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seal the deal ...so to speak

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DaisyMae

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wasn't sure what forum to put this in. i'm not sure if i can cleary convey what it is i am asking either but here goes...
when you get that phone call from a guest saying something like " hi we are planning for XYZ dates...we are looking around at 2 or 3 different inns in your area...we just have to decide which one we really want to stay at...we like such & such about your site/place/amenities/breakfast, etc..." what do you do or say in an attempt to "seal the deal" in other words, to make them want to stay with you and not the 2 or 3 other places. to make them say "this is the one"
for example, i got a call from a lady a couple of days ago looking for dates in August. she said she read our TA reviews, she said she really likes to phone call in person as opposed to making an online reservation. she said she makes her decision in part by the "feel" she gets when speaking with the innkeeper. she was very friendly & we actually had a great 20 minute conversation. she said we were her choice but her hubby was looking at another inn in the area so basically they just need to hash it out. she mentioned that i had been very helpful with info & the guestroom she wants is because it reminds her of her bedroom at home. i always try to end an inquiry ( & make a connection) by saying well my name is ___ and my DH is ____ so feel free to let us know if you have any other questions.
so, just curious, is there any sort of little "trick" you have that works or has seemed to work? Thanks
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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The trick is you. A super nice and informative innkeeper.
I would ask a little bit about the reason for the visit (within the conversation) and then recommend that they would enjoy this and that and the other. I think they will find that you are a top innkeeper and want to stay with you.
I do not like to SELL our place like that, so most of the time I only answer the questions they ask and try to expound upon them. Of course I tell them about a discount.
Then they tell me that the other inn has not even returned their call. If they try to get info out about the other inns, that is where I draw the line and say I have not stayed there so don't really know anything about it. They think we are all in this club together. :)
 

Morticia

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Ask questions. Ask her what would 'seal the deal'. In this case, 'So, what ammo can I give to you to win this to your side? What would sway your husband?'
And at some point in the conversation it doesn't hurt to say, 'May I take your reservation now?'
That happens to be the one thing that most 'sellers' miss, ASKING for the deal to be closed. Even tho she has said she has to talk it over.
I have had walk-ins split up and hit the different B&B's and SHE loves here, but HE loves there and HE paid. HE made the decision without consulting HER. (Poor woman came back in and apologized to me. And then stayed the following week on their way back thru.)
 

greyswan

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As the others have stated, ask what their interests are and relate the points of your inn towards those interests... If they're looking for a family friendly place and you obviously aren't, then you know that guest is not a good fit, too. Recommending another place that would meet their needs better may get them to stay with you another time. I also have to watch not to give them the encyclopedia version about our inn... talking too much might scare some people away. "Do you have any other questions that I can answer for you?" "Have you been to our website?"
"ASKING for the deal to be closed" was a hard practice for me when I was in direct sales. and still is with our inn. "Is there any reason why you can't go ahead and make your reservation now?" "Would you like to go ahead and make a tentative reservatioin, since our rooms are filling up quickly for that time" or other question similar - close the deal. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
 

Don Draper

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As the others have stated, ask what their interests are and relate the points of your inn towards those interests... If they're looking for a family friendly place and you obviously aren't, then you know that guest is not a good fit, too. Recommending another place that would meet their needs better may get them to stay with you another time. I also have to watch not to give them the encyclopedia version about our inn... talking too much might scare some people away. "Do you have any other questions that I can answer for you?" "Have you been to our website?"
"ASKING for the deal to be closed" was a hard practice for me when I was in direct sales. and still is with our inn. "Is there any reason why you can't go ahead and make your reservation now?" "Would you like to go ahead and make a tentative reservatioin, since our rooms are filling up quickly for that time" or other question similar - close the deal. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't..
Definitely ask questions, why they are visiting, if it's their first time in your area, what kinds of activities they are looking for during their stay, etc. Our location is unique so we usually win on that alone, but often it's because of the little "extras" we do, like having a historian here once a week for a lecture, or tea and cookies in the afternoon...even something little like having free copies of the County's Scenic Driving Tours available. It's all about perceived value, making them feel like they are getting something they won't get anywhere else.
On the other hand, I would never waste time with someone who is just obviously fishing for a discount....which often takes the guise of "what makes your place special?" or some other type of question. Don't forget that your TIME is precious too, and if they are ultimately going to book based on price then it really doesn't matter how great your place is or what you tell them about it.
 

