What else could there be ? Make new contacts, get them to approve of your resort or hotel, maybe sign a contract and everything is done, right ? Time to move on to the next sale, and the next, and the next. Whether in London, Singapore, Bangkok or elsewhere on our travels, we come across this view of building business time and again. Usually, the same people are wondering why they are not getting the business they had expected.
Successful sales – the full potential of a client’s business – comes from two way relationships built through a number of stages and not from a contract alone. That two way relationship comes from providing all of the support which the client needs to build sales for your property and not for the closest competitor of yours the company may also feature. Sales comes from a hunger to get everything a client can give you, to steal the maximum market share, within the limits of what you want from that segment, of course.
Exactly what building the relationship entails will depend on the market, the distance between your resort and hotel and the client and the type of business. It certainly entails being as readily accessible to that client as possible to provide all of the support he or she may need. In the case of building business for your resort or hotel in South East Asia here in the UK and Europe, after signing the contract what may be needed to maximise potential business includes:
- Property Marketing materials for the hotel – brochures, photo CD’s.
- Property Facts – you know, those annoying questionnaires that need to be filled out with a lot of details about facilities at the resort or hotel.
- Powerpoint Presentation to show around to colleagues – your contact may have to justify his choice of your property to other team members.
- Ready contact for any queries, preferably within the same time zone.
- Ensuring all of your colleagues are fully informed and geared up to look after the business.
- Product training for the teams that will be selling your property within the client company.
- Familiarisation trips to be arranged for members of the team and the client’s own agents.
- Follow up meetings at regular intervals to review progress and initiate steps to boost sales.
Don’t get me wrong: getting a client to the point of signing a contract is a really important and positive step, assuming it is the right kind of business – but that’s for another topic. It’s just that, when you get to that point, you need to have the follow through planned out so that you don’t just leave the client to their own devices.
If you have the structure, much of the support may come from your assistant, the marketing team or, of course, your sales representative but, if the contract signing for your resort or hotel is not fully followed through be aware of the strong risk that you will see only a portion of the business you could be getting.
What is your experience ? What sales support do your clients usually need ?