1. Involve others
The key to an amazing showround is all about the planning and preparation… imagine you are on stage and ready to deliver a great performance! When you’re planning a show-round, make sure everyone is informed. Porters and reception will know who is arriving and can greet them accordingly; conference and housekeeping can ensure corridors are tidy and rooms are prepared.
It’s a given that you know your product inside out, from parking, bedrooms, meeting space to menus, equipment, suppliers. If someone is visiting to view your product for a specific event then you should also understand what their business does and know their needs inside out. If you haven’t already gained all the information you need start the meeting with a coffee and a chat to ensure you understand exactly their priorities and you can then tailor your showround to highlight the features and benefits of your venue. Always establish how much time your client has for their visit so you can plan accordingly.
3. Setting the scene
Prepare in advance the route and the rooms that you will show, getting the keys ready, switching on lamps and lights, ensuring conference rooms are clear and suitable to view. Walk the route you will take round the property to make sure that everything is in order. Let members of each department know about the clients visit on route so they will be available to talk about relevant details and ensure a warm welcome from all members of the venue team.
4. Tailored to your customer
Customer’s appreciate if you have planned and prepared for their visit, you can demonstrate this by reserving a parking space for them near the front door for example, arranging welcome refreshments if people have travelled a long distance, setting up in the meeting rooms in the layout they are considering, asking them to try the delegate lunch menu or example menu if they have time available (which is an ideal to ask more questions and build the relationship).
You can further tailor their visit through ensuring you introduce your customer to key contacts that will be involved with their planned event. For example if dining is an important element then introduce the chef and discuss your food. You can even extend the tour to include the kitchen and service areas to give piece of mind.
Where possible introduce your General Manager, it only needs to be a few minutes chat rather than being included in the whole tour but it demonstrates the way in which you value your customers.
5. Closing the sale
If a customer has committed their time for a showround they are serious about using your venue. Whilst you are walking round continue to ask probing questions about their business so that you can demonstrate the benefits of your product during their visit.
Sit down in a quiet area once the showround is complete and discuss how your property has met their requirements and make sure you ask for their business. Very importantly, if you promise to send them information do this promptly with a note to say how nice it was to meet them and how you look forward to welcoming their business to your venue.