|Virtuoso Travel Week features thousands of 4 minute "speed dates"|
Virtuoso Travel Week is just around the corner, a bit more than two months away. Travel Week's core activity is a schedule of hundreds of four-minute sales meetings with representatives of Virtuoso hotels and other suppliers. Lovingly referred to as speed dates, these are usually quite valuable encounters.
But not always! Here are some tips from a veteran about to attend his tenth Travel Week this August.
1. It's about the relationship. Nobody is going to remember how many guest rooms your hotel has, the names of the restaurants and bars, or the size of your spa. It's all about making connections. If we remember you, we'll want to sell your hotel. If you remember us, you'll do great things for our clients. So be yourself ... and engage!
2. Make eye contact. The iPad, in retrospect, is probably the worst thing that ever happened to sales meetings. If people are looking at the iPad, they're not looking at you. There's no engagement, no eye-to-eye contact, nothing to remember.
3. How NOT to use your iPad. True story: at last year's Travel Week, the rep of a small Italian hotel came to my table. He was half asleep, unshaven, with every sign of being hung over. He didn't even try. He just showed a slide show on his iPad with a one word commentary on each frame. "Room, another room, lobby, restaurant, bar." He was wasting his hotel's money. I have no idea who he was or what hotel he represented... and that's the point.
4. How an iPad might be useful. Use it as a resource. If someone wants to see your Deluxe room, you've got a picture. If a travel consultant is interested in your spa menu, or a map of the area, or other things to do in the destination, ditto. Your information is there, organized so you can quickly find it if someone asks.
5. Work on your opening line. Make the most of the next 60 days to come up with a creative way to begin your four minute infomercial. Your goals: (a) to intrigue us with your hotel and (b) to make your presentation stand out among the hundreds of other sales spiels we will hear during the week.
6. Some questions to ponder as you plan your 4 minutes:
- Why should our guests visit your destination? Is there a fascinating cultural experience, gorgeous scenery, exceptional food and wine?
- What's really unique about your hotel?
- What do your guests always remember about their stay?
- Are there special experiences your guests can look forward to?
- Can you think of a great story about an exceptional guest experience?
copyright (c) 2015 by David Ourisman LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell Travel. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.