We’ve all had that “aha” moment. You know this is the time when something seems so obvious after the fact.  In sales, it’s often said, if only I knew that before, I could have landed that deal!

The question is, would we really change the way we do business if we experienced that “aha” moment? I’m sure the answer would be yes if it led to making more money and bringing in more business.

But how can we make these “aha” moments more of a reality and less of a dream? The way to do this is by understanding when to make the most important sales calls and what to get out of these calls.

Follow up on Business You Didn’t Land

Once you have been turned down, it’s easy to give up on that potential customer. But this is the time you need to build a trace system and follow up with these potential customers. It really is the best time to learn and can help you tailor your future approach to talking to potential clients.

Technology has made it simple to organize client information and remind you when it is time to place a call. Consider using one of the best free CRM software programs as reported by Business News Daily, like Hubspot CRM, Zoho CRM, Insightly, or Salesforce.

These programs will help you organize your lead data for your follow-up calls.

Ask Your Potential Guests for Feedback

There could be many reasons your hotel did not align with group needs for a particular event and so you lost the business. If this happens you need to ask your customers for feedback. This is probably one of the hardest things to do in your business, but you will be glad you did.

Was it your pricing? Was it due to lack of meeting space? Maybe your hotel is not close enough to restaurants or entertainment. There may even be something you could change next time. For example, if your hotel was lacking shuttle service, maybe you could price out transportation and offer it as a one-time service.

The potential customer has nothing to lose by providing constructive criticism and you have everything to gain. Especially if “no” is a common word you are hearing from potential group bookings.

Re-Engage with Lost Leads

Leads go dark for many reasons. Your contact may be overwhelmed at work but remain interested in your hotel.  Chances are, they will still remember you and you don’t want these leads falling off the grid after all.

The follow-up call shows you are interested in their future business. If you know they selected to go with another hotel, maybe the hotel they selected missed an important detail or they didn’t enjoy their stay.

Your follow-up will make an impression. If their event at the chosen locale wasn’t successful, then this could set you up for possibilities in the future. You may not get a commitment during this phone call, but nurturing that lead over time can turn a “no” into a future booking.

Turn Rejection into Opportunity

Create an action plan for future follow-ups. Your goal here is to stay at the forefront of their mind when a potential client is considering where to hold their next meeting.

Trace out another call in a few months. Maybe you have completed a renovation at your hotel. Or, maybe you just hosted a group meeting and you have a success story to share that is a potential idea for your lead.

You want them to remember you and your hotel so that your hotel is at the front of their mind the next time they are planning the next group event.

Communicate with Multiple Mediums

The bottom line is potential business doesn’t come knocking. You must work for it. Your business is the business of sales and while we can consider a small percentage of our business to come from direct phone calls, most of the time you are going to get your business by the effort you put into your follow-up.

Lead nurturing is all about following up. Sometimes it may take multiple calls to make contact, but the point is to keep trying. And, if your phone calls aren’t working, consider email.

Find other ways to keep your hotel in the running for future events. Connect on social media with popular apps for business such as Facebook or LinkedIn. Continue to promote your unique competitive advantage to stay at the forefront of their mind.