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Think You’re Cut Out For Incentive Travel and Corporate Meetings Sales? Ten Attributes Of Sales Winners

IMEX America is over. Have you recovered yet? America’s top show for connecting meeting destinations with the planners they covet drew an estimated 14,000 attendees and generated an economic impact of more than $20 million, according to show officials.

This year we sat down with destinations from around the world to discuss how to cultivate a competitive edge in such as cutthroat landscape. While the discussion weaved from creative digital marketing to comprehensive facilities, more often then not, it landed on “our people.”

The best incentive travel and corporate meetings sales representatives are a cut above the rest. In order to become highly successful and win RFPs for your destination and its meetings facilities and services, you simply have to be better than the competition. You also need to have the ability to groom and grow the talent around you.

So, do you have what it takes or is it time to move on? Consider these ten benchmarks and compare how you rate.

1. Knowledge is Power

In order to stand out in a business event sales meeting, you must be well-prepared. You need to do your research ahead of time and have a solid understanding of what the meeting planner is looking for before you even sit down to the meeting. This also means knowing your destination product and the services you offer inside and out so that you can answer any questions that buyers might have. You are your destination’s best brand ambassador. It’s your job to know and sell what truly makes your destination offering different in the land of the “alike” meeting locations. If the planner doesn’t leave the meeting ready to make a decision, ideally handing you an RFP, you may already have lost them forever.

2. Shut Up… and Listen

In order to effectively make a sale, you must be able to listen to your audience. You don’t just want to throw out facts about your destination, like spaghetti at a wall, and hope for the best. Instead, you want to be sure that you’re addressing the concerns, perceptions and questions your customer has – genuinely listening to what they need. If you want to encourage them to choose your destination for their business event, you need to show that you truly understand their needs and that you have the ability to provide for them.

3. Bring High Energy

In order to successfully sell anything, going into the conversation with high energy is critical. Think about it: do you want to buy something from someone who is ambivalent about the company and the product, or would you rather buy from someone who is eager and excited? In business event sales, you want to show that you have the energy necessary to deliver on a planner’s vision.

4. Be Passionate

It’s not just about your energy levels. You want to show that you genuinely care about what your destination has to offer to your prospect’s business event. Passion–that drive and need to give your customers what they’re looking for–will set you apart from the crowd and help build customer confidence in what you can offer.

5. Focus on the Details

In order to successfully sell your destination or services for a business event, you must have the ability to focus on the details. Those little details can make or break a business event–and you want to show that you’re paying attention to them from your first experience with a potential client.

6. Strive for Quality

Not only do successful meeting salespeople focus on the details, they’re driven by quality. You know that your customers aren’t just looking for a run of the mill experience; rather, they’re interested in something that will set their meeting apart and make it memorable. When you show that you care about quality, you let your clients know that you care about the same things they do.

7. Adapt

Sometimes, in spite of all the research you’ve done, you may not know a meeting planner as well as you think you do. Other times, they will throw a curveball your way. In order to secure an RFP, you need the ability to adapt: to show planners that you can run with new ideas and accomplish their goals in spite of obstacles.

8. Keep Your *&@$% Together

In order to be an effective Incentive travel and corporate meetings salesperson, you must be organized–and your organizational skills will speak to more than just your ability to show up on time with the right paperwork. When you display organization during your initial meeting, you give business event planners the confidence that you will show the same level of organization and dedication in dealing with their event.

9. Build Relationships

You don’t just want a one-time sale. Instead, you want to keep bringing these clients back to host future meetings and events. As you work to build a relationship, you help establish yourself as an effective member of the meeting planner’s team and that makes them more likely to trust you, not just for this event, but for years to come.

10. Be Persistent

In addition to your other qualities, if you want to achieve success, you must be persistent: tenaciously contacting planners, letting them know what you can do for them, and encouraging them to make a buying decision. You don’t want to make a nuisance of yourself (which is where the relationship-building comes in), but you do want to stick with it and keep moving forward.

If you’re hoping to become a more successful business events salesperson, you need the right skills. By pursuing the qualities on this list, you’ll find that you’re able to more effectively close sales in the highly competitive field of business events.

Have more than enough work on your plate and need the help of a team of professionals that can help your destination raise the bar on its meetings sales performance? Then consider contacting DCI Business Events. We’re happy to speak with you about how we have helped cities like Milan, territories such as the U.S. Virgin Islands, and countries like Australia and Scotland advance their business events program in North America.

Written By

Stella Tsitsipatis

Stella is a destination marketing veteran with experience in marketing communication campaigns and leisure/business tourism sales efforts for destinations in Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and the Middle East.

More Articles by Stella Tsitsipatis

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