Kentucky state park sales staff members have been receiving specialized training from a leading sales and service training company over the past several weeks. Trainers are visiting all 17 resorts to conduct the day-long seminars.
The company, Signature Inc., serves 3,000 clients, including some of the world's largest hotel chains, said Parks Commissioner George Ward.
"Signature is one of the leading training companies in the hospitality industry," Ward said. "Hotels that use their sales training receive immediate results in converting more phone calls into confirmed reservations. I expect the same result in our parks."
Ward said the sales staff members in state parks are friendly and helpful. But they have not received the training that helps close a sale.
In a recent training meeting, Ward asked park managers to report how many sales call they receive in a typical day. Most parks reported close to 100 calls a day but the conversion rate to reservations was under 40 percent. Managers were then asked to calculate the additional annual revenue if the training resulted in just two more confirmed reservations per day, 200 days a year.
"We found that a typical park would generate $70,000 more room sales a year from just those two additional reservations," Ward said. "When you add in restaurant, retail, and recreational activity spending, then multiply that times 17 parks, you can see that this training can greatly add to our bottom line."
In each session, trainers have guided staff members through the steps needed to encourage a caller to make a room reservation. The company will follow up by making monthly test calls so that staff members can learn how to improve their sales techniques. There will also be follow up on site training session quarterly.
Signature also will compile reports that will show how successful a park is in converting calls to reservations in comparison to other parks and to local hotels of comparable size. Such information will help a park manager fine-tune his or her staff's sales efforts.