If you’re like most resorts in North America, the peak summer vacation season is in full bloom now that summer is upon us. Although most guests have booked in advance, the reservations team’s success at securing those last few bookings to fill-in the gaps and top-off occupancy has a huge impact on annual revenues. Therefore, it’s a wonderful time now that demand is the strongest to do a refresher training covering the basics of how secure the sale.
Yet before we review the actual primary and secondary closing techniques, it’s important to remind reservations colleagues that securing the sale is a natural next step in a personalized, engaging reservations inquiry call. Sometimes agents who are the most kind, empathetic and genuinely helpful are also the least likely to try to secure the sale. Seems to me that they do not want to come across as that pushy, over-bearing stereotypical salesperson. Therefore, be sure to remind everyone that our efforts to secure the sale benefit all stakeholders in the equation!
- The caller locks-in the rate quoted and ensures availability.
- The company secures another reservation.
- Our colleagues in operations benefit from more guests and thus job security!
Next, train your team to make it a habit to always ask for the sale right after they have quoted rates. When it comes to the actual verbiage, agents should adjust their approach according to the conversation they are having. Here are four different approaches for closing the sale.
The Trial Close. This one works best when callers state up front they do not want to commit and say they just want to check rates. This is a softer closing technique that acknowledges their comment.
“Now I know you said you weren’t ready, but if you like I can lock that in…”
The “Secure It For You” method works well in most call scenarios. It presents the attempt to secure the sale as a courtesy being extended by leaving the “next step” with you such as:
“May I secure that for you?”
“May I reserve that for you?”
The “Choice of Options” close is ideal when your conversation has narrowed down the caller’s decision into two accommodations or packages. This method restates the options in a way that assumes they caller will select one of them. Examples:
“Which of those may I secure for you?”
“Did you prefer the traditional or deluxe option?”
Finally, there is the “Assume The Sale” closing technique. This approach works best when callers give strong buying signals such as “That sounds perfect!” or “Okay, so the rate is…” Recognizing that the caller already essentially said “Yes,” this method assumes they will proceed and very often they do! Just start asking for the details necessary to finalize the reservation such as:
“Okay, and how do you spell that last name Mr. Kennedy?”
“That was for arrival on Saturday, June 20, correct?”