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How to manage two enquiries for the same period?

 
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SPJ



Joined: 28 Dec 2015
Posts: 117
Location: Aquitaine

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:10 pm    Post subject: How to manage two enquiries for the same period? Reply with quote

I've had two enquiries through OD come in, one on top of the other. The first enquirer wants a week, she's asked me to pencil in that week and to send her a booking form (which I've done) and she's "just going to confirm the dates with her partner".

This evening I've had someone ask for two weeks, one of which is the above.

How would you handle this situation and what would you say to the second enquirer? And would you chivvy the first enquirer to get a definite decision?

Thanks for any thoughts / suggestions Sue
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kyreniagirl



Joined: 05 Jan 2010
Posts: 2343

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't hold dates for anyone, first to pay the deposit gets it. I would tell both parties there is someone else interested, it will gee them up. Obviously you would prefer the 2 weeker, so maybe speak to them first. Hard maybe, but you're running a business.
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bornintheuk



Joined: 12 Jun 2011
Posts: 449
Location: Southern Charente

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kyreniagirl wrote:
I don't hold dates for anyone, first to pay the deposit gets it. I would tell both parties there is someone else interested, it will gee them up. Obviously you would prefer the 2 weeker, so maybe speak to them first. Hard maybe, but you're running a business.


+1
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SPJ



Joined: 28 Dec 2015
Posts: 117
Location: Aquitaine

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you both of you for your replies. I have now emailed the two weeker with her booking form and T&C, telling her someone else is interested and gone back to the one weeker saying I'd hoped she would have been able to confirm quickly and please would she let me know what she would like to do as I have another enquiry.

Next time I'll know not to be drawn into a "pencil me in" type situation and just be a bit tougher. Smile (I'm new to this and just grateful if anyone makes an enquiry!)
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French Cricket



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 3060
Location: French Pyrénées

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a good idea to come up with a 'process' for dealing with enquiries and bookings, and then explain the process and its timing in detail either on your website or as part of the first email response to enquirers (or preferably both) - then everyone knows what's what, and everyone gets treated the same. It's so much clearer (and fairer) and everybody knows where they stand.

Ours is laid out on a dedicated page on our website called 'How to book', and I explain it all again when someone makes an enquiry.

If I get a second enquiry for the same dates while I have an enquiry 'open', I can simply tell the second enquirer where things are at in the system. We will hold dates provisionally for up to 48 hours pending a booking (and booking form), then guests have 7 days to pay a deposit. In practice I've never held dates that don't become a booking, and have never had a booking form but no deposit. It works for us, as our enquiry rate is low (because we're 'a bit niche'!) and our conversion rate high.
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kyreniagirl



Joined: 05 Jan 2010
Posts: 2343

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

True. I am looking at it from a UK perspective whereas in Europe you have to allow for ferry and flight bookings to be confirmed.
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SPJ



Joined: 28 Dec 2015
Posts: 117
Location: Aquitaine

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your replies. Your advice has worked beautifully and the two-weeker has confirmed within minutes.

In fact I should have spotted that the one-weeker was messing me around. The really keen ones ALWAYS come back quickly and are grateful you can take them Smile

As soon as I hear language like "I must just check with my office / husband / etc / etc" that means they haven't really committed and so (of course) there's no way I should be "pencilling her in". Smile
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SPJ



Joined: 28 Dec 2015
Posts: 117
Location: Aquitaine

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kyreniagirl wrote:
True. I am looking at it from a UK perspective whereas in Europe you have to allow for ferry and flight bookings to be confirmed.


You're right and usually people in that situation let me know that as they are making the enquiry. Or they phone me, to confirm we can all get our ducks in a row.
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French Cricket



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 3060
Location: French Pyrénées

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Delighted to hear that it worked out well for you, SPJ Laughing
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Sam V



Joined: 20 Nov 2009
Posts: 1625
Location: Villa in Gale, Algarve, Portugal. At home in Fetcham, Surrey, UK

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ugh! Now I have similar conumdren and with my years of experience I'm still a little stumped, hope this plan is right?

A couple of weeks ago I had and enquiry for next year, quoted, she was keen but the usual scenario, had to check with family.

I didn't hear back from her so sent a follow up on Friday and on Saturday she said they were still interested and she'd get back to me.

Then yesterday guests just completed their stay and she texted me for a quote to return again next year, same week as the other enquiry, I wasn't feeling too good yesterday and trying to have a iPhone free day, so thought I'd get back to her today. She texted me again today about returning the key, etc and I replied I'd get a quote off to her this evening. So here I am about to send her quote when looking through my email I've spotted an email from the other lady sent today saying that they want to go ahead with the booking.

My thinking is
I send a quote to the returning guest giving her first refusal as a returning guest, and also tell the other lady the returning guest gets first dibs otherwise her booking is safe. The returning guest was questioning if next year's booking would be the same price, in fact it's quite a bit more as they are returning May/June not at April's rates they paid this year.
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Bunny



Joined: 16 Oct 2013
Posts: 3387
Location: South of England

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam, my thinking was the opposite. A bird in the hand and all that. On the one hand you have a new guest who wants to go ahead and book at an already agreed price. On the other hand you have a potential repeat guest who has only so far asked for a quote and is already expecting it to be the same price, when she must know that that would be unlikely. If it were me I'd accept the new booking and tell the repeat guest that you hadn't fully checked her dates and now realise it clashes with dates that you had already offered to someone else who has accepted. If the repeats are keen to return they may be willing to change their dates. Also, if I were the guests who enquired first, you chased me for an answer, I said yes I'd like to go ahead and then you told me you are now offering first option to someone else, I would walk away. So you could end up with no booking at all.
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Boomhulay



Joined: 09 Mar 2016
Posts: 36
Location: London

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree with bunny.

If I have someone enquiring about dates and another enquiry comes in for the same dates, I usually get onto the first one and let them know someone else is interested and tell the new ones that I have to offer first refusal to the others before I can offer the dates. The ditherers nearly always book straight away rather than lose out. If the repeat guests are keen to book and really like the place, they'll usually find other dates that suit them.
I find that that's fairer, even if the booking is for fewer days.

Hope I explained that properly. Confused
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linda que linda



Joined: 24 Mar 2011
Posts: 332
Location: Zihuatanejo/Troncones/Buena Vista, Mexico

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally agree with Bunny and Boomhulay. Take the sure bet. Smile
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Joanna



Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 882
Location: Chester, North West England & Sidmouth, East Devon

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

+1
I think repeat guests are likely to be more understanding than new ones and more willing to be flexible on dates.
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Jo

Joint owner of Baker's Cottage in Chester & Chandler's Cottage in Sidmouth
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