The Lost Art of Phone Excellence: How to get more bookings the easy way to increase bookings

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Welcome to this week’s episode of The Accommodation Show, where we dive into the often-forgotten art of taking phone calls. In a world where digital communication reigns supreme, picking up the phone and providing immediate customer service can make a significant impact on your business. Every call represents an opportunity to connect with potential guests, provide valuable information, and even secure a booking on the spot. In this episode, we explore the best ways to handle inbound calls, increase revenue, and improve customer satisfaction. 📞

In today’s show, we go back to our roots! We talk about one of the most traditional ways of providing immediate customer service and increase bookings, through phone calls!

In the fast-paced and competitive world of the accommodation industry, handling inbound calls effectively can make all the difference. Each call represents a chance to secure a booking, provide exceptional service, and exceed guest expectations. As such, mastering the art of inbound call handling is crucial for any accommodation provider looking to improve customer satisfaction, increase revenue, and stay ahead of the competition. But how can you ensure that your reservation agents, or even yourself, are handling inbound calls with finesse and maximizing revenue per call opportunity?

One of the biggest opportunities, that rarely gets talked about is converting opportunities, to booking over the phone 💰. But, it takes careful effort and definitive skills to turn an enquiry into a sale. In this episode of The Accommodation Show,” I interview Doug Kennedy, the president of Kennedy Training Network, Inc, a leading provider of sales, guest service, and management training programs for the hospitality industry. Doug shares how he helps call handlers have better conversations and get more direct booking over the phone!

Topics covered in this episode:

How do you get guests to book directly over the phone?💰

Why is every single call an opportunity?🤔

How do you calculate revenue per phone call opportunity?📈

How can you engage customers in a phone conversation like a pro?📞

What are some effective approaches for training employees in sales?💼

How can you avoid sounding robotic over the phone?🤖

What are some great questions to start a leading conversation with a potential guest💬

Why train all your employees in sales?🤝

👨‍🏫 Doug Kennedy is President of the Kennedy Training Network, Inc. the lodging industry’s best source for training programs and related support services in the topic areas of reservations sales, hospitality, and guest experience excellence. For over three decades, Doug has been a fixture on the lodging and tourism conference speaking circuit, having presented at more than 150 conferences. Over 40,000 people have participated in more than 2,450 small group training workshops he has presented for hotels, resorts, call centres, and vacation rental companies. Thousands worldwide read his monthly hotel, tourism and hospitality industry training articles in publications such as Hotelier Maldives, HotelNewsNow, Hotel-Online, Hotel News Resource, HTrends, and

Don’t miss out on this informative episode of The Accommodation Show, where we discuss the art of handling inbound phone calls in the accommodation industry with Doug Kennedy, President of Kennedy Training Network, Inc. Whether you are an owner, manager, or reservation agent, this episode has something for everyone who wants to increase their revenue, improve customer satisfaction, and stay ahead of the competition.

Learn from Doug’s three decades of experience in the hospitality industry as he shares effective strategies and tips for engaging customers, training employees in sales, and converting phone calls into direct bookings.

Tune in now to discover how to master the art of inbound call handling and double your direct bookings.

📽 Watch the episode here
🎙 Listen to the episode here


Hello and welcome back to The Accommodation Show. We help accommodation owners like you get the knowledge and skills you need to grow your business, improve your guests’ experience and increase your profitability.

Bart: Okay everybody, welcome back to another episode of The Accommodation Show. This week, I am joined by the incredible Doug Kennedy from Kennedy Training Network. Welcome to the show.

Doug: Thank you. I’m really excited to be here with you. I’ve been watching your show for a long time and it’s great to be a part of it today.

Bart: It’s such a pleasure because we talked over a month and a half ago I saw you at the book direct show in Miami. We hadn’t touched base at all and I should probably get in touch with Doug see what he’s up to. And it was really exciting because we got to know each other a bit better. And I thought, wow, there are some topics that we’ve never covered on the accommodation show, which people are going to be blown away by. So today’s conversation is gonna be invaluable. We’re going to be talking about all things phone, phone technology, and how we could get more bookings over the phone, and how we can take care of our customers better over the phone. I think you said it down. You said it’s one of the forgotten mediums. But before we go into the particular topic, Doug, I’d love you to introduce yourself. Let everybody know about your experience the industry and what you guys get up to the Kennedy training network.

