Hospitality sales in a one-on-one environment

hospitality sales handshake

Hospitality sales people know how to close in the one-on-one environment.

Hospitality sales pros understand the four environments in which they close. And if they do master these, they will have the position, which is what we want in the hospitality sales negotiations.

The first of these environments is the simple 1 on 1. You’ve been talking with and/or giving a tour to a single person who represents the client’s organization. When the time is right you’ll want to ask the question as to whether the client is the decision maker.

Now, I’m going to teach you the “ooh ahh technique,” and if you’re not using it, you just might be letting the hospitality sales client off the hook. Don’t ask, “Are you the decision maker?”

You’ll likely hear words to the effect of “Well-uh-pretty much. Yeah. Uh-huh. Well I’m the only one you’ve got.”

You have to ask this instead:  “Heather, let me ask you a question, may I? Is it (ooh!) your signature that actually goes on the contract? But (ah!) you’re going to have a lot of influence on the decision, aren’t you?”

If you ask it any other way, they can wiggle off the hook. “Is it your signature that goes on the contract?” is a yes or no question. Now, if they’re lying there’s not much you can do about it. But usually if you use the word “signature” they’re not going to lie at that point because they think that there might be some legal obligation.

If the client says “No” you follow up with the question, “But you’re going to have a lot of influence on the decision?”

You just found out what you needed to find out in terms of who the decision maker is. Now you need to use the appropriate closing technique.

If the one-on-one client is the decision maker you could go to the trial close about sending a contract (see our other blog posts). If he or she is not the decision maker you can’t really be insulting and say “Who should I be talking to?” Instead you follow with “But you’re going to actually have a large influence on the decision, aren’t you?”

Of course the client will say they do so your response would be “At this moment, are you going to be recommending our hotel?”

If the answer is yes, you just closed it. Why would you say anything more? In fact, everything you say from that moment on can and will be used against you in your hospitality sales negotiations.


Posted 3/25/13


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