Extract from my book entitled
How to WIN in the Conference, Meetings & Event Market.
Like a tree needs roots, a sky scraper needs a solid foundation. To lay the most stable foundation possible for your sky scraper you have to build on bedrock. Decisions in the Conference, Meeting & Event market are based on solid foundations, proof and trust. We will start with building these solid foundations in the form of your sales toolkit. I call it the Steps to WIN Toolkit™; it’s what Planners use to make their decisions every day.
Selling in the post-pandemic world makes these sales skills and tools even more important to get right.
Your Sales Toolkit is where Planners start in their process of deciding on a venue. You have to get on the list of hotels & venues that they will engage with, request a proposal from and start a conversation with. To do this, we go back to the bedrock and build from there. That is creating the right Pitch, Proposal, Webpage and Sales & Marketing resources that are going to build trust, confidence and your credibility as the right venue for the Planner’s event.
I have designed a system to help you Attract, Convert and Win a lot more Conference Business. It’s the Steps to WIN Program™. The first step in this system is to create the right sales toolkit for your hotel or venue. These are your tools of trust.
The 7 Ps to help you WIN:
There are 7 Ps involved in building this toolkit rock solid. The kind of toolkit that will ensure you attract the right clients; build a level of trust with them so that they are easier to convert. When you are attracting the right clients, you are in a position to have better quality conversations. Conversations that lead to better relationships, relationships that will drive revenue.
This is why all sales & conversion systems must start at the very source of the decision-making process. The most common reason that business is lost at more advanced stages of the sales process is because mistakes were made at the beginning of the sales process. At these early stages of the sales cycle you should be captivating the potential client and gently pulling them closer.
The client goes through different steps in their decision-making process – the more Yes’s you get at each step of their buying process; the more likely you are to convert the sale. I will break down each step of this buying process and show you how to align your sales process with how the Planner makes decisions. Aligning how you sell with how the Planner buys will be a key component in dramatically increasing your conversion rate.
It’s a lot more time efficient and profitable to get the client off to a strong start – loving your hotel or venue from the moment they interact with you – on the very first step of their buying process. You want to get to “YES” at each step of the sales process and keep moving them through each step of their decision- making process with a YES. This is key to your conversion success.
Strategy gives you direction, but the right tools help you get there quicker.
The Steps to WIN Toolkit is made up of tools that ensure you are doing the basics brilliantly (the 7 Ps). These are the basics that help you to gently pull in and attract the right clients. To quote Chris Brogan who specializes in helping entrepreneurs build a better business quicker, “every company is looking for the edge - what’s going to help separate them from their competitors, well guess what, doing the basics right is the edge”. I do agree with
him. It isn’t complicated. When I ask Planners what frustrates them about looking for a new venue, one or a number of the following always comes up. These are the 7 Ps, that when built right, will ensure you are doing the basics brilliantly. Let’s examine them:
The 7 Ps:
- The Power Pitch & Position – what you say to make the client interested in you, it’s not about trying to close the deal
- The Page - Website
- The Promise - Marketing Resources, Brilliant Brochures
- The Proposal To Win
- Personal. It has to feel like it was created just for them and that you really “get” the conference market
- Passion & Personality – if you are not passionate about your property, why should they be?
- Plan & just do it! You have to schedule time in your calendar – just like a client appointment to get this work done. Otherwise, you will have the same problem in 6 months time.
The Trust Factor
Having been a Venue Finder for 10 years, I noticed a number of factors about the way hotels sell to the client. Not building trust and confidence in the right way with the Planner is the really big one.
What most sales tools in the industry are lacking is that built-in trust factor. Trust is the necessary link between a sale and no sale, between how much or how little your client or your next best client spends with you. (That is a great phrase I heard from someone, I just can’t remember who said it, forgive me if it was you.) When a Planner books a hotel, they are effectively giving you their reputation. They are placing their reputation in your hands and that of their brand. Brands cost hundreds of thousands to build, reputations take years to build. A wrong venue choice can do un-repairable damage to both. This fear of a loss of reputation or brand damage is always there, they may never verbalise it but it is always there. So what a hotel or venue needs to do is build in these feelings or emotions of trust, to help them overcome this fear and get the client to the next phase of their decision making process.
Trust is the foundation on which your new success in attracting & converting more business is based upon. I will show you throughout this sales skills program how to build in trust to each stage of the client’s decision-making process – your sales process.
How the Buyer Buys
My steps are like a building block system. Built together, step by step, these steps will help you to align your sales process to the buying process of the client. I call it the Steps to WIN.
When you nail each area of these steps, everything just starts to come together beautifully. Magic happens and you are working in the profit zone; building relationships that drive revenue. That is my goal for you.
"After reading this book you will know how to sell more. Ciara clearly walks you through how to build trust and confidence with the buyer, so that they want to do business with you."
- Andy Dolce, Owner Operator, Dolce Hotels & resorts. Voted one of the 25 most influential executives in the Meetings Industry