Doug: Well, thank you. Well, KTN is based here in Miami, and we do training worldwide. I have a staff of about 20 people. There are two other trainers and then the rest of our team does QA work and coaching. So we log in, and we download calls through cloud-based recording tools. We intercept with their permission, of course, chat exchanges, email exchanges, and app messaging, and we coach people on QA and how to become better. I’m on the road almost every week training Hotel Resort, they get vacation rental companies or do contract speaking.

Bart: Actually on that. You’d be popping up on my feed and you’ve been I was like, Oh, what was the last event that you did? And the like which one was it? So yeah, tell me a bit about the events that I’ve been seeing you participate in or host.

Doug: I got to kind of stop and think like I can tell you where I’m going in the future either than the past because it’s just crazy. But yeah, we trained so far this year, probably three or four resorts and three or four vacation rental companies. I just did a major programme for a private bank. A bank the payback Gladstone bank. Now we only do three topics, we’re talking about reservation sales. We also do hospitality and guest experience excellence. And then we do sales and the bank was actually interested in the guest experience but yeah, mostly training. I do a lot of conference speaking. I’ll be at the Northwest vacation rental management professionals. I’m actually booked to do hotel training for clients during the VRMA spring, but I’ll be there in the fall.

Bart: Yeah, actually, that’s a conference that I’m looking to get to. So we’ll have to take this offline and have a bit of a chat. But also so how many days so far this year in 2023 have you been on the road?

Doug: My actual average has been very consistent. Normally it’s six days a month last year I did 71 days of training. It’s these first two months have been more thanks to the bank. Booking nine days. So yeah, I’ve been gone. I’d have to probably so far about 15 or 16. Yeah, right. And I’m booked all the way through May. Thank you. But never busy enough.

Bart: Yeah. And that’s the interesting thing. I mean, I guess when you’re out there, you’re doing that much training the great thing with being a trainer is that you get all the feedback both ways. So you’re actually training people and you’re learning as well on the ways you’re getting the latest best practice and what people are doing and that sort of thing, but also, look, I’m gonna just jump straight into our topic today about using the phone and the reason why I’m really interested in this particular topic is because I’m always talking about direct bookings, websites, digital technology, that sort of thing. Of course, you know an awful lot about jargon and you facilitate within the business but for me, one of the mediums that get forgotten is the phone is what happens when somebody calls you what do you answer? How do you answer it? How do you convert someone from an inquiry Hey, do you have this in this facility to a booking, for example? That’s something that you’re constantly thinking about, and you’re thinking about phone etiquette, so just to kick us off? What, in your opinion, were the biggest failure points for people when they’re taking inbound calls?

Doug: Okay, well, first of all, you know, the digital marketing people tend to really be our biggest advocates because you work very hard to get people to come to a website, hopefully, to book online and then you know, a lot of times when people call the ball is dropped. So what are the biggest things to keep in mind? First of all, answer. First of all, even before that, post the phone number and put it on there, reach us directly or call our in-house team, to call local area experts. I’m a huge advocate for including a local area code, not an 800 number. Consumer today assumes when they call an 800 number they’re getting a country far away. offshoring a very often the first question that the reservationist or front desk person or guest experiences whatever you’re going to call them. The first question is, Hello, where are you? Are you on site and they really want to know so number one is to post your number two is to answer the phone. And I guess the third thing I’ll just mention real quick is that today’s inquiry is in disguise. You know not that many years ago. The inquiry was? Hi, Bart. I’m thinking about coming there and I’d like to get some prices today. It’s in disguise. Hi, Bart. I just have a quick question about and what happens is a lot of people answer that quick question, and they let them go. So if I say hi, Bart. I just have a question about this particular accommodation. How many parking spaces Okay, thanks. You know, I’m not just curious how many parking spaces I’m actually interested in.

