Luxury Coach & Transportation

April 2019

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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Page 18 of 51

LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION APRIL 2019 17 may not be the right fit. ese days, you can't afford order taker mentality." e first comment Parson often hears is "But how are we supposed to do both?" She suggests looking at an in- dividual's personality, which will help you mold them and use it to sell. "A lot of times people are reluctant because when they hear the word 'sell,' they think of people asking you to change your insurance company. You aren't do- ing that; these people have called you because they want your service." She says allowing and comping staff to experience a ride in one of your vehicles themselves helps enable them to sell the vehicle better. "is way they can speak from experience. You can hear a difference from the way they talk to people on the phone; it makes them more confident in what they sell." ere are some people who will be a little more shy, or come into the indus- try a little shocked at what the prices are like, Zanone says. "ey might not be used to selling higher dollar ser- vices. It's not that they don't want to do it, it just takes getting used to because they don't come from a traditional sales background." Cross Training Advice Writing down your best practices and moving your trainees to an environ- ment of learning away from their desks can make a big difference, Parson says. Take time to walk around the facilities, show them the vehicles they are selling, and tell them how you do it. Also, don't be afraid to retrain them to ensure they are staying consistent. If you hear bad practices, zap them immediately or they'll become routine. Establishing goals and considering a small incentive plan for the go-getters helps motivate sellers, Forgy says. "ere are so many sales training pro- grams, books, and DVDs. I would also invest in a good, user-friendly CRM." Zanone advises patience. "Dispatchers don't always think like salespeople; they aren't always outgoing, but everyone can sell if they like what they are doing and believe in the product. Make sure the people who are working for you are passionate about what they are selling. You don't want people who are just there to collect a paycheck and do one specific thing. Look to hire employees you believe could be cross trainable." — them write down traits of good and bad salespeople they've encountered. Employees must know details about your vehicles, the area, and other topics that may come up in a conversation. "You want them to come across as an expert rather than just a reservation agent." Her company sends their staff through the Cleveland Travelbackers workshop to help improve their knowl- edge of the city. Beating Reluctance When Vargas first screens candidates, she looks at their backgrounds for sales and/or customer service skills. "We want them to come in understanding those skills will be put to use. Most of our staff understands sales are the overarching priority in addition to safety and compliance. Even our chauf- feurs understand they are the face of the company. We haven't faced any issues of people not wanting to help us grow." In reality, some employees will always be better and more willing than others, Forgy says. "You just try to continually raise the bar and expecta- tions. We even had some of our front office staff do client visits before the holidays and they loved it. If someone is adamant about not doing sales, they uses to entice potential clients. "ere's so much more involved than just trans- portation. I copy them on all the quotes and send them phone recordings so they can hear the other side of the call." Vargas has her team mention the company's ability to provide global service. "I've been building on our affiliate partnerships, and have taken the time to go visit them so when I come back I can relate my experiences with them to my team. As a grow- ing company, nationwide presence is important to reiterate." Forgy has honed in on crafting basic email templates and reinforcing proper phone and email skills. "We stress the importance of elevated customer ser- vice and engagement expectations. We also had numerous meetings to review technique, how to track and follow up, and compare results," she says. Some of the most difficult tasks to get executed consistently are asking for the sale, closing fast when able to, and doing regular follow ups. It often takes from four to eight follow ups to close a sale. Parson does a PowerPoint session with her employees where she sits down and talks them through tactics. "Everyone in the world is sold to at one point or another," she explains. She has In reality, every call and email, whether with an existing or potential client, is a sales opportunity. — Diane Forgy

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