Morticia

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The trick is you. A super nice and informative innkeeper.
I would ask a little bit about the reason for the visit (within the conversation) and then recommend that they would enjoy this and that and the other. I think they will find that you are a top innkeeper and want to stay with you.
I do not like to SELL our place like that, so most of the time I only answer the questions they ask and try to expound upon them. Of course I tell them about a discount.
Then they tell me that the other inn has not even returned their call. If they try to get info out about the other inns, that is where I draw the line and say I have not stayed there so don't really know anything about it. They think we are all in this club together. :).
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
The trick is you. A super nice and informative innkeeper.
C'mon, you know that isn't true. I'm not saying MM isn't super nice and informative, just that we all know guests will call, chew our ears off, ask a million questions and then book elsewhere once they know everything. Guest called yesterday who wanted one night of a 2-night min. I was very helpful, asked her which night she wanted (I have some one night openings) and she wanted the one night I couldn't give her. She went thru a big explanation of why she has to have the night I cannot give and I told her another place to call. Twenty minutes on the phone with her going over where her party was in relation to where we are, how long it might take to drive from where she lives, etc.
Talking with the other B&B later on, she booked with them, for the night I told her I could give her, NOT the night she HAD to have.
And it goes on...half hour full guided tours of the area on the phone with the subsequent question, 'Which room would you like to book?' being answered by, 'I'll have to call you back, my husband is checking other places.' Equally long explanations of breakfast menus, info taken on allergies, info on where they can eat that will accommodate them best, yadda yadda. 'Thanks, I have to talk to my husband.'
I need to ask what it is they want to hear me say because I can't read minds as to WHAT in particular they are looking for.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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As the others have stated, ask what their interests are and relate the points of your inn towards those interests... If they're looking for a family friendly place and you obviously aren't, then you know that guest is not a good fit, too. Recommending another place that would meet their needs better may get them to stay with you another time. I also have to watch not to give them the encyclopedia version about our inn... talking too much might scare some people away. "Do you have any other questions that I can answer for you?" "Have you been to our website?"
"ASKING for the deal to be closed" was a hard practice for me when I was in direct sales. and still is with our inn. "Is there any reason why you can't go ahead and make your reservation now?" "Would you like to go ahead and make a tentative reservatioin, since our rooms are filling up quickly for that time" or other question similar - close the deal. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't..
Definitely ask questions, why they are visiting, if it's their first time in your area, what kinds of activities they are looking for during their stay, etc. Our location is unique so we usually win on that alone, but often it's because of the little "extras" we do, like having a historian here once a week for a lecture, or tea and cookies in the afternoon...even something little like having free copies of the County's Scenic Driving Tours available. It's all about perceived value, making them feel like they are getting something they won't get anywhere else.
On the other hand, I would never waste time with someone who is just obviously fishing for a discount....which often takes the guise of "what makes your place special?" or some other type of question. Don't forget that your TIME is precious too, and if they are ultimately going to book based on price then it really doesn't matter how great your place is or what you tell them about it.
.
InnsiderInfo said:
Definitely ask questions, why they are visiting, if it's their first time in your area, what kinds of activities they are looking for during their stay, etc. Our location is unique so we usually win on that alone, but often it's because of the little "extras" we do, like having a historian here once a week for a lecture, or tea and cookies in the afternoon...even something little like having free copies of the County's Scenic Driving Tours available. It's all about perceived value, making them feel like they are getting something they won't get anywhere else.
On the other hand, I would never waste time with someone who is just obviously fishing for a discount....which often takes the guise of "what makes your place special?" or some other type of question. Don't forget that your TIME is precious too, and if they are ultimately going to book based on price then it really doesn't matter how great your place is or what you tell them about it.
Innsiderinfo - come on now, at least email me off forum so I can see where you are, or have we already done this? I thought I knew but I forget...call it innkeepers A.D.D.
Off to get some fresh flowers - you have my email link here...

