How to Keep Sales People Selling

 

I am swamped with tenders for 2007 from corporate clients for meetings and conferences business, but I want our sales people out on the road seeing customers and NOT filling in endless forms. Is there a way that we can handle these requests more efficiently?
It is initially hard to deal with the notion that being swamped by corporate – or any other kind of business for that matter, can be undesirable. Hospitality providers are experiencing shrinking client budgets, shorter lengths of stay, and fewer numbers per party. In light of this any business is surely good business.

I shall assume therefore that you do not want these clients because their custom misfits your brief and is not so profitable. Perhaps they are only booking meeting/conference rooms by day and not buying overnights and meals or because they tend to only book short-stays, they are ruining the opportunities you have of selling longer-term allotments to tour operators.

Solutions:
Decide – together with your marketing and sales managers – which markets you want to attract. The broad choices are leisure or business, groups or individuals, overnighters or long termers, direct clients or those who arrive via intermediaries. In the likely event that you will require a combination of markets, breakdown – as best as you can – the specific seasons, days and dates for each segment. Complicated as this seems, the really hard bit will actually be when the client, whom as we all know is still King, requests accommodation for a period you had not anticipated for his/her ‘kind’ e.g. a wedding party wanting a midweek stay or a business person needing a Saturday overnight.

Set up an online booking form. This relieves the pressure on your people as the prospects do the bureaucracy for you. Do include though a bright and cheery ”Contact Us” button, as it is vital to offer human interaction to maintain the business.

Consider leasing or franchising out your conference facility to somebody who wants that kind of business – inclusion of your extensive database adds tremendous value to the offer. Your team will be liberated to do what you want them to.

 

 

 

 
The corporate department has been brought under the wing of my leisure department and I am now in charge of both. Consequently we are swamped with requests from business clients wanting conferences etc. I however, prefer our people to make sales calls or to service clients’ itineraries instead of form filling for these corporates. How can we handle these more efficiently?
It is initially hard to deal with the notion that being swamped by corporate – or any other kind of business for that matter, can be undesirable. Business travel providers are experiencing shrinking client budgets, shorter lengths of stay, and fewer numbers per party. In light of this any business is surely good business.

I shall assume therefore that you do not want these clients because their custom misfits your brief and is not that profitable.
Perhaps they are only booking meeting rooms by day and not buying flights, transfers, overnights and meals. Likewise, because these customers tend to only book short-stays, they are ruining the opportunities your suppliers have of selling longer-term allotments. These suppliers are therefore turning down your requests and you are wasting time because you cannot fulfil the booking. It’s a lose (client) lose (you, the agent) lose (the wholesaler) lose – the service supplier e.g. hotel.

Solutions:
Decide – together with your marketing and sales managers – which markets you want to attract. The broad choices are leisure or business, groups or individuals, overnighters or long-termers. In the likely event that you will require a combination of markets, breakdown – as best as you can – the specific seasons, days and dates for each segment. Complicated as this seems, the really hard bit will actually be when the client, whom as we all know is still King, requests accommodation for a period you had not anticipated for his/her ‘kind’ e.g. a wedding party wanting a midweek stay or a business person needing a Saturday overnight.

Set up an online booking form. This relieves the pressure on your people as the prospects do the bureaucracy for you. Do include though a bright and cheery ”Contact Us” button, as it is vital to offer human interaction to maintain the business.

Consider leasing or franchising out your business travel arm to somebody who wants that kind of business – inclusion of your extensive database adds tremendous value to the offer. Your team will be liberated to do what you want them to.

 

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