|Are You Ready To Change The Perception Of Order-Taker Into Sales-Maker?|
By Tom Costello
Tuesday, 30th October 2012
I don’t know what has happened to some hotel sales managers recently but their lack of interest and/or response to a piece of business leads me to question if they have become order-takers and not sales-makers?.
Case in point.
Today, most Request for Proposals (RFPs) are distributed through e-channels such as Cvent and StarCite’s MPoint. Because these channels allow meeting and event planners to point and click their way through the search and distribution process doesn’t change the steps that need to take place once the RFP hits the sales manager’s inbox.
But often what follows is a complete mystery to me. No call, no “reach out” and little to no interaction from the sales manager regarding the lead. Continually awaiting a response. The response deadline missed. And in some cases, no response at all.
I get it that some hotel pipelines are bursting with e-leads, staff has been reduced, and planners who overload the system due to a “shotgun” approach but it doesn’t change the opportunity to explore the possibilities, nurture a relationship or close a deal.
The more a sales manager hides behind the electronic distribution veil, the more apt they are to be categorized as an order-taker.
So what are the differences between an order-taker and a sales-maker?
Order-takers use email as their primary means to “connect” and “communicate” with a prospect.
Sales-makers use the telephone.
Order-takers would rather work on incoming business than prospect for new business.
Sales-makers don’t wait around for business to come to them; they are hunters.
Order-takers sell features and benefits.
Sales-makers solve problems.
Order-takers give information.
Sales-makers get more information than they give.
Order-takers sell price.
Sales-makers sell value.
Order-takers avoid prospect interaction like the plague, especially when that prospect is coming from an electronic channel.
Sales-makers reach out, engage, and interact with the prospect no matter where the lead comes from.
Order-takers use electronic distribution channels as a crutch because it provides them with another excuse why they can’t level playing field.
Sales-makers are adept at finding out what makes the prospect tick and will provide all of the necessary information and insight that will get him engaged in the sales process.
Order-takers want to make a contribution. They just don’t want to put in the sweat equity that is required.
Sales-makers are ready, willing, and able to do whatever it takes to open the door or close the sale.
Order-takers believe that if the prospect likes them it will seal the deal.
Sales-makers believe that if the hotel can’t stand up and deliver on what the prospect expects and deserves, then there is no deal.
Order-takers are controlled by their clients.
Sales-makers focus on what the customer needs, not what the customer asks for.
Order-takers don’t value the prospect/hotel relationship that serves as the catalyst that opens opportunities.
Sales-makers possess the drive and ambition that demonstrate that the prospect’s business is valued by both the sales manager and their hotel.
Tom Costello is a business owner, consultant, and author whose career encompasses more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality and travel industries that includes startups, strategic business planning, P&L management, branding, sales, marketing, social media, e-reputation management, technology development, channel distribution, vendor and third-party relations. As the Principal of Groups International, a meetings and events management company, Tom drives the strategic growth of the company in the areas of sales, marketing, brand image, social media, and vendor relations.