Buyer and Seller Are in Different Time Zones

The salesperson had exactly what the prospect said he wanted. Yet she couldn’t close the sale. She called the prospect over and over and sent a series of emails, all to no avail. But the prospect was indifferent and seemed curt in the last conversation, so the salesperson became frustrated, then angry, then took the prospect out of her “active prospect tickler file” with a deep sigh and ultimately forgot about him.

Months later the phone rang. It was that long-forgotten prospect who now wanted to make that purchase. After filling out the paperwork and getting the purchase order signed, the salesperson asked the customer why he seemed so indifferent back when she was actively pursuing him to buy. The answer was simple and enlightening, “I wasn’t ready to buy yet.”

There’s a classic difference between the salesperson and buyer. They are both working under different needs and different timetables. The salesperson wants and needs to make the sale immediately. The buyer purchases when it is in his best interest, not when the salesperson wants to make the sale.

The problem or challenge for salespeople is that typically, it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to get an accurate understanding of the buyer’s timing needs. The buyer might be on a “fishing trip”, just discovering what is available in the market and has zero immediate need, but isn’t willing to tell that to the salesperson. It’s just as possible that the buyer is in the middle of a “hair-on-fire” emergency and needs to make a purchase as close to yesterday as possible.

Yes, the salesperson can ask those questions, but buyers often hedge because they don’t want to divulge information that might put them at a negotiating disadvantage, so accurate answers are rarely forthcoming.

When she inquired about his timing of the purchase, he told her that he had to search through his notes to find her name and phone number. Upon hearing this, the salesperson took out her “inactive prospect” file and started calling all those people she dropped while wondering how often she had lost sales because of the differences in priorities between the buyer and the seller. Is it happening to you too?

I often preach the strategy of using “polite persistence” to keep in touch with prospects who seem to have the need but don’t have the current commitment to buy because, at some time in the future, when it is in their best interest to make the move, you want to be the one on the top of the list who will get the call.

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Smart Hotel Revenue Managers Track Competition Prices Using an Advanced Rate Shopping Tool

Travellers today are tech freaks who know how to utilize technology to make his travel cheaper, convenient and comfortable. Technology enables them to remain on the go without having to worry about itinerary, route and even accommodation. Even while being on the go, they can choose between various hotels to perfectly suit their budget and requirements without compromising on any front. The credit goes to the seamless availability of all Metasearch websites and OTAs on mobile in the form of responsive mobile websites and mobile applications. Hotels too have been proactive to sense the paradigm shift and have moulded their entire strategy to encourage and support mobile bookings. They are now using advanced rate shopping software that can analyze the pricing from entire competition and churn out the best possible rate for every single room in the hotel’s inventory. Hospitality industry thrives on the ability to charge the right rate for the right customer at the right time with an aim to drive maximum revenues.

In this age of fierce competition and constantly fluctuating demand, manual tracking of rates from the competition is next to impossible. To add to it the prices for the same hotel room can be different from one OTA to another and even on search location and type of traveller. Differential pricing is the latest trend in Hotel industry and only an advanced RateShopping tool is no less than a necessity to stay competitive and profitable in such complex market dynamics.

An efficient RateShopping tool is capable to monitor prices of thousands of competitor hotels on hundreds of different channels including OTAs to carry out detailed competitive analysis that helps a hotel in formulating the best pricing strategy among its competitors. However, in current scenario only a basic RateShopping tool is not enough to nail the correct pricing strategy. Smart hoteliers are using many tricks to get high bookings and revenue. Some of them being differential pricing, including varying hotel prices by location, i.e. Geolocation based pricing. Device-based pricing that pricing based on the device used to book. These combinations have made the task of competition rate tracking even more daunting for revenue managers. Hence, it is the time that you evaluate your existing RateShopping Tool, and see if it is proficient enough of providing you all the competition rate tracking requirements you need. If not, it is time to switch to the one that has all these features.

