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Outsource your Hotel Group Lead Generation or Keep it In-House?

Lead Generation Team
Obviously, we would like you to outsource your Lead Generation efforts. It’s our business. But I have been reading up on this particular topic, and feel I should explain why it makes sense:
  • There is a dedicated team working for you. While you may hire a coordinator or assistant to help you in the Sales Department to conduct Lead Generation, often their goals will shift. They will need to assist with contracts, follow-up with existing contacts, preparation for tradeshows/upcoming events, and servicing those contacts who are bringing a group to your city/property already. Realistically, how often are they able to spend daily on the phone generating new business for you? Probably not as much as you hope. Outsourcing provides an option where the team is doing nothing but lead generation on your behalf.
  • Depending on the level of commitment, outsourcing can help you nurture the relationship until it is Sales-Ready. One of our largest clients uses our services to conduct lead generation on their behalf all year long. It takes a team of 3-4 employees on average per month who generate new leads, and nurture the relationship until it is time for the hotel to submit a proposal. The turn-around for this based on their definition is that the prospect wants to hear from a Sales Manager at the hotel within a 24-hour window of time from our last contact point. Between the initial contact and that point, we are sending newsletters, following up with calls to ensure that they have from us what they need, etc. We have been given personal email addresses with our clients’ network and use this to continue our communication.
  • Outsourcing can help provide better results. Yes, your in-house person is on-site, but as mentioned above, will easily get distracted with other tasks needed to be taken care of on a daily basis. A blog posted by The Fearless Competitor, Jeff Ogden in February 2011 states that outsourcing can provide over 40% better results than in-house lead generation. Some of the top rated reasons for this are “Clear Client Profiling, Follow-up and Feedback, Multi-Channeled Approach and Less Cost.”
Just ensure when conducting your research that you try and select a company that is an expert in your market. Do they know your business? How much initial training will be needed to get them up and running? Ask for references if you can. It will help you make the right decision when it comes to growing your business.

Hospitality Prospecting - Cold Calling Made Warm.....

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One of the earliest lead generation projects that I worked on was one that made me feel I was truly successful. In this project the client allowed for extra time in the budget for us to gather group history for each association. This entailed going on their website and looking at where the group had been in the past.

It was unbelievable the difference it made in each conversation. There was an honest connection made with every meeting planner I spoke to, like I hadn’t experienced on projects prior to that one. Mind you I was still quite “green” at the time and had very little experience in Lead Generation.

So it was quite literally the perfect way for me to learn exactly how I wanted to handle each prospecting call going forward. It also helped me feel at ease with the people I was speaking with, I didn’t feel like I was going into the call “blind”.

All of a sudden I was more comfortable on each call. I had planners telling me how it was such a refreshing change to have someone show that kind of initiative. How they appreciated that I had taken the time to research what the organization was about and the details of their meetings & events. It made them feel like I thought they were important enough to take the extra time.

I remember speaking with this one lady in particular; who was so impressed that I had gone the extra distance. She told me that normally she planned her events 2 years out but wanted a call back even sooner because I made her feel important.

Such a simple thing like taking a few minutes to look at the companies’ website, follow the links to their events page, gather the details of their conferences or AGM and just being a little bit more prepared for each call.
You know what they say…

"Do unto others"…People want to know they matter and they want you to…
  • Be polite 
  • Engage
  • Recognize/ Retrieve (background information)       
  • Empathize                                              
  • Acknowledge/Ascertain (that information is correct/don’t assume) 
  • Listen