how to close the sale

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I get people who call, ask questions, I answer, they sound really excited and want to make a reservation, and say they have to ask their wife, cousin, other travel companions etc... and will call me back..... but then they don't...

How do you get them to make the reservation while you have them on the phone without sounding pushy or desperate??

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I spent a lot of time and effort(and expense) to set an informative website with a booking engine and availability calendar.  Nothing chaps my hide more than for someone to call me while THEY ARE LOOKING at my site to see if we we have availability.  When I ask them if they had looked at our calendar they say "Yes, but we just wanted to be sure."  DUH!

 

 

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We actually say right on our website -- "This calendar is what WE look at to see what is available!"

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Madeleine's picture
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I may change mine to say that. Right now it says, 'yes, this calendar i's up to date!'

If i said I was going to look at the same calendar would it slow down the callers who say, 'I'm looking at the calendar right now but I thought you might have had a cancellation...'

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Madeleine wrote:
I may change mine to say that. Right now it says, 'yes, this calendar i's up to date!' If i said I was going to look at the same calendar would it slow down the callers who say, 'I'm looking at the calendar right now but I thought you might have had a cancellation...'
RezKey provides a form for you to get on a waiting list if the dates you want are full.  I get numerous requests to be put on a waiting list FOR DAYS THAT ARE OPEN!   Just make the reservation already.

 

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Proud Texan wrote:

Madeleine wrote:
I may change mine to say that. Right now it says, 'yes, this calendar i's up to date!' If i said I was going to look at the same calendar would it slow down the callers who say, 'I'm looking at the calendar right now but I thought you might have had a cancellation...'
RezKey provides a form for you to get on a waiting list if the dates you want are full.  I get numerous requests to be put on a waiting list FOR DAYS THAT ARE OPEN!   Just make the reservation already.

 

I actually undid that feature as there was a glitch, and people were using it as a contact form. I rethought it, reformatted it. I can see the value of having a contact form right then instead of having to leave rezkey and go find my contact us page.

It was not working the way I wanted it to, so I changed it up a bit. I am still not super happy with it, but it is not worth hassling "the man" over.

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Sunshine wrote:

I get people who call, ask questions, I answer, they sound really excited and want to make a reservation, and say they have to ask their wife, cousin, other travel companions etc... and will call me back..... but then they don't...

How do you get them to make the reservation while you have them on the phone without sounding pushy or desperate??

For me, it is like this, I don't want them calling back and my having to refund it all and undo the entire reservation. I would rather have them be sure when they reserve AND agree to our cancelation policies.

PS "I will check and call back" means NO, it is too much $ and they won't reserve. I end the call with "You can save $10 if you want to book online if I am unavailable later to take your call..."

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  ask.

 after you've answered all their questions (you think)

say, 'would you like to book your room now?'  and then wait

or

'what nights would you like to reserve now?' and then wait

or

'let's reserve your room now' and then wait

this might prompt the reservation

if it does not, mention you also have online reservations at bestroomintown dot com and then release YOURself from the call.

'it was nice speaking with you, i have another call coming in now.' say goodbye and hang up.  did i have another call coming in? no. but often it resulted in their calling back or booking online.  not always. 

by the way ... i had a 'book of facts' where i jotted down every inane, irrelevant question and answer for when i was asked it again  ... some people would treat me like the local tourist bureau.  that's fine, IF you have nothing else to do but gab on the phone with someone touring by telephone.  often, those folk never booked a room.  but one guy did stop by to tell me he enjoyed speaking with me.  repeatedly  ?!  haha ... surprise

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Just to give a for instance. Today I got two calls already. The first one wanted to know that I had a garage to secure their bicycles. $10 extra for the garage, happy as can be, booked. The next call, my least expensive room was too expensive. Considering it has a full breakfast, one of the most reasonable prices around.... I wasn't about to come down on price because it will book anyway. You can't chase the last dollar, that's the expensive dollar. 

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Madeleine's picture
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I just got thru a very difficult call as the phone kept cutting out on the other end. I would get half of the name and then dead phone. Got all the way thru to taking the cc info and the person has no cc. Wanted to know if they just showed up could they pay cash? Wanted to know the chances of their being any rooms if they did just show up.

They are taking a bus. There are no buses that stop anywhere near here. It was all so sorry sounding but I won't hold a room for someone without the cc info even if they pay cash when they arrive.

I thought I had completely gotten the name of the town wrong but I looked it up with the zip code and it was correct. And it's in the middle of nowhere. Actually, a few miles north of nowhere.

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I made the mistake of holding a room for someone who did not have a cc. I called them that day with a question, then they informed me they weren't coming...

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Midwest Madam wrote:

I made the mistake of holding a room for someone who did not have a cc. I called them that day with a question, then they informed me they weren't coming...

