Best Business Practices Between Meeting Professionals and Hospitality Sales Executives
Another year has passed and with the
marketplace in constant flux. We decided to survey our network again to gain an
updated understanding of the current trends and challenges to provide up to the
minute helpful advice.
The four questions we
asked in our survey:
- What kind
of salesperson are you today as compared to a year ago?
- What do
you see as the biggest challenge in responding to inquiries?
your biggest obstacle while adding new clients?
- What was
the biggest hurdle in contract negotiations?
We are happy to share
the responses today compared to a year ago indicate that salespeople are
feeling positive and optimistic, they are truly ready for customers. As a
bonus, they feel they are more personable and better in their roles overall.
We have compiled and
analyzed the data and have shared the results in the form of common themes and
experiences, as well as our recommendations with you below.
- More personable
and understanding of how to navigate the current climate and COVID-19
- Improved sales
skills overall and are more optimistic in booking business
barriers or obstacles when it comes to growing client list or negotiating
- Willing to
spend time building relationships and seeking aligned clients
people skills to work within shorter timeframes and smaller budgets
from reactivity to proactivity, particularly as it pertains to maintaining
relationships and earned trust of clients
has transitioned to email and away from verbal communication or in-person
capabilities to respond to inquiries in a faster manner, clients are becoming
increasingly time sensitive
emphasis on contracts and conditions with COVID-19 making it difficult to
predict and navigate potential cancellations
arise with delayed responses and inquiries which are more general in nature
on resources as calendars are becoming increasingly full
budgets and expectations don’t match the value provided
- The need
to move towards more digital resources as manual processes including credit
cards, estimates and contracts are now inconvenient
in diligence and determination to close sales
and adjusting to the time investment required to respond to all inquiries
- The need
for creativity to ensure potential client replies and increased communication
focus on problem solving and negotiating skills
the time to go through processes thoroughly
skills like patience and understanding are more valuable in client and supplier
staffing levels pose a challenge
feeling more hopeful as to the current and future state of the industry
need to balance flexibility with forward planning as event calendar fills
entrants into event positions sometimes mean communicating with less
experienced potential clients and contacts, requires thoughtfulness and
creative ways to understand a potential client’s vision for an event via
written forms of communication, previously was easier via in-person meetings or
- More in
tune with the need to pivot and provide virtual content and services
require more consultation to understand needs and move towards being ready to
from administration to the need for marketing with the increasing need to
identify buyer audiences, purchasing habits, preferences, and unique needs
the best practices to qualify leads for best use of time and resources
to the short-term nature of more opportunities compared to last year
navigating how to be flexible and adaptive during COVID-19 times and potential
professionals are realizing they are now more cautious while others are
experiencing frustration, and for some they have learned to become patient
Given the responses to
this year’s survey, we have revised our recommendations to remedy some of the
challenges and issues.
All themes explored in
the survey play an important role in each person’s development as they reassess
their skills to move forward effectively. A noteworthy observation is that
goals are shorter than they have ever been before and that the market and environment
have truly changed.
Contract negotiations are
becoming more tedious making salespeople stressed as clients strive to cover
every little detail, particularly as it pertains to COVID-19 regulations. This
has meant that contracts take longer to finalize. We highly recommend ongoing
contract reviews for both sides to identify realistic terms and conditions with
a quarterly review before negotiations are final.
When it comes to
building better relationships, flexibility and adaptability are key skills that
require continuous improvement to have the ability to fulfil each client’s
specific needs on an ongoing basis; this will be a major factor in negotiations
and successfully securing business.
If you’re interested
in learning more about securing and growing your business in these new economic
times, please feel free to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we are
more than happy to chat to you about how we can help.
Lynne Wellish, CMP, CHSE Sales Activator with a focus on unique boutique businesses in the Hospitality Industry. Lynne@cplanit.com
LoriAnn Harnish, CMP, CMM, CED, CTA Strategic meeting professional. LoriAnn.Harnish@gmail.com
Both are life-long learners and hospitality educators at Scottsdale
Community College. Each year they collaborate on a survey to stay current
with trends as they update and curate content for their students. Please email your experiences regarding the survey
results or to inquire about customized recommendations
to help grow your business.