Bart: Before we get sort of further into that, I just want to get back to the phone number part that you raised and answering the calls. Those are two things that I think are important. So the phone number, we have three options that I see in my mind. So you have the one 800 Number, you have your local number. And then you also have the mobile phone number, which is another way that people get get through to the business, mobile phone numbers. What are your thoughts?

Doug: Most of our clients are large corporations, so a mobile phone number wouldn’t work because I mean, they’re gonna have multiple people calling at one time for a smaller short-term rental person. I think that’s fantastic. And you should put on there you know, maybe it’s a mobile number some of our international clients put WhatsApp so the more ways you’re available, whatever works for you be available but emphasize you’re reaching us directly if that’s the case. Now if you’re using a third party, we work with a lot of call centres. We do training for extended teams for their agents, you know, which is an extension of your team concept. We work with third-party call centres like real voice, and that’s fine too. But if you are a listener who has your in-house on-site, person answering, even if they’re not even on site, maybe they’re working remotely from home, but they’re your people emphasize that.

Bart: One of the other things you said is to answer the phone and that’s a fascinating one because you’d imagine that most people would be like, Oh, of course, I answer the phone, of course, as the phone. What’s the reality in terms of the actual answer rate and the numbers?

Doug: The reality is a lot of times smaller companies it goes to voicemail. The reality is a lot of times it rings and rings and rings. And the reality is a lot of times it’s answered very abruptly. So yeah, all of the above. Yeah, gotcha. Make it a point. You know, why don’t we cross-train people? Why is there only one person trained to answer the phone? Why is it not? We don’t get that many phone calls, right because most bookings are online when someone calls that is your hottest lead, it is not an interruption.

Bart: What’s fascinating is, that we’ve got a huge number of clients that we work with, and we control their Google business profile so we can actually see how many calls they’re getting on any given week in any given month. And what’s fascinating about that is a lot of them say Oh, I don’t get any phone calls, and we can see in the back end that they are actually getting large numbers of calls, but they’re just not answering them along the way. Right. Okay, we’ve got the phone numbers sorted. We got we’re telling people to answer the phone are we answering the phone 24 hours a day or what do we do if we are a small business? People will call it one o’clock in the morning because people do that kind of thing. What should we be doing?

Doug: So it depends on your model and the size of your company. Some of you may use a third-party call centre I mentioned real voice there are others you know, in the hotel, industry, travel outlook advantage reserve, there are a lot of others, that’s going to answer 24 hours. Some of you may have an extended team or an answering service but it’s okay if you don’t just put on there and you’re grieving usually during the greeting hours. Thank you for calling. You have reached us after hours and we will call you back. Let’s put on there. Hello. This is so and so from in-house on-site reservations. You’ve reached us after hours, however, leave your number and I commit to calling you back tomorrow. And if there’s a specific time range, let me know. So commit to a callback and then a callback.

Bart: So that’s the second part of it. So okay, so now they’ve caught up and what’s the goal that we have when somebody’s actually calling us what as an agent? What are we trying to achieve?

Doug: I’ll give you our little hint, one of our mantras we do you know in our classes, they’re very fun. And what you said earlier to go back to that, you know, I love being with the frontline people, you learn a lot from them as much as they learn from me. And you know, we constantly remind them a phone call is an opportunity because what happens is they’re just about to do that last click of an email or to upload something or an in-house booking that came in on the website. They’re sending out a contract, and then the phone call rings. If it wasn’t for all these callers interrupting us, we could get so much work done around here. 

Phone calls or opportunities. So we have a mantra from the class ring cha-ching. When the phone rings, the first thing we want to think about is money and we actually have them calculate. Here’s an interesting thing Bart, take your total revenue for the previous year divided by your total number of bookings through the previous year. Okay, and then you see what is the revenue per phone call opportunity. And then imagine that dollar amount every time the phone rings.

Bart: Let’s break this down. Let me challenge you a bit, Doug. From what you’re saying is every phone call is an opportunity the reality is some won’t actually be an opportunity because obviously you’ll have your I guess each potential guest as an opportunity because gonna have caused it out in that bucket. That’s okay. But if we are just talking about guest inquiries, why do you believe that every single call is an opportunity?

