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Chapter 7 Selling to the Meetings Market PowerPoint Presentation
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Chapter 7 Selling to the Meetings Market

Chapter 7 Selling to the Meetings Market

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Chapter 7 Selling to the Meetings Market

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  1. Chapter 7 Selling to the Meetings Market Convention Management and ServiceEighth Edition (478TXT or 478CIN) Courtesy of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

  2. Competencies forSelling to the Meetings Market • Explain the steps in making a personal sales call. • Explain how to conduct telephone selling effectively in meeting and convention sales. • Describe the convention and meeting sales techniques of sales blitz selling, trade show selling, selling with convention bureaus, site inspection selling, and familiarization tours.

  3. Most Effective Direct Sales Tools Used by Properties Today • Personal (face-to-face) sales calls—most effective • Telephone selling • Sales blitz selling • Trade show selling • Site inspection selling and familiarization tours

  4. Consultative Selling • Convention salespeople do not use “hard sell” techniques (e.g., car sales) • Rather, hotel salespeople act as consultants to meeting planners • Consultative selling is a low-pressure form of personal selling • Its focus is to build relationships and create and keep long-term customers • The salesperson serves as an advisor to the planner, identifying needs and recommending solutions

  5. Types of Face-to-Face Sales Calls • Cold calls—fact-finding calls on a prospect with whom there has been little or no previous contact. Cold personal sales calls are often not well-received by meeting planners, so using the telephone to pre-quality and set appointments is recommended. • Appointment calls—a prearranged appointment with a prospect to introduce the features and benefits offered by your property. With cold calls you are fortunate to get five minutes with the prospect, whereas with an appointment you will likely get fifteen to thirty minutes, time to give a complete presentation. Courtesy of Loews Hotels and Resorts

  6. The Six Steps of a Face-to-Face Sales Call • Pre-Call Planning—know what your property has to offer and how to best present it to a prospective client. • Opening the Sales Call—state the purpose of the call, what the prospect can expect to gain, and ask for permission to continue • Getting Prospect Involvement—build rapport and get client to discuss his or her needs and concerns • Presenting Your Property—explain the property’s facilities and services and show how its features can benefit the client • Handling Objections—answer concerns • Closing and Follow-Up—ask for the sale and then follow up immediately

  7. Step 1—Pre-Call Planning • Know Your Property • Property fact book • Know Your Competition • Emphasize the strengths of your property, especially in areas where the competition is weak (continued)

  8. Step 1—Pre-Call Planning (continued) • Know Your Prospect • Cold calls: fact-finding calls • Use sales prospect cards to summarize what you know • Tailor your presentation to the planner’s needs and desires • Assemble a Sales Kit • Include all information the prospect will need about your property and services

  9. Step 2—Opening the Sales Call Build Rapport • State your purpose • Give the main reason(s) the prospect should consider your property Bridge Statement • Ask for permission to continue with the presentation

  10. Step 3—Getting Prospect Involvement Purpose • Involve the prospect to understand his or her needs • Ask all questions before you give your presentation • Tailor your presentation according to what you learned about the prospect • Listening is the most important skill in getting client involvement Use both types of questions: • Close-ended questions • Open-ended questions

  11. Step 4—Presenting Your Property Be a Problem Solver • Sell benefits, not features • Use visual aids to help the planner envision the hotel • Tailor your presentation to the prospect’s needs

  12. Step 5—Handling Objections Plan your answers to the most common objections: Price objections • Point out all that’s included in the price Product objections • Turn negative aspects into positive ones • Example: An older property may have a more experienced staff Lack-of-interest objections • Point out how your property’s benefits are comparable to or better than the competition’s

  13. Step 6—Closing and Follow-Up Guidelines • Prospects expect to be asked for a sale • Follow up whether you made the sale or not Trial Close • Used to elicit responses during presentation • Build excitement about your property Major Close • Ask for sale directly • Leave immediately after your presentation Photo courtesy of Fairmont Hotels and Resorts

  14. Telephone Sales Techniques • Requires proficiency; telephone can be impersonal • Outline what you are going to cover • Have backup information at hand • Speak slowly and distinctly • Be cheerful yet professional

  15. Screening Prospects • Use the telephone to qualify prospects before making an appointment • Use sales lead services to analyze information about planners before you call for an appointment • Enter information from an interview onto a call report

  16. Handling Inquiries • E-mail, request for proposals, telephone calls, and walk-in inquiries require timely responses • Avoid the use of voice mail • One quarter of new group sales are lost because of failure to respond to inquiries • Crowne Plaza Hotels guarantee a two-hour response

  17. Setting Appointments for Personal Sales Calls by Phone Intermediaries (Receptionists/Administrative Assistants) • Build rapport with them • Get through them to the decision maker Three Steps in Setting Appointments by Phone • Open the call • Present (don’t try to sell) • Set the appointment

  18. Telemarketing Tips • Use scripts that draw attention • Staff must be well-trained • Telemarketing needs clear goals Two Kinds of Telemarketing • Qualifying prospects • Market research

  19. Sales Blitz Selling Definition • Contacting potential clients in a concentrated area over a brief period of time • Used for both reaching and qualifying new prospects Characteristics • Purpose: Demonstrate the hotel’s ability to host meetings • 75 to 90 calls over a three-day period • Sales letters sent in advance to create “warm calls” • Use city directories to select target area • Temporary staff/college students may be used • Use sales blitz survey sheets to record prospect information

  20. Trade Show Selling Advantages • Deal directly with prospects who buy • Relatively low cost for closing a sale • Share space with local convention and visitors bureau Disadvantages • Initial cost of transportation, setup, and display • Competitors present, targeting same markets • Attendees may have no interest in your property (continued)

  21. Trade Show Selling (continued) Trade Show Selling Techniques • Create action plan before show: identify prospects, set sales and follow-up strategies • Target the businesses with the most potential • Solicit before and after show • Qualify prospects quickly

  22. Selling with Convention and Visitors Bureaus Characteristics • Often referred to as “CVBs” • Many CVBs are members of DMAI • Extension of hotel’s sales staff • Organized/funded in various ways • Convention lead forms • Housing bureau Sales Tools They May Share with Properties • Encyclopedia of Associations • Directory of Corporate Meeting Planners

  23. Site Inspections and Familiarization Tours Site Inspections • For individual prospects • Choose busy times • Take time to conduct tour • Show only areas of interest • Train staff to be tour guides Familiarization Tours (Fam Tours) • For groups of prospects • Qualify prospects in advance • Tell prospects what is included, the duration, and who is invited • Try to close sale before prospect leaves