Now is NOT the time for cold calls. Client outreach, staying in touch, keep momentum of communication and strengthening relationships are key to recovery contact let them know we are here when they are ready to book. NOT “selling” today. Clients will remember people the remembered them during this time. Hotels that do this relationship building and maintenance will see recovery faster than others based on historical results.
Clearly identify & outline warm calls vs. true cold calls. Warm calls are outreach focused and proven success.
- Immediate business- Hospitals, National Guard and FEMA- all booked vial local office contacts not nationally.
- Establish special rate for individuals and plan for small group room needs.
- Some see Federal Perdiem rates being paid + company who cleans rooms, full sanitation and duct system cleaning for anyone testing positive for COVID19.
- Relationship building. Touch local offices and EVERY contact in organization that may impact recovery via referral or directly; local business & national/global companies.
- Using CRM Data & Knowland data create by manager 30/60/90-day phased target lists- contacts, company and segments who will return first.
- Local Accounts or Contacts- tend to be ones booking/referring historically.
- Remote contact via phone and email while in person limitations are in place.
- Formal Sales Blitz- virtual & in-person when we can again.
- Profile companies-have they had meeting in your market at hotels that fit profile of your hotel?
- Look back to 2001-3, 2010 -12, SARS years what companies and groups returned during these downturns vs. this last year? These companies/organizations will likely be first to return during recovery period.
Sales Expectations for Recovery
Establish Documented Expectations of Prospecting Goals-
Clearly establish written, approved metrics for prospecting and sales blitz. Get to approved/ agreed metrics guidelines for prospecting and blitz recovery plan with Owner, Management to Sales Team. Time is of the essence.
Proposed Real Prospecting Warm Calls
- # of Calls made
- # of new contacts established. (Rarely is there only 1 contact in an organization to work with.)
- # site tours once it’s safe to return.
- Blitz- virtual or in person. All metrics above also apply.
- Sales to deliver details of documented policy to protect guests and employees as opening approach to calls.
Create Virtual Hotel Site Tours- Short Term- Hotel made Video.
- Create different virtual tours designed specifically to Market Segment focuses.
- EX: Corporate vs. SMERF -different aspects of hotel are needed.
- While hotel is closed or low occupancy negotiate special pricing, multi-market video tours with 3-D videographer.
Sales Action Plan
- Immediate targets and pricing establish: COVID19 driven business as ID in Key Recover/Expectations section 2.
- Hospitality Revenue Solutions can aid with CRM extract by SM list as outlined in Key Recover/Expectations section 3.
- Establish formal communication for “warm calls”. (See Example’s Exhibit A)
- TRAIN- Prepare Sales Teams- Critical they are skilled at proactive prospecting for hotel to recover faster than others in market.
- ID Sales team skills- ID strength in true proactive “hunting” prospecting vs. busywork. Who in your sales team are the hunters truly sourcing business on own?
- Train everyone. Establish immediate timeline of virtual daily training to get the team prospecting strengths up to level to be competitive and effective.
- Critical -Train team how to prospect effectively and considerately during this time. The wrong approach, the wrong targets will damage vs. grow.
- Knowland- most sales teams are not using all reporting capacity to effectively target this business. Training needed.
- Target local office for business ID from past crisis years.
- Smart Search Platform target size and type of meeting with similar hotel product.
- Focused Prospect List- Establish 30-60-90 day prospect list off Data Valet identified targets.
- Pay close attention to Market Segments booking at local/corporate level during recovery period. Trends from previous disasters- 2001-3, 2008-12, SARS 2003.
- Target key geographic local/regional business likely to return or influence in recovery.
- Outreach- sensitive to today but know when ready to book again we are here.
- Present formal company policy of safety of guest and associates to all solicited contacts.
- Achieve revised prospecting goals as outlined under Sales Expectations section.
- Set daily/weekly training sessions immediately first day first phase of Sales/Catering team and ongoing for that team and phased future S/C team members.
- Set documented course topic, who to attend, 45 min sessions set day and time timeline.
- Pivot sales efforts as crisis and recovery period evolve.
Information collected and provided by Hospitality Revenue Solutions, LLC.
Contact Allison Ahrens for assistance in facilitating your sales and revenue strategies for today’s crisis and future recovery period!
The below samples are actual communication shared by Kristin House, SVP Conference Direct. Examples of “warm prospecting” not selling.
- They are being inundated with calls and emails.
- Cold calls from a person they do not know result in a response “contact me in 3 -6 months after business returns”. They just can’t handle capacity of cancellations, rescheduling, re-contracting/negotiating with business they already have relationships with.
- Warm Calls- if you have had contact either via booked business or communication using the examples below will help you stay front of mind but do not sell at this time please.
I just wanted to take a moment to check in on you. I hope this note finds you, your family and friends doing well. This is such a crazy time… I would never have believed we are where we are. I will check back with you at a more appropriate time however, if you need anything from me in the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out.
In the meantime, enjoy this puzzle to help pass your time at home.
My thoughts are with you and look forward to being in touch, hopefully sooner than later.
I hope you are staying safe and healthy during this crazy pandemic! The team, here at XYZ Fort Lauderdale, wanted to reach out and let you know we are thinking of you and are here to help in any way we can during this time. If you need to socially-distance further than your home office, we have you covered. If your clients are forward thinking and would like to get a meeting on the books but are afraid of the contractual commitment, we have a solution for that too! If you need toilet paper… well, I am not sure how to help with that right now, but I can certainly try my best!
With an optimistic outlook for the hopefully near future, we are rolling out a new promotion to help our groups save some money while relaxing on the beach for the remainder of 2020, anticipating it is going to be an interesting time for everyone. As a partner to the Sonesta brand, we wanted to give you the first opportunity to see it and reserve space as we come out on the other side of this together. Please see what we can offer below.
Best wishes and we hope to be able to work with you again very soon,
XYZ State – a world of possibilities for meetings and events… We’re here to help!
First, I hope you, your family & colleagues are all well! My heart breaks for all my ConferenceDirect friends & colleagues- hang in there!
I just wanted to let you know, as we all move through this ever-changing Coronavirus (COVID-19) world together, please know that myself and the staff of the XYZ Convention & Sports Bureau are here for you.
Some of you have or had programs scheduled or being considered in XYZ Sate or our neighboring city, States, but I imagine your clients’ may have or are considering postponing most of these programs? If you have any difficulty finding a new location in XX or the Northeast or reschedule dates or any issues, please let me know. I am happy to find the right fit. This is a very difficult time.
Secondly, we have been running a 2020 Promo exclusive for ConferenceDirect with Incentives for you, your client and the attendee at eleven of our XYZ State hotels participating. I will also let you know if we extend it into 2021.