Great hospitality sales people change their voicemail

voicemail

One of the common activities done by great hospitality sales people is that they change their outgoing voicemail daily. In fact, they change their voicemail multiple times per day if the situation warrants.

We’ve done lots of work to study the denominators of great hospitality sales people, and changing voicemail is one that is easy to see. It also came as no surprise that the awesome sales stars change that voicemail twice or more per day.

Here’s what it sounds like: “Hi, this is Steve in the sales office and today is Monday, July 9th. I am in the office today, however, I’m out on the floor with clients, but if you leave a message I’ll get back to as quickly as possible.” This implies that if the caller becomes a hospitality sales customer, he or she will get the same attention to detail from you.

Then you leave a message morning message saying “I promise to get back to you before 11 o’ clock” or an afternoon message “I promise to get back to you before four o’ clock.” That’s the best there is if there’s no one else there to answer the phone.

Now the key is that you’ve got to call them back before 11, because you said you’d call them back before 11. So if you call them back at 10:30 and they think “…whoa, whoa, most people never call me back the same day. He said he was going to call me back at 11, he called me back at 10:30.” You have just distinguished yourself of being administratively capable, the client can assume that you’re a bona fide hospitality sales professional, and that is probably a strong indication that you are very good with details.

They’re thinking “Yes, he’s a hospitality sales professional and I would like to talk to him, and thanks for calling me back.” That may be all you have to do to best the hotel across the street. Just return your phone calls! I would, I do. People call me all the time.

Now, if you really want to get fancy here, have your office phone transferred to your cell-phone. But to make this work, you’ve got to change the message on your cell phone also. It will only take thirty seconds or less but you have to make it a habit. “Hi, this is Steve, you’ve reached my cell phone, today is Monday, July 9th. I’m out calling on customers today but if you leave a message I’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.” Another key to making this work is to check your voicemail often. One of the great things about cell phones these days is that you don’t even have to call in to see if you have a voicemail. You can just look at the screen to see, so make it a habit to check at least every hour. Since it’s never more than an hour between calls, you call the customer back while you’re sitting in your car or other quiet place. This is impressive. Hospitality sales customers tell us all the time that this wows them.

Imagine receiving this callback: “Hi Jeffrey, this is Steve Steinhart. I got your voice mail and I wanted to get back to you. I’m actually out on the road today but I always make it a point to call you back. How can I help?” There you are: bona fide, competent, organized and professional! You’ve really put yourself head and shoulders above the competition in hospitality sales and the client thinks that of all my hotel sales contacts, you’re the only one who always calls me back.

That may be all you need to do. You better ask yourself this question, are you just another hospitality sales person, or do you want to be extraordinary? This one little habit will distinguish you from the competitive set — just change your voicemail. Do it at least once per day. It may be all you need to do to book a piece of business.

Posted 7/9/12

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