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A Surefire Way to Show Your Hotel is NOT that Service-Oriented

I have a pet peeve.  I find it terribly offensive when I call a hotel, CVB or meeting venue sales department and I am asked, "May I ask what this is regarding?"

I get that many Directors of Sales & Marketing don't really sell much these days. They have to sit in endless meetings, generally spend much of their time doing administration and sales management, and seldom speak with planners.  And they field lots of calls from ad sales reps and other suppliers!

But to have a Sales Cordinator screen calls and ask, "What is this regarding?" is truly lacking guest focus and finesse. What if I was a big time planner with a gazillion room nights wanting to speak to the head honcho?

The sentiment could be completely different if the Sales Coordinator said, "I am so sorry but (Name withheld) is in a meeting right now. How may I help you?"

When the former scenario happened to me last week, I put on my most polite tone and answered, "I am calling (Name withheld) because he asked me to send him a proposal about the business opportunity. I am simply calling to follow up with him."  Yes, I am a potential supplier to this facility, but it did not feel very good to be treated this way.

By all means have your support staff answer your phone and screen your calls. But make sure they are doing it in a way that is inviting and helpful for callers, otherwise you risk alienating potential partners and you may even end up in a blog...