Doug: Great. So let’s take the reality. We know some people already have reservations and you know, they have a question about whether can we check in early. Okay, but that is an opportunity to personalize your brand, personify your brand, you know, years ago a person might have called 10 times before their stay today, if they call it all it’s very few. But so that’s the practical side of it. The other side is what appeared as I said earlier, today’s inquiries disguised as I just have a quick question about you know, and people will say how many parking spaces or how there’s says here there’s a limit of six people is a baby a person. Right? Yeah. And some companies like “How old is the baby three months? We can slide them in some places or no, there’s an extra charge and we can put you in there. But that actually the key then is to say, here’s the answer. You can park to speak to cars, and we have extra parking in a parking garage nearby. And why have you on the line? Are there any things I can check? Oh, that’s okay. We’re looking online. What website are you on? As you know, we have our best rates directly and I can book you right now in-house.

Bart: I love this. I love this guy. This reminds me back maybe roughly about 20 years ago when I was on my first sales training and I was learning how to raise money by standing up on the street with a clipboard and convincing people to join a charity and it was a similar type of things are you start a conversation and you elaborate it in a very empathetic way, right? You’re actually trying to be of service to them rather than trying to sell to them. So that journey of every guest, so we’ll have people that have already booked let’s not talk about those. It’s talking about people that are making a general inquiry about the place so you said parking is a good example. They might be asking about the facilities, the pool, the room sizes whatever it is. So you’re saying that we figure out what their inquiry is? And then based on the information that they’ve given us, then we try to add more value to them with a view of securing a booking is that how the workflow works?

Doug: Okay, so let me give you two different general scenarios. Well, we have two people that are already booked and we got their money, alright, that we’re going to build our brand. We had two people that just have a quick question so I’m going to give you a takeaway line. Now that I’ve answered your question about the parking Are there any tentative dates, I can check? Or now that I’ve answered your questions? Are there any would you like may I to help you check the dates? So that’s for the people that just have a question. Now for the people that say hello, I’m online and I’m thinking about this option. That’s where we want to start to engage them with questions all.

What are your days how many nights and the specifics you’re looking for? Okay, everyone knows to ask those things, right guard. I’m not identifying anything when you get a new one. Okay, as I’m checking availability, what questions do you have for me about our location or our amenities? This is open the conversation this is a conversation starter. As I’m waiting for the race to load on my computer, what questions can I answer about our location or amenities? And now we start selling an experience. We’re not renting a unit or room anymore. You know, don’t be a unit renter in the vacation rental business. Don’t be a room renter in the hotel business. So the experience starts with the conversation.

Bart: Yeah. And I really liked that one tip that I would have for everybody that I think is really useful. When we want to open up a conversation. Sometimes it can be quite difficult to get because people know what you’re up to. They’ll be like, “Ah, why are you asking me all these questions are you going to try and sell it to me that sort of thing?“ Well, you can do it at the start of the conversation as you’re doing that. So you sit there and say look, I’m bad. I’m loading it up or something’s going on. 

Doug: Ask permission to open the conversation as permission to ask questions. 

Bart: A really useful way to actually ask for permission you say, if I may, can I ask why, what the purpose of your trip is, and then know that oh, I’m coming for this. And as I said, if I may, it disarms people a bit. And it gives you the opportunity to be to approach it known as sales level but to say, Hey, I’m actually quite curious as to why you’re doing this or what you’re trying to do. And then at that point, we’re soon as you start to open the question, then you can start to sort of unpack and unravel and figure out what that trip is for and what kind of experience they’re looking for and who they’re bringing and all the rest of it, rather than just going in because there’s a list of questions that you would have. But if you don’t ask for that permission, sometimes it can be really difficult to actually get them to start talking.

