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New Age Prospecting Guide For Hotel Sales Managers Part 1

Are you prospecting to fill the empty seat?

Marketeers spend a lot of time on creative uses for Facebook, Twitter, and blogs to amplify the brand and generate awareness. However, for sales professionals LinkedIn can be a tremendous tool for generating new business; provided you know how to get the most out of the platform. Are you there yet?

This two-part blog, features a success story and the "How-To-Get-There" approach.

Let's begin the journey with a success story published by Emily Molitor about The Carlton hotel in Manhattan.

The Carlton Hotel, a historic luxury property in midtown Manhattan, provides marketers with a great LinkedIn case study, complete with a real return on investment.

The hotel’s management company, Gemstone Hotels & Resorts, wanted to leverage LinkedIn to help promote The Carlton as a corporate destination for groups, conferences and executive events. The company turned to a consulting and training company to help develop and deploy a strategy. Their engagement led to the following recommendations:

  • Build a closely held network. Contrary to conventional wisdom, only connect to people you really know and trust. Managing tightly held, individual communities on LinkedIn will maximize the value of the platform and the quality of in-bound/out-bound business opportunities for your sales personnel.

  • Teach sales representatives how to benefit from search engine optimization. Encourage sales personnel and staff to identify with the hotel's offerings on LinkedIn and align their profiles to meet their goals. Have them incorporate strategic keywords into their job titles, summaries, specialties and job descriptions to benefit from increased Web hits.

  • Learn about your prospects. Use LinkedIn for "social CRM" throughout the entire sales process. Active, daily use of LinkedIn will give employees a better understanding of their current and future clients -- turning cold calls into warm handshakes, shortening sales cycles and giving you greater share of wallet through stronger relationship management.

  • Create prospecting efficiencies. In-depth knowledge of Boolean strings, LinkedIn’s basic and advanced search capabilities, as well as its newly revamped "Company Pages" will help a sales team find new, qualified leads faster. Lastly, use tools such as LinkedIn’s SlideShare application to provide virtual property tours so that the profile can bring in leads around the clock.

The results of this four-pronged LinkedIn initiative speak for themselves: Less than 90 days after implementation, the Carlton's five-person sales team sourced $186,550 in new corporate and group business.

So now the million dollar question - "How-To-Get-There"? Watch-out for our next blog post and do subscribe to rev-mantra's blog to keep yourself updated.

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