 

Don Draper

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As the others have stated, ask what their interests are and relate the points of your inn towards those interests... If they're looking for a family friendly place and you obviously aren't, then you know that guest is not a good fit, too. Recommending another place that would meet their needs better may get them to stay with you another time. I also have to watch not to give them the encyclopedia version about our inn... talking too much might scare some people away. "Do you have any other questions that I can answer for you?" "Have you been to our website?"
"ASKING for the deal to be closed" was a hard practice for me when I was in direct sales. and still is with our inn. "Is there any reason why you can't go ahead and make your reservation now?" "Would you like to go ahead and make a tentative reservatioin, since our rooms are filling up quickly for that time" or other question similar - close the deal. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't..
Definitely ask questions, why they are visiting, if it's their first time in your area, what kinds of activities they are looking for during their stay, etc. Our location is unique so we usually win on that alone, but often it's because of the little "extras" we do, like having a historian here once a week for a lecture, or tea and cookies in the afternoon...even something little like having free copies of the County's Scenic Driving Tours available. It's all about perceived value, making them feel like they are getting something they won't get anywhere else.
On the other hand, I would never waste time with someone who is just obviously fishing for a discount....which often takes the guise of "what makes your place special?" or some other type of question. Don't forget that your TIME is precious too, and if they are ultimately going to book based on price then it really doesn't matter how great your place is or what you tell them about it.
.
InnsiderInfo said:
Definitely ask questions, why they are visiting, if it's their first time in your area, what kinds of activities they are looking for during their stay, etc. Our location is unique so we usually win on that alone, but often it's because of the little "extras" we do, like having a historian here once a week for a lecture, or tea and cookies in the afternoon...even something little like having free copies of the County's Scenic Driving Tours available. It's all about perceived value, making them feel like they are getting something they won't get anywhere else.
On the other hand, I would never waste time with someone who is just obviously fishing for a discount....which often takes the guise of "what makes your place special?" or some other type of question. Don't forget that your TIME is precious too, and if they are ultimately going to book based on price then it really doesn't matter how great your place is or what you tell them about it.
Innsiderinfo - come on now, at least email me off forum so I can see where you are, or have we already done this? I thought I knew but I forget...call it innkeepers A.D.D.
Off to get some fresh flowers - you have my email link here...

.
Junie I tried to email you the other day after we were chatting! I did it thru the site here and it got kicked back to me. I don't think we ever traded info but would love to!
You can email me at Innsider@mail.com
 

seashanty

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'Shall I hold that room for you?' i sometimes offered to hold a room for a few hours without a deposit before releasing the room. because my rooms were SO different, as b&b rooms often are, the guests usually wanted a specific room.
if i could get no committment at all ... 'May I email you some information about our b&b and the area?' and i would send out a marketing email with links.
sometimes people are just shopping. but sometimes they actually book a room maybe even some time in the future. i had one man who kept me on the phone for ages ... asking all sorts of questions for his wife's stay ... said she traveled with her sisters. and i wasn't busy so i let him talk for a while but i did have to just end the conversation because it seemed he never would. he ended up calling three times. then nothing. but he eventually called again and booked a one night stay for the four sisters. fine. that was a lot of calling for one night. but then he called back and booked five more nights. felt assured that i was 'nice' and would take good care of his wife after calling some other places and feeling 'rushed' ... they probably weren't rushing him, he really did talk for a very very long time and sometimes you just can't stay on the phone endlessly. he had the website 'open' in front of him but needed that voice to voice.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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I think some have been to B&B's with crotchety innkeepers and do not want that again! Or some have been to B&B's where the innkeepers weren't their style and were forced to sit and listen to them talk politics or something - so if there is no photo or "short" bio on the B&B website, then they probably DO call to get the gist of the place.
I am to the point I think I will begin calling now. I don't want to spend a weekend trapped like I have been at a couple places (one has sold so has new owners now thankfully!) another follows you around the inn to serve you...so don't come across too helpful either! ha ha
 

