Close

Cart

Total $0.00

Checkout

By Doug Kennedy

Based on what I hear from the hotel sales and catering sales managers I train each month, the vast majority of inquiries for groups, meetings, conferences and catering events are being received electronically. Some come in via direct email; others arrive after a planner completes a “contact us” inquiry form at the hotel’s website. Most, however, arrive via third party platforms such as CVENT, Starcite, MeetingBroker, or via the local DMO or CVB. When planners reached out by phone, they tended to inquire at far fewer properties as it took much more effort.  Now after a few keyboard strokes and the push of a “submit” button, their inquiry goes out to dozens of hotel sales offices. 

As a result, sales managers are overwhelmed with “lead spam” and experiencing “lead fatigue.” Non-response rates have skyrocketed, and those who do respond promptly all too often tend to send back generic sales collateral.  Sales messages are mostly cut and pasted from templates and attached as PDF’s that contain mostly generic commentary and similar images as all the others. 

Given these business conditions, it is more challenging than ever to stand-out. Although I’m an advocate of placing a phone call – unless the sender specifically says not to – it is challenging to get someone to even pick-up these days if they don’t recognize the caller. 

Now there is a brand new way for hotel sales and catering sales managers to ensure that their responses stand out from all of the others, and that is to use personalized video email messages.

Until now, using the medium of video was time consuming and challenging. Although has always been easy to record video messages, sending them was another matter.  Video files are too large to send as email attachments, so one would have to use a file sharing method such as DropBox.  The only other option so far has been to upload videos to platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo and then to send the URL link in an email message, or to embed it in the email.  While this can work well for email marketing campaigns sent to distribution lists, the effort required made it impractical for everyday one-to-one sales correspondence.

For those of us who are early adapters of sales technology, there is now a brand new option as several new platforms enable salespeople to easily create and send video email messages show up in the body of the email message itself.  Not a link, but the actual video right there, with an enticing “Play” button. 

By finding creative ways of displaying the sales prospect’s name, (and their company or organization if applicable), the receiver will clearly see that it is a personalized message not a generic marketing video.

Of course, salespeople will still want to respond via the platform on which the RFP was received, and it is usually always a good idea to also send the response directly to the prospect’s email address when it is provided (unless specially instructed to reply only in the platform.)  However, to get your response noticed a personalized video email can go a long way.

Imagine the smiling face of a hotel catering manager responding to a bride-to-be while holding images of other weddings held in the venue.  Or even better, imagine them sending a personal video email from their smartphone on Saturday night as a wedding is being set up, enticing each bride-to-be on their list with a personalized video message saying “Hello Margaret!  It’s a beautiful evening here as we set-up for another fabulous wedding!  Here’s a look at what yours will look like if you give us the opportunity to host it!”

Or, picture a corporate hotel sales manager sitting in front of a logo-themed backdrop looking into the webcam and expressing how much they want to host the group meeting or conference. 

I predict that this new technology will catch on very quickly, but those who learn to use it to its fullest potential will continue to stand out even once the gimmick wears off.  If you a hotelier who would like to receive a sample of how to use video email, send me a traditional “old school” email and I promise to reply. doug@kennedytrainingnetwork.com

Tags: doug kennedy

About Doug Kennedy

Doug Kennedy is President of the Kennedy Training Network, Inc. a leading provider of hotel sales, guest service, reservations, and front desk training programs and telephone mystery shopping services for the lodging and hospitality industry. Doug continues to be a fixture on the industry’s conference circuit for hotel companies, brands and associations, as he been for over two decades. Since 1996, Doug’s monthly training articles have been published worldwide, making him one of the most widely read hospitality industry authorities. Visit KTN at www.kennedytrainingnetwork.com  or email him directly doug@kennedytrainingnetwork.com.

Doug is the author of “So You REALLY Like Working With People?  - Five Principles for Hospitality Excellence.” 

Contact: Doug Kennedy

doug@kennedytrainingnetwork.com / (954) 558.4777

Related News

Leadership Lessons Learned From Being a Guest When the Hotel Was Overbooked

Hotel Sales Best Practices for the Era of Electronic Inquiries

How Did The Bartell Hotels’ Call Center Capture 7% More Revenue From 11% Fewer Calls?

Airline Service: Stop Complaining, Start Complying and Be Grateful For Super Low Fares!

Are You Giving Your Guests Enough RevPAH?

Hotel Sales: “Why Do Our Rates Change? We Discount When It’s Slower!”

How to Follow-up on Voice Reservations Inquiries With Personalized Emails and Phone Calls

Conquering Complaints™: Part Two

Hotel Online’s Top Read News for 2016

Conquering Complaints™: Part One – A Complaint Is Like A Carrot

Train Your Hotel Sales Team to Tell Stories Not Just Quote Rates

Doug Kennedy Announces His New Book On Hospitality Training and Guest Services Excellence

So You REALLY Like Working With People?: Five Principles For Hospitality Excellence

One Task Every GM or DOS Should Do Right Now to Increase Group Sales Revenues

Capturing More Catering Sales Revenue – Circa 2017

Hospitality Training Techniques in the Era of Social Networking (A Podcast)

Resort Reservations Agents: It's NOT Our Job to Help Them Find What's Available, But Rather to Help Them Decide to Book Right Now

Training Your Team for Upselling by Room Type and by Rate Option

Kennedy Training Network Helps Bartell Hotels’ Private Call Center Improve Direct Bookings

The Front Desk Is Not A Dinosaur - But Your “Brand” Might Be If You Completely Eliminate It (A Rebuttal)

All News »

Please login or register to post a comment.