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10 best practices for site inspections

Just because your hotel’s executive committee thinks it would be remarkable to greet your customer at the airport at 3 a.m. with the entire team doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

Contributed by Bart Berkey, Most People Don’t, Sterling, Virginia

It would be memorable but not in a good way. The client has been on a plane or at the airport for the past 18 hours to come see you. Her flight was delayed multiple times, she forgot her phone charger, her laptop battery died, and she is extremely tired. She doesn’t want to change out of her travel clothes and would prefer to be unseen and just go to bed. The last thing she would want to do is to feel obligated to be energetic and appreciative.

Recently, a conversation with Martha Bunker (former SVP of Fidelity for Meetings & Events), Kelly Bishop (former Director of Meetings, Insurance Industry, and now CEO of Pick Positive), Joshua David (CEO of Sacred Secret and Service Delivery Guru), Doug Baarman (SVP of ConferenceDirect, CEO of Hospitality Lifestyles), and myself (Bart Berkey, CEO of Most People Don’t, former Global Sales Executive), revealed these best practices for site inspections:

  1. Show what meeting space will look like for the group (even if it’s just one small section of ballroom), and never show a dirty meeting room
  2. Serve foods that group will eat, and don’t show off what culinary team can do if that’s not what’s needed
  3. Do homework in advance of needs, ask open ended questions to earn answers
  4. Offer tours that are memorable, not funny
  5. Every contact that a planner meets should know about the group and share value, not just passing through introductions
  6. Remember to make your customers feel appreciated, connected, and abundant
  7. Find creative opportunities to upsell, without wasting planner’s time. Don’t show them 14 room types, but rather give them a customized amenity that they might want to purchase for their attendees.
  8. Focus on the needs of the group, not just on the planner
  9. Be honest with what will be open, closed, or renovated in advance. It shouldn’t be a shock.
  10. Remote sellers need to ensure superior communication with onsite colleague
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