New Business Prospecting

new business

New business is the lifeblood of any hotel sales pro.

Actively searching for and bringing in new business for your hotel is one of the major duties you have as a hotel sales pro. In order to do that, you can not move about it haphazardly — you have to work your flat list. The flat list is what I call a list of new business prospects that you need to reach out to in order to get their business to your hotel.

I’ve written about the flat list many times and it’s truly a must have for new business. It is one of the common denominators of the truly great hotel sales people out there, and they call people on their flat list every day. You should too if you want to bring in new business like these superstars do.

I define the flat list as a list of 2 – 30 new previously unsold accounts.

new business yellow pad flat list

We as hotel sales professionals want to set the goal of spending an hour a day calling customers on our flat list. This is the most effective way to secure new business. you should never email customers on your flat list. You must call them on the phone. But even though we use the telephone as our preferred communication technique, you must realize that just because you have a name on a flat list does not mean you’re prepared to call that person yet.

If you’ve been following my coaching for any length of time you know that you don’t call a new business client until you’ve done your homework and research. In this day and age, you just can not make a new business call until you know what you’re talking about with that potential client. Put yourself in his or her shoes — do you like receiving cold calls from people on the phone that have no clue as to whether you have a need for their services or products? Of course not.

You have to determine if you are in a position to help the customers solve their problems.

To do that, you have to have some idea as to what the customers’ problems are. If you are flying blind in this area, you’re really not ready to make the call. Instead of a cold call for new business, you want to make a “warm call” — as warm as possible. This can be done through research, both online and off. But there is a better way.

The ideal new business call will be based on a referral.

In that instance you have an existing customer who has given you their name and you can use their name as your entree to the potential new client. How do you get those names? You have to ask the satisfied client for them, that’s all. Many sales people are reluctant to do that, like they are imposing on the existing client. If that’s you, you just have to get over it. Don’t be intimidated by doing this, as any top sales person in any field will tell you that they always get referrals from satisfied clients, and this leads to the best shot at landing new business.

In an article in Entrepreneur, Ray Silverstein provides some excellent tips on how to cultivate new business from referrals. While the article addresses referrals for all types of businesses, they can be adapted well for getting new business referrals for hotel sales.



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