How guests can waste your time or how to balance diplomacy with directness.

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The Farmers Daughter

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It seems to happen often, The phone rings and you have a potential guest who asks dozens of questions, compliments your facility, reads your glowing trip advisor reviews, yada yada yada and 20 mins later you think they are ready to book and suddenly....they tell you they are trying to stay under (insert rediculously low dollar amount here).
I have just wasted 20 minutes of my day, multiplied by how many times a day a call like this comes in. Do you think its rude to simply ask a guest what their budget is prior to all the yada, yada?
 

paulavery

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It sounds to me like they are trying to befriend you... so maybe you'll give a discount. They are buttering you up.
 

EmptyNest

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Sorry but this just goes along with our business. Not a whole lot you can do about it. :-(
 

muirford

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One thing I always ask at the beginning of the conversation is if they've seen our website. That lets me know how informed they might be at this point already about rooms, rates and availability. This doesn't keep some of them from still wasting my time - as if I keep some knowledge in my head that I don't put on the website so only the guests who ask me will get the really good stuff. If they haven't looked at your website, you might mention the rates pretty quickly in the conversation (which is completely against what any sales seminar will tell you) so you can move on if you're out of their price range.
 

Morticia

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I wouldn't ask a budget in advance of any other info, but I like muirford's questioning whether they've had a chance to look at the website. Altho, for me, that's been a curse as a LOT of callers have not seen the website and they proceed to hang up never to call again.
So, a couple of months ago, someone else suggested asking where they found your phone number which can give you an idea of what prices they MAY have seen or have in their heads.
I've spent that same 20 minutes only to get the 'I'm just gathering info right now.' Which means 'thanks for all the info I couldn't get out of the cheap place where I'm now going to book.'
 

EmptyNest

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I wouldn't ask a budget in advance of any other info, but I like muirford's questioning whether they've had a chance to look at the website. Altho, for me, that's been a curse as a LOT of callers have not seen the website and they proceed to hang up never to call again.
So, a couple of months ago, someone else suggested asking where they found your phone number which can give you an idea of what prices they MAY have seen or have in their heads.
I've spent that same 20 minutes only to get the 'I'm just gathering info right now.' Which means 'thanks for all the info I couldn't get out of the cheap place where I'm now going to book.'.
well...if they start asking all the questions the chamber of commerce or visitor center should be answering, say something like " I am sorry, I have to check in a guest right now...or, someone is at the door.... I am in the middle of cleaing rooms.....etc etc...you get the idea...you can visit our website or call the Visitor Center at:xxxx.
 

Morticia

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I wouldn't ask a budget in advance of any other info, but I like muirford's questioning whether they've had a chance to look at the website. Altho, for me, that's been a curse as a LOT of callers have not seen the website and they proceed to hang up never to call again.
So, a couple of months ago, someone else suggested asking where they found your phone number which can give you an idea of what prices they MAY have seen or have in their heads.
I've spent that same 20 minutes only to get the 'I'm just gathering info right now.' Which means 'thanks for all the info I couldn't get out of the cheap place where I'm now going to book.'.
well...if they start asking all the questions the chamber of commerce or visitor center should be answering, say something like " I am sorry, I have to check in a guest right now...or, someone is at the door.... I am in the middle of cleaing rooms.....etc etc...you get the idea...you can visit our website or call the Visitor Center at:xxxx.
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catlady said:
well...if they start asking all the questions the chamber of commerce or visitor center should be answering, say something like " I am sorry, I have to check in a guest right now...or, someone is at the door.... I am in the middle of cleaing rooms.....etc etc...you get the idea...you can visit our website or call the Visitor Center at:xxxx.
The problem with sending them off to the Visitor's Center is they then get the phone numbers for a lot of other places! And no one reads the website...
 

Samster

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I think you can insert in there somewhere, "When would you like to book Room #1?" Then if they launch into, "Well, I really just want a nice clean place for $99/night", you can say, "Sorry but our best rate is $$. If that won't work for you, let me give you the number of the Cheap Chain Hotel which seems to work for folks who want more economical lodging".
I ran into the same thing on occasion and they were really only trying to wheedle a deep, deep discount because they saw our TA reviews. As if lots of compliments would warrant giving away a room! haha!
You know you have a good place...stick to the rates you're comfortable with and try to cut those loooooooooooooooong and ultimately non-booking calls off.
 

seashanty

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you should have a scripted response ready to insert at the BEGINNING of that kind of call ... after the first compliment ... in your very friendly voice you say something like ...
"Thank you. We have great rooms available for $149 to $199 a night (insert your rates here) ... would you like to reserve your room now?"
if they continue with the compliments or ignore you .... you must take control of the conversation by asking if they would like to reserve a room. as in 'I am just putting muffins in the oven. Do you want to reserve a room before i have to get back to my baking?'
no potential booking call should go 20 minutes before rates are mentioned.
somewhere i have reference material about 'sealing the deal' ... i'll see if i can find it for you.
 

Samster

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you should have a scripted response ready to insert at the BEGINNING of that kind of call ... after the first compliment ... in your very friendly voice you say something like ...
"Thank you. We have great rooms available for $149 to $199 a night (insert your rates here) ... would you like to reserve your room now?"
if they continue with the compliments or ignore you .... you must take control of the conversation by asking if they would like to reserve a room. as in 'I am just putting muffins in the oven. Do you want to reserve a room before i have to get back to my baking?'
no potential booking call should go 20 minutes before rates are mentioned.
somewhere i have reference material about 'sealing the deal' ... i'll see if i can find it for you..
Well put & GREAT advice! :)
 
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