One of the goals of a hotel sales manager is to get clients to come for site inspections and tour the hotel with you. Once you get the commitment, get ready to do some work. When I get a commitment to come for a tour – with a date and time, the first thing I do is make a list of questions and decide on what I want to get out of the appointment.
From there I Google their organization and surf through their pages to get an idea who they are. This knowledge is also good to get for when they do come so you have something to talk about that is in their interest. What are they coming for? Some will come to tour before they sign a booking agreement. Others for future business.
When I get an inquiry, lets just say for a wedding block, I always invite them out and I make time for them. Most hotel sales people won't just ask them to come and meet with them. They would rather quote a rate, hang up, then shoot out an email. This is not "WOWING" the caller.
When you are sincere and welcome them to your "home" you will have a much better chance to book them. Always invite them to take a site inspection of your hotel. Not to mention that your General Manager will keep seeing you on tours. This looks good for you.
From there I route a Site Inspection Form noting their information and how much I feel the client is worth. The day before I always call to confirm the appointment. I do not email them, I call. This shows that yes, I do have time for you. I think the clients like it better.
On inspection day, I will then choose the rooms that I want to show. To be sure I don't have any surprises, I walk the route that I am going to take with them to pick up any trash or to get something done before they arrive. And I take the time to inspect my rooms. If I don't like them, I pick more and keep checking until I find what I am looking for.
On a good day it may only take me 15 minutes to find a good room, and I always find something that I don't like that must be taken care of. On a bad day I have taken over an hour to find the perfect room and the perfect walk through path. Based on occupancy the night before, I don't always get the best pickings of the rooms.
I recommend getting show rooms if possible. A show room should look perfect. As perfect as the room looked when it first opened. It should smell good too. I must say that if I'm not happy with the show rooms that my Management Team picks out, I always bring it up at the next Staff Meeting.
We put the show rooms in an out of order status but we sell them if we have to. We try to keep our show rooms out of order but with the past hurricanes and bad weather, we are running pretty good on occupancy so they have to use them. We are an Airport Property with many "distressed passengers" and airline crews.
If you do have show rooms, don't add a bunch of extra items, flowers etc., that are not in all of the budget. Show them a clean, clean smelling and fresh room. Don't fudge too much. During the site inspection, I have a list ready for the client with my questions and I tell the client that I have questions for them. Then I ask approval to take notes.
Once they leave, I make it a priority to get the proposal or contract done to get it to them as fast as possible. Clients are impressed when they get their paperwork shortly after they left the property. It shows that YOU the Hotel Sales Manager is interested in a partnership and that you will be committed to them and hopefully them to you.