Morticia

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I think some have been to B&B's with crotchety innkeepers and do not want that again! Or some have been to B&B's where the innkeepers weren't their style and were forced to sit and listen to them talk politics or something - so if there is no photo or "short" bio on the B&B website, then they probably DO call to get the gist of the place.
I am to the point I think I will begin calling now. I don't want to spend a weekend trapped like I have been at a couple places (one has sold so has new owners now thankfully!) another follows you around the inn to serve you...so don't come across too helpful either! ha ha.
Obviously I haven't called this crowd to make a rez, but I do find most innkeepers to be rushed, or there is the sound of hustle bustle in the background that doesn't lend itself to asking questions and getting info. Which is why I SIT DOWN to talk with guests on the phone. I answered the phone 3 times yesterday while I was in the garden. Having to come back in the house to get to the calendar meant taking off my work boots, which I told the person on the phone, 'Hang on a second I need to get these garden boots off before I go inside.' I try to keep up the conversation at that point so they're not twiddling their thumbs. I get some background info, too.
It is especially helpful to do that if I've been stopped while I'm cleaning. To sit down makes me relax. If I'm standing I'm fidgeting.
 

happykeeper

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I think some have been to B&B's with crotchety innkeepers and do not want that again! Or some have been to B&B's where the innkeepers weren't their style and were forced to sit and listen to them talk politics or something - so if there is no photo or "short" bio on the B&B website, then they probably DO call to get the gist of the place.
I am to the point I think I will begin calling now. I don't want to spend a weekend trapped like I have been at a couple places (one has sold so has new owners now thankfully!) another follows you around the inn to serve you...so don't come across too helpful either! ha ha.
Obviously I haven't called this crowd to make a rez, but I do find most innkeepers to be rushed, or there is the sound of hustle bustle in the background that doesn't lend itself to asking questions and getting info. Which is why I SIT DOWN to talk with guests on the phone. I answered the phone 3 times yesterday while I was in the garden. Having to come back in the house to get to the calendar meant taking off my work boots, which I told the person on the phone, 'Hang on a second I need to get these garden boots off before I go inside.' I try to keep up the conversation at that point so they're not twiddling their thumbs. I get some background info, too.
It is especially helpful to do that if I've been stopped while I'm cleaning. To sit down makes me relax. If I'm standing I'm fidgeting.
.
That sounds so natural and if I am on the other end I am thinking that you must think I am important enough to stop what your doing to talk to me.
Usually, when a call comes in, I let them know I was out on the porch, or in the kitchen and can I put them on hold so that I can go to the office where our reservation calendar is. It kind of lets them know that I can set something up for them if the want. I have to get better at using a closer line though.
 

Morticia

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I think some have been to B&B's with crotchety innkeepers and do not want that again! Or some have been to B&B's where the innkeepers weren't their style and were forced to sit and listen to them talk politics or something - so if there is no photo or "short" bio on the B&B website, then they probably DO call to get the gist of the place.
I am to the point I think I will begin calling now. I don't want to spend a weekend trapped like I have been at a couple places (one has sold so has new owners now thankfully!) another follows you around the inn to serve you...so don't come across too helpful either! ha ha.
Obviously I haven't called this crowd to make a rez, but I do find most innkeepers to be rushed, or there is the sound of hustle bustle in the background that doesn't lend itself to asking questions and getting info. Which is why I SIT DOWN to talk with guests on the phone. I answered the phone 3 times yesterday while I was in the garden. Having to come back in the house to get to the calendar meant taking off my work boots, which I told the person on the phone, 'Hang on a second I need to get these garden boots off before I go inside.' I try to keep up the conversation at that point so they're not twiddling their thumbs. I get some background info, too.
It is especially helpful to do that if I've been stopped while I'm cleaning. To sit down makes me relax. If I'm standing I'm fidgeting.
.
That sounds so natural and if I am on the other end I am thinking that you must think I am important enough to stop what your doing to talk to me.
Usually, when a call comes in, I let them know I was out on the porch, or in the kitchen and can I put them on hold so that I can go to the office where our reservation calendar is. It kind of lets them know that I can set something up for them if the want. I have to get better at using a closer line though.
.
It also helps to exclaim how lovely the weather is, how beautiful the spring flowers are coming along, how you're hoping to get out later on for a walk in the park or to go to the new opening at the gallery 2 blocks away.
Sometimes I have to ask them to bear with me while I whistle for the dog. Lets them know there IS a dog, in case that's a problem.
 

Morticia

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OTOH, if all they say on the phone is, 'How much? I have AAA,' you don't get much chance to sell the place before they hang up. I do try to squeeze in the amenities in the description of the room, but you don't get far if they want a discount that's more than you're offering.
 
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