Every person who walks through our front door is a potential customer and our Front Desk staff is an integral cog in the sales conversion process. Face it, there is someone at your desk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and if we are not training these very valuable associates in the lead generation process, then we are missing great opportunities.
Lead Generation encompasses a variety of information and both GSRs (Guest Service Representatives aka Front Desk Agents) and Sales Managers sit in the driver’s seat when it comes to wool-gathering. Capitalize on the fact that every guest, at one time or another (more likely multiple times) visits and speaks with your front desk. This is a great time to wow those customers by not only answering their questions or satisfying their needs but also capturing valuable sales information.
Engagement: GSRs have many responsibilities, but one of the most important tasks is the need to look into the other lane of traffic and engage our guests (without being intrusive). Ask the guest questions while checking the guest in or out (they are a captive audience), while researching answers to questions, printing directions or providing their information/items.
A couple of great icebreakers might include:
What plans do you have while you are in town?
How’s the weather back home?
Are you looking to enjoy any of our sites while you’re here?
Generate Leads: GSRs have the most information at their fingertips. Within legal and unobtrusive means, they should be trying to capture all information possible from the guest standing in front of them. Look for company names on credit cards, addresses on IDs, tags on luggage or briefcases, logos for sports teams or products… these are all conversation starters and a way to try to get the guest to divulge why they are in town.
I’m intrigued by the logo on your jacket? Where type of company is ABC?
I see on your credit card that you work for ABC Company. I’d like to enter their address and phone number in your folio to complete your guest history.
Is there a travel manager contact at ABC Company?
Lead Generation forms/information should be communicated to the hotel’s Sales Manager expeditiously. Lead Generation can be in one of two forms: print screen a copy of the guest folio with hand-written notes from the GSR or a formal form that the GSR can complete with all the information gathered during conversations. Both of these methods are acceptable and will give the Sales Manager great conversation starters and a leg up with guests when prospecting new companies.
For example, (easiest method) the GSR print screened John Smith’s folio and wrote on the top that Mary Jones was the travel manager at his company and she made his travel reservations. Said he was one of 6 salespersons who travel to (your city) on a quarterly basis for meetings. Her phone number is (xxx) xxx-xxxx. John is traveling with his wife and they love Italian food. I sent them over to Luigi’s last night.
First Time Guest At Your Hotel: Good morning Ms. Jones. We are delighted that John Smith is staying in our hotel while visiting ABC Company. While checking-in yesterday, he shared that you were the contact at ABC Company with respect to travel and hotel bookings. If it is convenient, I’d like to drop by, give you information about our hotel, and explore opportunities that might be mutually beneficial to both of us.
Obviously, Sales Managers are primarily responsible for prospecting and finding new business for our hotels. Adding a Lead Generation program engages all our front desk associates and demonstrates the value of every associate in the sales key chain. It also helps us to find business! Motivate associates by running contests for most leads, best ROI on a lead, etc. and then share the results of “found business” in daily huddles.
Happy leading the pack!