In April, we explained the importance of a healthy greeting to good customer service, but did you know that maximizing your sales also involves good customer service?
It’s hard to imagine the need in a busy town like Seaside, but good sales strategies facilitated through good customer service, even when there is a surplus in business, result in long term sales success, carrying your business through the off season. It’s probably no surprise that in the Service industries, front-line staff are the key to those sales, but how does that translate into practical day-to-day operations? The answer is simple, with training.
The City of Seaside Visitors Bureau would like to share some training strategies developed by professionals in the industry to help increase your sales. If your staff has the right tools to succeed, and if they are knowledgeable, they will feel empowered and capable when faced with sales challenges, which are especially common in our busy travel destination. The following are some easy, effective strategies that allow supervisors to initiate all of their staff into the same school of “sales” thought. We have used the lodging field as an example.
1) Front desk staff should all be trained completely and uniformly.
2) Every person answering the phone or greeting walk-ins should know:
- Basic availability that day and that weekend
- Lowest price for any room that night/that weekend
- Complete descriptions of any available rooms/homes
- Where to suggest next, if the person is looking for something your property doesn’t have
3) Don’t stop selling. When a guest starts to leave without booking, remember:
- You can still make the sale if you know you can offer a discount or upgrade
- You can still make the sale if you know of a different room style that might work for them
- You can still make the sale if they go to another hotel because they might come back
- You can still make the sale if they remember how nice you were this time and decide to try you next time
- Every interaction is with a potential regular guest, possibly bringing thousands of dollars in business over the years themselves, and recommending others who will do the same.
4) If you don’t have availability, know where to send the caller.
Do you have a sister property? What availability do they have left? What is the lowest price? Tell them to call the Visitors Bureau (VB) 503.738.3097 for assistance. Is the phone number easy to find?
5) The What-Ifs:
- You were full, but then got a cancellation…call the VB.
- You just can’t sell those last three rooms…call the VB.
- You have a bunch of rooms left over and are ready to negotiate on rate…call the VB.
- You don’t have any rooms, but don’t know who does…call the VB.
- You are full and getting about 20,000 phone calls…call the VB.
- You have a great special in the off season and need to get the word out…call the VB
In hospitality, competition is the main factor. You need to catch your guests’ attention and hold it long enough to keep them from searching for what they think are greener pastures. Meet their needs in a room, meet their needs in a price, do this with prompt service, comfortable negotiation techniques, and expert knowledge of the market, and your business will see the difference in its sales. For broader descriptions of these techniques, use this set of instructions. Feel free to customize and use these strategies for your staff training.
For those in the Food and Beverage Industry, techniques for healthy sales are similar to those of the Hospitality Industry. Competition is still important, of course, but there is an even heavier emphasis on service, which is all about the follow through. We have provided this set of instructions with sales strategies designed for the Dining industry in Seaside. Likewise, in the Retail or Service industries, a quick answer and confidence in the product or service are the keys to success. For more information on how these training tools apply in the Retail and Service Industries, use this set of instructions.
The City of Seaside Visitors Bureau strives to empower our local businesses to offer the best service and sales techniques. It makes their businesses healthier, it makes our jobs easier, and it makes the city of Seaside a collection of individual businesses successful as a premier destination for visitors to the Oregon Coast.