What is my territory or market segment?
Tip – If you are unfamiliar with your territory you can find businesses using Google Earth. Simply type in a zip code in the search field and hit the search button. Next, type in the word ‘businesses’ in the search field and hit the search button again. The return will display most of the larger businesses located within that zip code along with an address, telephone number, and a link to that company’s website.
How many of you have gone through this exercise for your area? Have you downloaded Google Earth on your computer, and done a search for businesses around your hotel? Do you have a plan to call on each of these businesses? If you don’t know where to start prospecting, this is the most logical place to begin.
I am amazed when a seasoned sales person says to me, “I don’t know where to look for new/more business.” Don’t over think the situation! Go back to basics! Use your technology! Old school tactics used to be to take a map of your area and draw 1 mile, 2 miles, and 3 miles of concentric circles around your hotel. Then you would take business directories or chamber lists and “plot” businesses on your map. Those who fell inside the 1 mile circle were who you called on first, within 2 miles second, yada yada yada….. That exercise sometime took days just to set up! So, this is 2013 and we have traded in our maps for Google Earth…. look at all the information it gives you with just a few keystrokes!
How many of you have Google Alerts set up on your computer? If you don’t have any set up – then shame on you! I have almost 60 alerts set up to send me info daily. I have the city/state of each of our hotels set up, I have our hotel names set up, I have competition hotels set up, and I have key local companies set up. Some of you will get emails from me with information on new companies coming to the area, companies closing, newsworthy information about them…. this is where I get this information!
To set up Google Alerts, go to http://www.google.com/alerts
1. In the “Search query:” box – type in what you want to search. For example, type in the name of your hotel: Fairfield Inn by Marriott Fort Wayne IN
2. Result type: Use the drop down arrow and indicate what you want to see. I suggest you start with “News”. If you do “Everything” you will get a lot of stuff….. (you can always change what you want if you are getting too much info or too little info).
3. How often: I do “Once a Day” because I have so many set – but you may want one of the other options choose what suits your schedule.
4. How many: I highly suggest “Only the best results”
5. Deliver to: Insert your email address.
6. Click “Create Alert”
7. Do it again, and again, and again. I suggest you set up at least the following:
Community (if applicable)
Key competitive hotels
Voila. You will now start getting news to use when prospecting your customers, new clients, etc.
Like Yogi – you will be “smarter than the average bear!”