Part two in a five-part series “Business Development Defined.”
posted at 09:41 AM on 07/30/2010
By Michael McKean
The first step of professional business development is to identify all of your potential clients. Knowing who you are going to target and why makes planning and executing sales strategies that much easier. For the hotel group sales business, this means starting with a list of every organization with group booking needs.
Choose your audience carefully. Cold calling a random list of businesses you got from the Chamber of Commerce is not helpful. You want a targeted list of groups who hold events and are interested in what your hotel has to offer. That way instead of trying to convince them that they want what your hotel has, you can show them that your hotel has what they want.
Does your property have 20,000 square feet of meeting space? Focus on groups that have held events at large venues in the past. On the other hand if you’re a hotel with limited space, you should only be calling organizations that often hold smaller meetings. Trying to fill a hole in your schedule? Target groups that have annual events during that time. It sounds obvious, but it’s amazing how many sales managers waste time calling prospects who are completely unsuited to their hotel.
Advanced lead databases such as the Knowland Group’s Insight provide event history and detailed profiles of organizations, associations, corporations, and other groups. This lead generation tool contains information on more than 300,000 groups who’ve held more than 2 million events at hotels across the nation and the world.
Insight uses Smart Targeting technology to focus your search – by industry segment, location, previous activity, and more. Hotel sales teams can pursue only groups that are best suited to their property. By narrowing the field to the most high-probability leads, you get the most out of every phone call your sales team makes.
Quality leads make all the difference. Without leads that are targeted, accurate and up-to-date, proactive sales becomes a constant chore for sales managers and a disappointing waste of man hours for directors of sales. Throw out the flimsy leads. Quality leads in the hands of skilled sales managers mean more bookings with every call.
Look for the next in this five-part series on business development, “Step Two: Develop Your Strategy.” In the meantime, learn more by contacting the Knowland Group at 410.860.2270, online at www.KnowlandGroup.com, or on Twitter @KnowlandGroup.