Dear Tony, I work for a big hotel group. After 4 months of getting in front of the key decision maker, he turned around and said “we used your hotel a year ago and had an awful experience, so he has lost all trust in us”. I had no idea how to overcome this, any ideas?
The first thing to ascertain is what was this awful experience? By asking this will show interest in the prospect and help you prepare your answer to reassure him/ her that things have dramatically changed.
For arguments sake let’s pretend the prospect replies “I found the staff rude and unhelpful and wouldn’t wish to return.” Now it’s imperative to show real empathy to the prospect and then reassure him/ her by explaining how things have improved. The technique is known as the third party proof, as you are using a third party in your story by saying the following:
“I completely understand how you FEEL, we had quite a few guests who stayed around a year ago that FELT exactly the same; what they have now FOUND is all our staff have been through a rigorous training programme and we pride ourselves on delivering world class service. Please come into our hotel for a complimentary lunch or dinner, as I’d love to get your valued thoughts and opinions on how you find our staff now. When is the most convenient time for you to come by?