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Is There a Hole In Your Bucket Dear Liza ??

  • 4-3-2013

At Paje we often ask the question “How easy are you to do business with?” Many of the projects we are asked to look at for venues are based around the question “how can we increase sales and revenue?” (well leaving behind our Mary Poppins magic tapestry bag)– firstly we identify is it a demand issue? Often the answer is not in generating new business but taking good care of what you are already getting through the sales funnel.

On an Enquiry Handling Excellence training course we delivered recently we shared some feedback from test calls to several conference focused high calibre hotels and venues – they were a split of large groups and some smaller venue groups. Quite startling !! and in most cases definitely not easy to do business with! Certainly not easy to get through to the right contact, teams appearing to be not that interested in the customer’s needs or showing evidence of being particularly sales savvy. In most cases the communication to the customer did not represent their venue to the best opportunity – it was not clear or concise, and the information sent often not on a professional email and proposal document. Again a lack of follow up for the enquiry and the million dollar question - are all the enquiries generated being rigorously recorded for further sales leads either in your CRM or in a sales lead process?

What is the point of hotel and venue groups spending huge amounts of time, effort and money to go and visit customers, armed with the best brochures that marketing spend hours producing and £££’s to produce, coming up with highly charged and enthusiastic sales presentations when the engine room back at base camp is struggling – either through lack of support, or in some cases a lack of training. Why spend millions on sales and marketing, attending exhibitions, joining associations, training your proactive sales team if it all falls down when there-active sales team do not deal with the enquiry properly... the venues that do stand out a mile, in simple terms – it is all about making the customer’s ‘journey’ to do business with us as easy as possible and if you make it easy to do business with your customers you will win hands down !! Customers are too busy these days to spend time trying to contact venues with effectively a poor and unfulfilled response – there are many more of your competitors out there who will and can do better. 

So hot tip from Paje – go and check if you have a hole in your bucket, be curious about your sales office input and output, be brave – ask your customers how easy you are to do business with and if they feel that your company values their business. Before you spend all your budget, make sure people say you are “easy to do business with! ” Consider what could be falling out of the holes in your bucket and “let’s fix it dear Henry” before you spend all your sales and marketing budget in 2013!

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