Depending on their approach if they call me, I use the opportunity to teach a lesson or two. First I make sure they ask for my permission to continue the call before telling me all about their facility or service. (Recognizing that a call is ALWAYS an interruption and asking for permission is one early lesson we teach everyone who works here at Greenfield).
Often I also point out to the salesperson that they should have looked up our company website or my profile on LinkedIn prior to making the call. That usually would tell them that we are not a site selection or meeting planning company.
Only once did a very astute salesperson call me, saying that she HAD looked at our website. She added that she realized that we likely don't plan meetings for clients, but did we have our own offsite meetings? Not THAT person was a crackerjack!
But I do have a problem when people send "cold" solicitation email. This isn't even a promotion or a special offer. It's an individual taking time to write a self-centered "all about me" email about how centrally located and wonderful their facility is. Do meeting planners really respond to these messages?
I received TWO of these in the last few weeks. I deleted the names of the originators and their employers so as not to further incriminate the guilty. Have a read:
Good Morning, (what, no personalization?)
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the XXXXXXXXXX, a state of the art facility within the downtown core, steps to the XXXXXXXXXX,, amazing views of the XXXXXXXXXX,, and one block from the XXXXXXXXXX, with shops, restaurants and trendsetting bars. Should you be seeking out a prime facility and location to host your next event , the XXXXXXXXXX, is the facility to consider. Our Ballroom has incredible views of the downtown core, with floor to ceiling windows it is truly a wonderful backdrop to any event. We have function rooms to accommodate the largest of conferences, to the most intimate of meetings, with breakout rooms to complement.
With Christmas only a few months away, several dates are still available for your Company party, let us do all the planning for you!I would be pleased to provide you with a site visit of our facility, as well as arrange for a menu tasting should you wish. I welcome the opportunity of hosting your future events, making the XXXXXXXXXX,your venue of choice.Kindest Regards,XXXXXX
Dear Mrs. Wagner, (at least this one is personalized!)
I am writing this letter to introduce myself. My name is XXXXXXX and I am the Sales Manager at the XXXXXXXXXXXX.
The XXXXXXXXXXXX is a full service catering facility. We host a variety of both social and corporate events each year. We have numerous meeting rooms on site which can easily accommodate a boardroom meeting of 10 people or a gala for 800 guests. Please visit our website www.XXXXXX to view our menu options or if you’d prefer I would be pleased to send you a copy. I could also create a custom menu that suits your entertaining needs if our menus to not meet your needs.
We also provide off-site catering services at either your office or any location of your choice. Our offsite events range from continental breakfasts, working lunches and corporate receptions.
Our professional staff are the heart of our business, we pride ourselves on being flexible and working closely with our clients. You can book with confidence and assurance knowing that every detail of your event will be taken care of.
The is located at XXXXXXXXXXXX. I would be happy to arrange a personal tour our newly renovated facility and discuss the many possibilities of servicing your group’s requirements.
I would like to learn more about your business, I’d welcome you to email me or call me at my coordinates below.
Both of these messages show that these salespeople are lazy. They don't want to bother with building a relationship. Both messages are all about the seller, and nothing focuses on the recipient and what he or she might need. There is no creativity in either approach. And the similarity between the two emails (highlighting of sentence in a different colour, "Kind regards," etc.) almost make me think these two people attended the same very bad sales training workshop! (Yet these were from two different suppliers, competitors, to boot!).
So, hotel and CVB Directors of Sales do your sales people do this? Maybe it's time to check.