There's a common adage that's been making the rounds in the business world for years:…
We keep hearing that the events industry is about relationships. Relationships. Relationships. Relationships! But what happens when you are a new hotel sales manager and you don’t know anyone! Or you’re changing markets at your property and now need to meet a whole new roster of clients. Or you move hotels (gasp!) and need to connect with clients in a new capacity. What can you do to maintain or build relationships without burdening your clients with more new information? What tips are there for new hotel sales managers for when they are touching base with clients about the update?
Whether you are new to the meetings and events industry, or new to your role as hotel or destination sales manager, there are some things you can do as a new sales manager to break through to meeting planners and cultivate relationships.
When Introducing Yourself To Clients as a New Hotel Sales Manager, Keep The Following Tips in Mind:
- Research the client’s history with the property – there is nothing more disheartening to a planner than receiving an introductory email from someone who wants to “introduce” the property to them, a property they’ve been working with for several years. While planners can see its a mass email, it eludes that their business and loyalty is being taken for granted.
- Provide frame of reference – if you are replacing a former sales manager, make reference to it in your introductory email. If you are changing markets, make reference to that as well. For busy planners and 3rd parties, they are likely dealing with some of your colleagues and staff, so making reference allows us to keep track of “who’s who in the zoo.”
- Try to have your predecessor make introductions – this is the ideal situation, and provides you with a warm introduction to a planner who is already working with your property. Try to coordinate some training time with your predecessor as well.
- Have your organization forward emails to your predecessor to your email – this ensure emails are getting answered, and what better way to warm-introduce yourself than when the email is in response to something coming in!
- Introduce something FUN about yourself – save your work resume for when the client stalks your LinkedIn profile. Rather, what is something fun and relational that you can tell them. (ie. “I see you are located in Kelowna – I love wine touring and have visited some wineries in Napa recently! Do you have any favourite wineries in Kelowna?”
- Have a complete signature line – include your full roster of contact information for your clients and prospects, including title, organization, email address, hotel/dmo location address, phone number.
- Update your LinkedIn profile – another great way to get connections aware of your move and make the first email/phone call more warm and “expected”. Tips for updating your profile can be found here.
- Include a call to action – without a call to action, your email will simply be filed under “information only”. Suggest some times to connect over coffee, or a phone visit, or ask if they are attending an upcoming conference where you can meet face to face.
Some Don’ts When Introducing Yourself as a New Hotel Sales Manager:
(and believe me, I’ve seen these happen, thus the list….)
- Don’t ask your new client for a copy of a previously signed contract – surely your organization has a copy of this internally, and if they don’t, its time to implement better organization!
- Don’t ask “have you ever done business with our property”. See tip #1 from above, you should know this before even picking up the phone or hitting send on your email.
- Don’t introduce your hotel – this is best for a subsequent email. Stick to an introduction of yourself, and add something else of value to the client.
- Don’t mass communicate – try to tailor each and every message for your clients and prospects. Its time-consuming, but so it replacing clients that are put off by your message that rubs them the wrong way.
Sound simple right? There’s a bit more time involved in doing the above suggestions versus one simple mass communication, but this is more effective in building and cultivating relationships. That’s essentially what our industry is about, right?
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Download this FREE checklist, Tips for New Sales Managers, here. It includes the tips above plus a couple of others!