The “Nuts and Bolts” of
PROFESSIONAL AND EFFECTIVE GROUP SALES
Prepared by The Hotel Shopping Network
Step 1: OPENING
PROPER GREETING With Name Clearly Provided: Sales Manager offers
greeting to include the name of the hotel and his/her name.
TONE/Attitude Overall Positive: Tone is set in the first moments of
the call – with hopefully, a positive tone which continues throughout the
call. The Hotel Shopping Network awards these points – unless the Sales
Manager was “rude”.
Courteous and Friendly: Courteous means the Sales Manager asked to
place caller on hold, thanked caller when coming back from hold, offered
“excuse me” if phone was dropped, etc. Friendly means the Sales Manager
was cheerful and ready to take the call.
Helpful and Enthusiastic: Helpful occurs at 65+ points – which
means the four steps of sales are being worked to a meaningful level.
Enthusiastic means the Sales Manager offers energy and excitement about
the call and hotel.
Smile in Voice: A smile changes the muscles in the face and neck
and offers a different “sound” to tone. A smile can be heard.
NAME REFERRAL: Sales Manager Refers to Caller by Name Several Times
During Call: The Sales Manager asks the caller's name (or notes it as the
caller begins the call) and uses it throughout the call.
AGENDA WITH VALUE PROPOSED TO CALLER: An agenda for the telephone
call is proposed and VALUE stated to caller. (i.e., "I would like to take
a few minutes of your time to obtain full knowledge of your hotel needs;
then I want to tell you what our hotel offers in features and services
that will meet those needs.”)
CALLER’S ACCEPTANCE OF AGENDA CHECKED: By checking for acceptance
of the agenda, Sales Manager has “buy-in” from the caller and has
successfully taken charge of the call. (i.e., “How does this sound to
Step 2: PROBING
BASIC NEEDS OBTAINED: Include Guest Rooms, Meeting Space, Banquets,
Breaks, Transportation, Etc: The Sales Manager asks enough closed-ended
questions to be able to check availability in guest rooms, meeting space,
NEEDS BEHIND THE NEEDS UNCOVERED to Include What Is Important to
the Planner by Using a Balance of Open & Closed Probes: Open probes allow
the caller to elaborate with the answer -- offering anywhere from a
sentence fragment answer to a full paragraph or a full page of
information. Closed is usually one to two syllable answers such as yes,
no, maybe, right, 13, 12, 18, etc. (A good question for the planner is,
“What is important to you as the planner of this function?” Another good
question is, “What are you looking for in a hotel?”)
BUDGET Expectations Uncovered: Sales Manager needs to ask if there
is a budget. If the caller has a budget and is clear about this – great –
you have something very tangible to work with in pricing. If not, then
attempt to obtain a range of pricing with which the caller would be
comfortable or ask what types of hotels this company has used in the past.
The Sales Manager obtains shop points for asking and trying to determine
the price point at which this caller will book.
COMPETITION Uncovered: Sales Manager is to probe to find out IF
there is other competition and WHO THE COMPETITION IS SPECIFICALLY. To
find out IF there is competition is only half the battle – find out, too,
WHO the competition is, so you will know who you are directly competing
with for this business.
FINAL OPEN PROBE ASKED: Do this repeatedly if necessary to DRAIN
the Caller of Needs. (i.e., “Is there anything else important to you and
your group?") Sales Manager needs to ask all the probing questions
possible before leaving probing – this complete information allows the
Sales Manager to execute a strong and powerful Supporting step – which is
TARGETED TO and DESCRIPTIVE OF the caller’s SPECIFIC needs.
Step 3: SUPPORTING
DELAYS SUPPORT STEP Until the Caller and Sales Manager have a Clear,
Mutual Understanding of Needs: The Sales Manager STAYS IN PROBING
UNTIL NEEDS AND NEEDS BEHIND THE NEEDS ARE KNOWN. In other words, perform
a THOROUGH probing step (Verify all the steps in probing completed).
ACKNOLWEDGE the Caller’s Needs by REPEATING Them for Greater Clarity
and Understanding: This is done BEFORE the features and benefits -- to
verify the information the Sales Manager is targeting is actually
identified needs and needs behind the needs of the caller.
DESCRIBES FEATURES & BENEFITS That Are Relevant & Targeted To the
Caller BEFORE the Rate Quote: The Rate quote is WITHHELD Until AFTER
the Features and Benefits are Presented.
REQUESTS THROUGHOUT SUPPORT STEP CALLER’S ACCEPTANCE of Described
Features and Benefits: Do this before moving on in the call. (i.e.,
"How does this sound to you?" “Is this something you were looking for?”
“Is this what you described as important to you?")
Step 4: CLOSING
REVIEWS THE BENEFITS previously Accepted by Caller: This step lies
BETWEEN the Features and Benefits and Asking for the Sale. (i.e.: “So, we
have the dates available, you know our brand offers comfortable, clean,
secure rooms and this is important to you. We offer the naturally lit
meeting space you requested, we are conveniently located close to the
office you need to visit, and you are comfortable with our pricing.”)
CLOSURE ATTEMPTED on a Definite or Tentative Basis at the Appropriate
Time: Sales Manager makes a closed-ended request to hold space which
elicits a “Yes” or “No” response from the caller. (i.e., "May I hold these
arrangements for you?") Elicits a "yes" response from the caller.
OBJECTION(S) STEPS: Sales Manager asks enough questions to
understand caller’s reason for objection. The Sales Manager then applies
one or more of the following skills.
SALES MANAGER PRESENTS ADDITIONAL BENEFITS and Repeats Existing
Benefits to Overcome Objection(s): (i.e.: “I can hold this tentatively
pending your decision.” “I know you were looking for a meeting room with
natural lighting, but I think by placing the break stations on the
naturally lit landing outside the room, we have overcome that problem.”)
ANYTHING I FAILED TO TELL YOU: (i.e.,” Is there anything I failed
to tell you about the hotel and the area that will help you with your
ASKS FOR SALE SECOND TIME: Following the objection statement – ask
for the sale again. (i.e., “So, may I go ahead and hold this pending your
REPEAT ARRANGEMENTS IN DETAIL: (i.e., “Ms. Jones, we are holding
10, single, non-smoking guest rooms for 3 nights at the rate of $69.00. I
have you arriving March 14th and departing March 17. We have a meeting
room for 13 people 8am-5pm on March 15 & 16 and 8am-noon on 4/17. Lunch
will be in your room through our catering department daily, you've
requested a 10am and 2pm break daily and you will provide a rooming list
next Friday and prefer master account payment.”)
NEXT STEP Proposed for Sales Manager and Caller: This step needs to
be as specific as possible. (i.e., "I understand your decision will be
made next Wednesday in a 12 noon meeting, Ms. Jones. May I call you about
10:00 am that morning to verify you have received all the information and
to see if there are further questions? Then I'd like to telephone you that
afternoon to find out your decision in a hotel partner. Would this be
CLEAR CLOSING Using the Caller’s Name: (i.e., “We look forward to
working with you. I will be back in touch on Tuesday as discussed, Ms.