and transmission records are available to anyone who needs to see them.
Web Site Design and Management
At a time when even six-year-olds have web sites and ten-year-olds can design and build them, what differentiates yours from the masses? How does yours get noticed in the plethora of sites that appear when the key words ‘hotel’, your franchise and your location are entered? Does your site look like a brochure that was scanned in or has it been given sufficient thought so that the design conveys the impression of your property that will appeal to your customer demographic? How are the pages arranged – do you give enough information to differentiate you from the competition or do you simply repeat the obvious? Upon what server does your site reside? Have you built in enough hyperlinks, to which sites and what response mechanisms have you built in? Who monitors responses? Does your host server ensure that your site is refreshed monthly with the major search engines so that it continues to appear within the top fifty to one hundred responses for the key words you have selected?
Now that I have overwhelmed you with questions, you can see that an effective web site requires more than hiring someone to design it and send it out into cyberspace. This is a subject for an entire article.
Maximizing the Internet connection for sales
Do you need more reasons to justify connecting sales to the net? I can think of many others, not the least of which is access to cost effective training (watch this space for more on that) which is still in its infancy in this industry. You have provided high-speed access so that your guests can do business more effectively, go look in the mirror and ask yourself if the sales department isn’t worth the same consideration.
Carol Verret and Associates, Consulting and Training specializes in results training for sales, front desk and customer service and consulting for the hospitality industry.
© 2000 all rights reserved
3140 S. Peoria St, PMB 436
Aurora, CO 80014
Web Site: http://www.carolverret.com/
|Also See:||Measuring Effectiveness of Hotel Sales Departments / Carol Verret / June 2000|
|Hotel Sales Training - The Need for Immediate Results / Carol Verret/ May 2000|