Bart: Sales is all about nuance. And this is what I love about being close to the salespeople, it’s not like I live on the road by the way, you know, I leave on Monday or Tuesday and I come home Thursday or Friday, but being out there you pick up on the new ones. Let me give you another example. Almost every lodging company in the world is going to say “have you stay with us before because we want to see if we can find them in guest history right? save everybody a lot of time but let me give you a better way to say hi, Bart. So have you stayed with us before? Or did anything online, catch your eye?” So now we not only find out if you stayed before but we also differentiate. Did you just randomly find me on Google or if you spent the last 20 minutes poking around our website and looking at every single photo? Absolutely. And then, you know, this is how we update the questioning process. Our class is actually called reservation quest. And it’s about asking questions that start conversations.

Bart: And it really is a skill that you need. To work on and develop in terms of asking questions in the right way and really understanding your audience. And another thing that I’d encourage when people are thinking about this, you need to bring part of themselves into that conversation. The more robotic you sound, the harder it’s going to be. Especially if someone’s giving you a script or something like that, and bring your own personality, your own values, your own beliefs into your own sense of humour. And then you’ll find that people connect with it and go, Oh, that person is quite genuine and I think that you have to be genuine for people to be able to sort of buy from you.

So let me take a step. Back in this conversation before we get too carried away and lose this episode. That’s right. So because I want to make it super practical for people what is the next step that they can take within their business to make things better? So there are a few things that we’ve identified so far. 

One that obviously we’ve got to take the calls the phone number, now we’re talking about, hey, actually, there are opportunities for making more revenue and taking more direct bookings through each of those inquiries. And the way that we’re going to get those bookings is by asking questions and finding out more about it now, let’s say that we do get into a bit of a bigger conversation with the guests and now they’re ready to say Oh, actually, yeah, I will purchase I will buy how do we get them from that conversation to actually let me do it for you. We’ll let them make that reservation or what are we doing? Are we pushing them back onto the website nowadays? We don’t really want to take the booking over the phone because the process and your credit cards and it’s all complicated. We wanted you online we could happen to my drop off. What are we doing with that person once we’ve got them warm enough to start to move them into a particular channel?

Doug: So we already talked about the great you know, and so the phone sounded excited and Brian asked questions to engage them in a conversation. And we want to use a storytelling approach to describe the experience. So instead of saying it’s a four bedroom, three, three and a half bath to fully a fully equipped kitchen with a balcony with a view you want to book it you know, you get to describe it on the board since it’s going to be your first time travelling let me imagine yourself waking up in the morning to the smell of bacon where you cook for your family in the kitchen or your pad you can step right outside, okay. And then but to your point, how do we get them to closing?

Closing is the consummation of a conversation. It is not a trick question. There are still people hotels and call centres that don’t use Kennedy turning now where they forced their agents to use a trick closed-ended question either or which of those can I confirm for you got them right? Callers today are smart enough to get right out of that. So what we want to do is we want to have the mindset like you’re going to book with me even though you may not and you know so pull out those rates and then say May I secure one of those for you? Okay, and then if they say well, you know, I’m not ready. Tell you what. Well, first we want to create urgency. Availability is limited rate could change but I can lock that in for you. Now you always have usually they always have some option of getting out. 

You have 24 hours to hold you have seven days to make your deposit right or you can cancel in 30 or more days. And then the person still says no, I’m not quite ready. Why don’t we go after this now and turn the tables and say, Well, why have you on the line bar? Let me grab your email. address and I’ll send you my contact information. Now, do you want me to send you an email? No, I don’t need any more emails. Let me grab your contact info. Let me grab your email and I’ll send you my direct contact information. What’s your email? And now you’ve continued this conversation. You may not have gotten them across the finish line but now you’ve made a stronger connection. That’s how you get them to book direct. 

Bart: And look, once again, I think this all to me, it comes down to being super empathetic of the person and really understanding what their needs are and in this day and age, the more salesy, you are, the less likely you are to actually pose any kind of deal. It just isn’t gonna work. It’s all about the feeling that people have to say and feel like you’ve got them looked after, and they will want you to call back or they’ll want to know that she guides you, as long as you know, it’s almost like by the time you get there needs to be their idea as to what the next step is going to be in that. Oh, can you email me everything? Yeah, cool. And then you can give them other alternatives.

