Patience, know-how: keys to a successful buy decision

What we have to think about when considering what makes a sales person sell well is really how do we get a prospect to buy what it is we are selling. So maybe it’s not a question of being a good sales person, but being a person who could make a person buy. In general, we know that people need to buy what they need, especially when it comes to hotel products. No one is going to buy 100 rooms for a specific date if there is no reason to do so; of course, that goes for a single room as well. So, we need to have sales staffers think about, “How do we get someone to buy?”

For the most part, people buy from people they know, like and who understand what is needed. Perhaps it even starts off with the first impression a sales representative makes when calling on a prospect. Personal appearance is critical, and should be compatible with normally acceptable business attire in the geographic area where the call is being made. If in doubt, be conservative.

Too often sales staffers are too eager to start off with telling everything about what it is they are selling. This does not help the prospect in making a buy decision. In getting to the meat of the process, what is needed is answers to questions where the prospect’s response will permit insight into what he or she considers important in making that buy decision. It is just a question of finding out what is needed by the prospect. As the relationship is established, we need to ask questions that allow prospects to express thoughts and feelings about what they consider to be the most important aspects of their need. Ask open-ended questions like: “To what extent was last year’s meeting successful?”; “What did you personally like about last year’s meeting?”; “Explain some of the challenges you had with previous meetings.” The whole idea would be to get the prospect to do the talking, and the sales staffer needs to be a good listener. Do not interrupt. Listening shows interest in the prospect and their needs, as well as creating a rapport.


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Once it is known what is important to the prospect, focus the discussion on the specific needs, how your property would meet those needs and the specific benefits the prospect will enjoy when they make the decision to use the property.

Careful listening and artful questioning also help anticipate prospect objections that may have to be overcome for them to make the buy decision.