Welcome to the show notes of the Boostly Podcast. This is a recap of my interview Jessica Lorimer, where we talked about how to shift your mindset to get more business bookings.
Jessica Lorimer talks about how to get more business bookings
Jessica just got back out in the corporate world in 2009 and had been in a sales role since she was 16. She started out selling jewellery in one of the UK’s biggest jewellery firms. She got headhunted while at university by a big B2B sales firm, and she turned out to be quite good at business to business sales. She made a lot of money, and for the companies she was working with. She went on to later specialize in luxury fashions and helping up fashion brands set up different sales divisions around the world.
Then she was diagnosed in 2014. So she decided to leave her corporate job and set up a business so that she could build something that was a bit more lifestyle focused. For the last six years, she has been teaching entrepreneurs how to sell in their businesses, lots and lots of different sales skills around sales, psychology funnels, and the basics behind selling to corporates. June last year, she decided to make the pivot and publicly start teaching entrepreneurs how to sell b2b and how to sell to corporate organizations. It was something she has been doing with private clients for a couple of years, but she hadn’t been doing publicly. So far, she has been able to convince a whole bunch of people that selling to corporates and getting business bookings is a good idea.
Why business owners are scared of selling to corporates and get business bookings
Jessica thinks it’s a normal reaction not to want to sell to corporate and get business bookings and she thinks there are a couple of reasons. One is that generally, people have had a bad experience working for corporate in a previous life. Most people have come from an employed background. They’ve dealt with the red tape and the politics, and they didn’t enjoy it. That’s why they’ve gone on to create a hospitality business. They can’t see themselves working with a corporate because all you see is the negative memories of that.
The other reason is that rejection is something that terrifies people. Jessica thinks that people have this immediate association that when you are pitching to a corporate, you’re going to get rejected more often. Jessica always thinks that’s interesting, because when you’re sat on Facebook, and you’re creating a post that says, Come and stay at our amazing Airbnb.”, you’re not looking at all of the people who scrolled past your posts and didn’t react or didn’t buy. Instead, you focus on the positive. But when we’re selling to corporate, it is very transparent. The conversations that you’ll have are much more direct and some ways that can be more difficult.
Jessica thinks a big part of your mindset is learning to be more resilient. People worry so much that they’re going to publicly face rejection that they’d rather be doing all the social media activities and staying busy because it doesn’t necessarily have s direct impact on their mindset and their mind.
From Reactive to Proactive
The first thing is to segment your marketing. Most people don’t do a lot of proactive marketing because people think it’s salesy, or that it’s going to be a burden or that it’s going to feel gross. Selling to corporates requires two types of content. One is proactive, where you are directly outreaching and starting a conversation. That’s infinitely easier to do and to generate revenue.
The second is broadcast content. If you’re more comfortable, you can always use some broadcast content on a platform like LinkedIn. You can talk about having bulk rates. You can use that case study content on LinkedIn as a platform for selling b2b. When you are looking at proactive content, you want to be doing that once a day initially. So if you are somebody who is not currently fully booked with business, you want to be making sure your first activity got to be sales activity every single day. If you want your business to be profitable, you’ve got to start with something that is going to make you money because that allows your business to be profitable.
So what you want to start with is look at the top five companies in your local area who are regularly bringing people in. So if you live in the north of England, for example, the US military has a military base in Yorkshire, and it’s got one down in Suffolk as well. They’re always bringing people over who need places to live. Funnily enough, the US military does not have a mass of barracks outside North Yorkshire.
You could be looking at local organizations that do the same; you could look outside the box like a military organization, you might look at bigger firms, you know, you might have international consultancy businesses or finance businesses are local to you. And you would simply approach them one every morning looking for a stakeholder. So look for a director of HR or director of relocation or something like that. And you would send them a straightforward connection message on LinkedIn to connect with them that says, “Hi, my name is _______. I’ve got a few properties to let all room to land or, one property to let for a Monday to Friday booking or a long term booking and I thought it might be relevant to you because it’s in the area of when would you be free to chat.”
It’s super transparent. If you do that once a day, every day, you’re going to find that you’re going to start having these conversations, it’s going to be a lot easier. And companies will start knowing your name. Because you’re going to be coming up at networking events, you’re going to be coming up in peer to peer conversations. And so you’ll start to find that. Actually, companies do then approach you and say, okay, we know that you’ve got maybe one property or two properties or however many you’ve got, and that’ll generate leads for you by word of mouth referral, and also that proactive outreach that you’re doing.
Jessica also mentions another thing that you can do when somebody’s staying with you, and you know that they’re staying on business, you can get your front of house staff to ask questions to them about their trip simply. There are always questions that you or your front of house staff can ask to find out a little bit more than you can then use later on. Because if a company is spending money on multiple different hotels or B&Bs for its staff, it would be better for them ultimately, to get a discounted volume rate on somewhere else. It will give you those extra bookings and regular bookings, which is important. When you’re a small hospitality owner, it’s essential to have consistent regular bookings. And then, of course, when it’s the weekend, and they all go home, you can charge whatever you like for lovely weekend visitors.
You could even look up like conferences in your local area and then approach the conference organizers. You can book that year after year if it’s a regular thing.
Know more about selling to corporates
Favourite Purchase under 100 Pounds
Eating Nutella with a spoon out of the jar.
Tip to get more direct bookings
Take bold action related to sales every day. We’re in a challenging climate right now economically and politically. Jessica thinks we can’t ignore that, unfortunately. There are lots of opportunities out there for people who are willing to take them. If you’re a short stay hospitality owner and you do not see the opportunities, or worse you’re seeing them and kind of letting them drift past you need to be taking massive bold action right now, now is the very best time for you in a whole world of social media and technological advancements, to be making use of tools to help you go and make more direct bookings. So whatever you do once a day, just do one sales activity where you’re super direct and super transparent with your audience about why they should stay with you right now, today. You can make it as original and unique and interesting and fun as you like, but it’s got to have a really clear call to action at the end to book.