Hospitality sales pros remove resistance at the point of sale

Hospitality sales pros respond to client requests

Hospitality sales pros must respond to the simple request for information

Hospitality sales professionals over time learn to practice this technique naturally when they are shown resistance by clients. You will become proficient in this hospitality sales technique too, as you gain experience and practice.

In the next few training blog posts, I’m going to share several ways that a hospitality sales pro can remove resistance at the point of sale.

There are three kinds of client resistance. If you understand which resistance you are facing at the time it comes up, you will have the first step in your ability to eliminate or reduce the resistance. Let’s start with the simplest. It even has the work “simple” in it’s name.

Type of resistance number 1 is called a simple request for information.

We find that this often happens at the end of your presentation, and the customer has a question. It’s pretty simple for you to handle, and you’ve probably done it several times before, even if you are early in your hospitality sales career. This one probably doesn’t even tilt the needle on the “resistance scale” of hospitality sales pros.

An example would be as follows. If you were at the end of your site inspection, and you say “Well, that concludes our site inspection; how do you like the hotel?”

And the client turns to me and says “You know Steve, I really didn’t get a chance to see your suites. You know, we do have some hospitality during a couple of the evenings, and you didn’t say anything about your suites.”

With all your homework and research and for all the info that you were just able to glean from the customer, it didn’t come up that she needed suites in the evening for hospitality. It’s certainly no big deal. Nowhere close to being a deal killer.

How does the hospitality sales pro react? You certainly don’t blame the client for not volunteering that information earlier. What you might say is “Gee Kim, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that suites were of interest to you. Let’s take a quick walk to the front desk, see which suites are available, and we’ll go upstairs and take a look at them.”

That is what a hospitality sales pro does. This is the simplest example of removing resistance at the point of sale. I call it a simple request for additional information. It’s a factor for the client, but it wasn’t uncovered when you were doing your research on this piece of business. It just didn’t come up, but it’s certainly no challenge for the hospitality sales pro.

Let’s look at an alternative scenario. I’ll exaggerate to make the point…

This time at the end of the site inspection, the client asks to see the suites.

Your response: “Sorry, you can’t see the suites.”

You’d never do that, right? No hospitality sales pro would. But silly as we may find that example, we often find in our test calls responses that are the equivalent, and potentially equally devastating.

We do test calls on behalf of our hotel clients, and pose as meeting planners. In those test calls we might tell the hospitality sales person, for example, that if there are charges for parking be sure to include it in the proposal. Or if they have high speed internet access in the meeting rooms and if there’s a cost, please include it in the proposal. If it’s free, please include it in the proposal. And then the proposal arrives and there’s no mention of charges for parking, and there’s no mention of availability or charges for high speed internet access.

That’s denying a simple request for additional information.

Hospitality sales pros should don’t do that.

Out there in the real world, the meeting planner is NOT going to pick up the phone to ask about clarification about the charges for parking and high-speed internet access.

You might as well have a big sign on your proposal saying “I do not provide attention to detail so do not use us.”

Busy planners will have two or more other proposals from hotels which DID include those items in the proposal.

As the baseball umpire would say, “You’re out!” Or maybe I should say you’ve committed an error that lets the other team win the game.

Here’s the bottom line. Even though your hotel might have perfect for them, because you did not respond to their request for additional information they will not feel comfortable that you can handle the details. If they do not feel comfortable that you can handle the details, they have other hotels they can go to that can.

Be a hospitality sales pro.

Respond to the detail requests that make up a simple request for information, whether in person, on the phone, or in writing.


Posted 2/12/14



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