Doug: You got to let me speak to that before you move on. You know, you and I have only talked maybe not even an hour I’ll total yet, but we’re exactly in sync with that. We actually in our QA process, we have two methods we do a checklist of did they ask and say these things separately. We issue a letter grade for engagement, authenticity, and personality because you can have that salesperson that says everything on that checklist, right? Everything we just talked about, but they sound robotic and no one would ever want to buy from them. And then you have the person that maybe missed a few of the steps you and I discussed. But by the end, there is that person everyone wants to buy from and you will actually hear in real calls. Guests will say doesn’t help you if I book it through you. They want to buy.

Bart: The other thing that I think is really important here is to just identify that something you said you said sales agent and that sort of thing. Right? Like no one everyone’s way too wise. To salespeople, no one wants to be sold to, you know, a reservation agent would be a far better term in general for your business. And then also, you might say, Well, no, but I need salespeople, not reservation agencies or this the same thing. They’re doing exactly the same function, but you need to if you’ve got a staff or a team that is working for you, you need to from the outset, let them know they’re not salespeople. They’ve got sales targets, that’s fine. But their reservation people they’re at the service of the guests, not at the service of the bottom dollar, but it is the bottom dollar ultimately, but no one’s well going.

Doug: Especially today’s generation and I don’t like stereotyping generations, by the way. But I do think young people today are especially kind and they don’t want to be pushy and I remind them, the guests called you and then I say, “Have you ever had them call back and it was booked or the rate went up? Like you’re helping them. Okay, so sales and hospitality go together?

Bart: It’s clear that we can do a lot more within our businesses to capitalise on phone calls. At the end there. You said let’s at least grab some data. If we can’t close a call, I think we should be grabbing data regardless even if we’re closing when not closing, what are the best data points to collect and what kind of systems should we have in our business to help to manage this data?

Doug: Okay, so you know, we already touched on this, let me grab your email address versus Do you want me to send you an email? And then once you get that email, oh, and just so I can follow up? May I also have your phone number and then you have those two points? So I think those are the main things we would like to have. Now on top of that, other data points, companies should be measuring conversion, that is the number of calls compared to the number of bookings. 

There are two ways to measure it. Total of all calls to your bookings. That is the most empirical way you just look at your phone system will tell you or your Google report how many calls how many bookings, the actual net or actual conversion, you have to have that reservationist. You have to have them call the inquiry as to whether it was a sales opportunity or a service call. And then you can see how many actual sellable calls to bookings. The problem there is to make sure you tell them that look if this person does not have a booking yet, it’s a sales call. Because if not, then they say oh, they were just checking rates. They just want to do an arrow how many offices? One more metric, total revenue sold by Representative okay, I’m calling not calling up the sales agent. Total Revenue sold per rep divided by the total number of bookings. Now you see who’s taking time to upsell higher-priced accommodations.

Bart: And capturing the data itself. So obviously, there are different CRM systems if we’re a bigger business, there’ll be 100 different options and we’ll have that part sorted. Be it through an ERP or whatever, but whatever smaller business. I mean, we could be talking about a property management company that’s got 500 properties and still doesn’t have this part of the funnel sorted out what any recommendations.

Doug: the big boys are, can I mention just everybody really navigates and tracks polls, and battle it out for the CRM made for reservations, beneath that, you have Ring. Central and many others. Some of the new some of the other property management systems have built-in lead tracking you can also use Google Sheets for free and Excel, you can make your own you can record calls to RingCentral. There are lots of ways to do this, you know, and you might be running that 500 accommodation company and your boss won’t approve the expenditure. Get started with Google Sheets track leads track how many inquiries where you grabbed an email address, you sent a follow-up email to Douglas, you then called him three days later. How many of those turned into bookings? Get in the game

Bart: Yeah, and I’m going to drop a few systems as well that you could potentially use. So we use Fresh Sales or Fresh Works in our business. Think it’s one wonderful system at a really great price. And they do a lot of the cool stuff. You’ve got an active campaign which has made huge strides and is one of the leaders in this in this space. And then the last one is Zendesk, and Zoho. And so they’re really great systems for managing calls. But then you can do different things. So definitely have a great CRM system and get that pie set up. It’s something that what’s interesting as you get the inbound phone calls tying in all the different systems that we work off today. But are there any other bits in terms of technology that we need to cover off Doug?

