By Kristen Shelton, Corporate Director of Sales and Marketing

At Landmark we believe that People are Paramount and if we take care of our people; our people will take care of our clients and guests.  The foundation of our success in sales has been building and maintaining relationships both in and out of the hotel.

Technology has been both a blessing and a curse in our pursuit of creating meaningful guest interactions.  Between online booking tools, electronic RFP submissions, and electronic lead programs it is all too easy for sales people to become tied to a desk.  We have witnessed our clients shifting from face-to-face, to phone, to email and even text correspondences.  Many of our brands have embraced digital practices so a guest can book a reservation in an app, check-in digitally, and then use his or her phone to key into a guest room.

In the last year and a half COVID stripped away most of our meetings and client sales calls so the draw to contactless service has been a very necessary option.  Many brands are looking for more ways to digitize the guest experience.

So…in the business of people; how do we keep the personal touch when the shift to digital communication has been so great?  The answer lies in keeping a good balance and being innovative in our sales interactions.  People will always want to do business with companies they know and trust—and relationships must be the foundation of good business partnerships.

Here are a few suggestions for balancing a personal touch:

  1. If you aren’t able to meet in person then set up a Zoom call or any electronic meeting service.  Video-chat is not a full replacement for a handshake, but it still puts names and faces together.  Suggesting these meetings to clients are time-savers and it still gives an opportunity to meet one-on-one.
  2. Amp up your in-house guest impacts by dropping off personalized notes and gifts to your accounts. Not being able to meet in person isn’t an excuse to let clients go unnoticed in your hotel.
  3. Snail-mail! Sending personalized or meaningful gifts of thanks to your accounts is a great way to let them know you appreciate them.
  4. For local clients who are still not taking appointments schedule a time to drop off thank you gifts and hotel collateral.

Doing these things frequently along with your electronic communications will help balance personalized service in a digital world.

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