A lot of times it is a gut feeling. One call last week asked if I could wait a day to take the deposit. She was coming here to take a class and I like working with the folks who host the class. I said it was ok to call the following day with the info. Three days later I was calling her to be told she'd 'call right back when she got home'. Hmmm. Well, she did call. We'll see if she actually shows up.

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'May I have your phone number? I'll give you a call tomorrow to see how your plans are coming along!'

If they say no and you've got the stomach for it, ask if there is something they are looking for that they are not hearing answered in the questions they've asked. It's tough because it's your biz. You can pretend you 'just work here' to see if that helps.

If you did 'just work here' would you be able to sell for someone else?

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Madeleine wrote:

'May I have your phone number? I'll give you a call tomorrow to see how your plans are coming along!'

If they say no and you've got the stomach for it, ask if there is something they are looking for that they are not hearing answered in the questions they've asked. It's tough because it's your biz. You can pretend you 'just work here' to see if that helps.

If you did 'just work here' would you be able to sell for someone else?

I've actually found that I can sell the room easier BECAUSE I work there. There's no emotion. That's not to say that I'm heartless, but tt's all honest, straight-forward, and business. And because it's that way, the emotions get checked at the door. I have a job to do. I will do that job.

 

Two things I use with varying degrees of success: "May I make that reservation for you?" AND.THEN.WAIT. Breathe. Let them answer. If they come back with "I'll have to talk with so-and-so" I'll come back with my most sincere and compassionate voice and tell them something along the lines of (depending upon the vibe I've been getting from them) "Please keep in mind that this (season, attraction, time period, whatever reason they are calling for) is a very busy time for us. Our rooms go quickly the closer we get."

I'm not a sales robot, nor am I a pushy person. But I also don't have emotion and an identity wrapped up in the inn. That frees my heart up considerably in the room selling dept Smiling

Madeleine's picture
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I kind of thought so. I know it wouldn't bother me at all if I didn't own the place to hear someone say it wasn't what they wanted.

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I wouldn't waste my time "trying to sell" They either want the room or not. If you have to convince them, then I wouldn't want them. But if you want to try..hey go ahead but don't sound desparate.

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Sunshine wrote:

I get people who call, ask questions, I answer, they sound really excited and want to make a reservation, and say they have to ask their wife, cousin, other travel companions etc... and will call me back..... but then they don't...

How do you get them to make the reservation while you have them on the phone without sounding pushy or desperate??

You aren't going to like this, but you can't make that sale and you won't make that sale. We gave up on this a long time ago. There is just a certain percentage of people who are looking for something and you don't have it or they aren't sure and want to call up another 10 places before they make a decision. And saying they need to talk to someone else is their nice way of saying "no" to you.

We usually tell them that they can reserve online on our website with our online discount and to have a great day.

It's like the home buyers who go from house to house, from open house to open house looking for that perfect property. They see 40 houses and still haven't found what they wanted. Meanwhile house 3 that interested them the most has already sold and they keep on searching.... nothing will make them buy. Heck, they may never buy. Chasing them is just going to make them run for the hills.

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I ask if they drink coffee - that is MY hook, the fresh-roasted coffee of their choice. Or talk about the breakfast. ask about the interests of the spouse that needs to be consulted - see if thre is something neaby that would pull them in with that. Otherwise, they are just phone-lookie-loos and you do not want them anyway.

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Yes, buyer's remorse. If they later feel like you talked them into buying something they really weren't ready to buy, they'll likely just cancel later.

So you're asking how to sell them on something where they think it was all THEIR idea. Better ask a car salesman, not an innkeeper!

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Ice
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I don't , if they are not ready then I don't want them too.  Be pushy then they are most likely to cancel.  (I feel)  I only want a reservation only if they really want, and plan on coming.

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Ice wrote:

I don't , if they are not ready then I don't want them too.  Be pushy then they are most likely to cancel.  (I feel)  I only want a reservation only if they really want, and plan on coming.

I'm not sure how many other similar properties you're competing with but here it's 9 other B&B's within 1/2 mile. If they're 'shopping' a lot of times it's to see who they 'like' better. And sometimes they just need someone to tip the balance. One person who says, 'Let me save you the trouble...'

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   Remember you can't be everything to everyone I think that is from Innkeeping 101.  You guys taught me that.

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MTLLodge wrote:

   Remember you can't be everything to everyone I think that is from Innkeeping 101.  You guys taught me that.

Yeah, we were told pretty plainly in a review who our market is. Like the person felt hoodwinked that they couldn't tell from the website what they were going to find here.

Thing is, that market keeps us going for 10 months of the year. The other 2, like July & August, are almost a completely different cohort of guests. And we need them, too.

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Madeleine wrote:

Yeah, we were told pretty plainly in a review who our market is. Like the person felt hoodwinked that they couldn't tell from the website what they were going to find here.

I assume you've looked at that person's other five TA reviews. Some people just aren't happy with anything or any place!

Madeleine's picture
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Oh, yes, I read them all. Nothing would have made her happy.

Tom
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Right.

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