Doug: I love Zoho. I’ve been using it for 15 years to run my business. So no, I think you know, it’s there’s so many different property management systems out there, you know, and I’m sure a lot of people are locked in and happy with what they’re using, but just find a way to track calls to bookings. Okay. I really highly recommend finding a call recording. Most of the long-distance carriers today have the option to record calls. A lot of companies have not turned that on, or they don’t even know that it’s available.

Bart: And to kind of tie it all off. I think there’ll be people who say all right, cool. Yeah, I think I need to make pay more attention to our I call it like almost like communication stack and I need to invest a little bit of time and a little bit of effort into that phone conversation and making sure all the phone parts of the business. How do people stay on trend and keep up to date with what’s current in the way and the best ways to do things right now?

Doug: Well, go to the Kennedy training network at the bottom and sign up for our newsletter. We give a lot of value-added we’ve started a free webcast series. There’s going to be one of the top questions your team should be asking their 20-minute webcasts just me presenting some of our training content. You know, the best starting place really if you want to really open your eyes is to listen to real calls. If you have call recordings, dig into those recordings. What are your people say? If you don’t have call recordings, get a company like us or others that will do mystery shops, where we will call and we’ll send you recordings. But listen to what’s happening. That is literally your storefront window, is when that phone rings and that will open your eyes you know and then start to think about how many more calls do the math on this if you got one more booking a week, times 50. The truth is that probably far more.

Bart: Do you have any sort of case studies or do you have anyone that comes to the top of mind in terms of a successful result from not really paying attention to this to implementing some of these strategies?

Doug: It’s very difficult to get, you know a B testing before after testing first of all, there are a lot of other moving parts you know sometimes you could be doing a great job in selling and it’s the pandemic era. The start of the pandemic era and bookings are going down or later in the pandemic area where you did horrible training and bookings went up right and vacation rental maybe not in Australia. But the best way to benchmark is against yourself. I will tell you historically if you’ve never done any training before, you’re looking at a three to five-point increase in conversion. So if you got 100 calls and you’re getting 25 bookings, you can easily get to 28 or 30.

Bart: Yeah, wow. And that speaks for itself. Look I think that the phone is one of the things that really sets can set you apart. One of the parts that I train, and actually we’re doing a course right now about this is if someone has a specific inquiry that can’t be answered through your website or they just can’t find the information, they can’t find the answers to their questions on an OTA “Hey, I’m coming because I’m going to get married or I want to do a proposal or because I’ve got this event going on. 

I need to find out extra information. Those people will be reaching out to bid over the phone, be it online. Quite often. If they’re reaching out over the phone, they need an answer quickly and they’re under pressure to get these things sorted. So if you can figure out exactly what their needs are, then you have this huge opportunity to convert them. Not only that along the way but you can also upsell them. You can sell a whole experience a whole package it’s a it’s an absolutely golden opportunity to get this part of the business right. Mr. Doug, thank you so much for joining me on The Accommodation Show. Thanks for your time. I really appreciate it. I know that you’re incredibly busy with all your clients and working all over the place. Doug, you mentioned that people can reach out to you what’s the best way for them to get in touch with you?

Doug: kennedytraining and my email is [email protected]. We’d love to hear from anybody, even if you just want advice or help Well, we respond I usually respond the same day or the next. Thank you for having me.

Bart: Yeah, an absolute pleasure. It’s really fun to have done this episode. I’ve been looking forward to it for quite a while. And for everyone that’s listening make sure that if you liked the content you hit that like button, hit the subscribe, and help us get a bigger following because we’re going to be producing a lot more amazing content, which is going to help you become more profitable. And that’s what it’s all about. Thank you so much. Once again, don’t take care and have a fantastic rest of the day. Thanks for

Thank you so much for listening to the show. You can find us at the accommodation where you can find all the show notes, links to resources we have talked about and transcripts from the show. I really do appreciate you listening. And if you’d like to support the show, and please subscribe. Leave a comment and share it with others.

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