Here are a few key features of an advanced rate shopping tool that can provide an in-depth analysis of competitors’ pricing:

    1. Geo-based pricing: To tap the difference in paying capacity of guests from different countries, hotels have started differential pricing based on the location (geo-based pricing) of the customer booking the hotel. For e.g. a person in Australia and a person in Brazil are willing to book a hotel in Malaysia, then both will get different prices for the same room since they belong to different countries. A smart rate shopping tools provide in-depth analysis into what price the competitor is offering to travellers situated in different countries round the globe. This information is crucial in the sense that a hotel might be selling its inventory for the same price round the globe where the competitor must be winning by offering less prices.

 

    1. Mobile rates vs Desktop rates: With the advent of Smartphone’s, mobile devices have become the most popular device among the masses to browse destinations, hotels and even make bookings. A traveller is always on the go with no fixed itineraries and needs to make bookings several times during his entire trip as he travels from one place to another. Data reveals that around 150 million bookings were done through mobile devices last year and the number is ever increasing. Hotels are also trying to encourage travellers to book through mobile especially through mobile apps where they offer discounted prices as compared to desktop and mobile sites. This type of device specific differential pricing poses even bigger challenge for revenue managers to keep their pricing competitive. An evolved RateShopping tool would shower you with intelligence on all such differential pricing patterns existing in the competitive arena by keeping a perfect tap on the competitor mobile app rates. Such insightful information is bound to benefit hoteliers to set the best prices for their inventory to compete with the lowest prices in the market.

 

  1. Member rates vs non-member rates: A rewarding and profitable loyalty program is at the heart of any good hotel. Hotels treat their loyal customers differently by offering them prices that are not available on any OTA or even hotel’s own website. But, a smart rate shopping even penetrates into such loyalty offers and Close User Group (CUG) being offered by competition to their loyal customers giving a holistic picture of competitor’s pricing strategy. This crucial information helps a hotel to offer similar rates in one form or the other thus giving the gasping run for their money. Moreover, all the information is presented in a desired statistical and graphical format, which enables quick interpretation so that instant pricing decisions could be taken.

How an Airborne Trooper Makes the Sale

Did you ever notice how sometimes a new problem in your life gets solved by some old skill from your past that seemed totally irrelevant at the time?

I love it when that happens

It’s amazing how our brain has these weird ways to combine our memories with present scenarios and come up with an elegant solution.

(By the way – that’s the what the best innovators do – combine things together. Nobody can really create anything. We’re just people, not God).

So anyway, back in the days when I was a soldier in the Israeli army, they trained us in special warfare tactics.

They trained us to save our ammo, and… (I hope my Middle-Eastern brutal language isn’t too much for your delicate soul… ) KILL as many of the enemy with as little bullets as possible.

One memorable tactic was that of an ambush -

Your force is hiding in the bushes waiting for the enemy troops to show themselves.

You get all weapons on targets and simultaneously fire off some bullets.

You don’t go crazy Rambo style and fire all your ammo all at once – that’s cool in the Hollywood movies but doesn’t really work in real life… just a short burst of hell… and then…

YOU WAIT

For what?

For the enemy to assess casualties, try to figure out what happened, and start moving again.

YOU KEEP WAITING some more… wait patiently until they think they’re out of danger and get the courage to get organized again and keep going… and THEN you UNLEASH HELL.

So why am I telling you all of this? Am I some kind of sadistic Israeli nut?

Well, maybe I am who knows…

But the reason I’m writing about this ties back to my twisted brain’s way of combining and creating an elegant solution -

See, this warfare tactic is pretty much what real effective copy does.

Bullets in copy don’t kill, but rather create fascination and extreme curiosity in your prospect’s mind if done properly. It’s those usually short sentences in bold writing with a bullet next to them that you’ll see in sales letters or promotions, telling you about some very interesting features and benefits of the product or service being offered.

So you “fire” a couple of curiosity raising bullets to engage the enemy… err… I mean your reader (sorry, that barbaric Israeli in me gets excited when talking about these things), and then… do you fire all the rest of your intriguing bullet features?