The Launchpad

6 Moments of Truth

Control the moment in every stage of the buying and selling process


Have you ever been in a situation when it starts to go in a different direction (the wrong direction), and you suddenly see the scene playing out in slow motion? And the worst part; you see mistakes or errors that you could have prevented? Yes, it’s feeling like you’re watching a terrible movie scene play out before your eyes and all the while you’re screaming, “Nooooooooooooo!” in slow motion too?

Well, if you haven’t had that sensation in real-time, then you’ve probably had a similar feeling post-situation. When you’re playing it back in your mind and wondering, “Where did I go wrong?” “What could I have done differently or better?”

This is what is known as The Moment of Truth. And the best of the best, award-winning, most successful sales professionals are the experts at Controlling The Moments of Truth. How? The secret to their success is planning and preparation. These top performers are masters at anticipating situations, and they put in the time and effort practicing how to communicate effectively and position solutions in all possible scenarios.

Below are the 6 Ways to Control the Moments of Truth, proven by the industry's top performers.


The moment of truth: an occasion when something important happens that tests someone or something and will affect the future. These moments can include an event, a reaction, or a statement that directly reflects the truth of a person, an organization, a level of training, etc. It is an instinct or response that gives a TRUE reflection of the moment.


These critical moments of truth can be a client’s deciding factor to walk away from a sale or a customer’s reason for leaving your establishment.


Buyers develop their first impression within seconds of interacting with your website, meeting you, talking on the phone, or reading their first email from you. And you must make it count! You only get one chance to make a first impression. Click here to read our blog Every Moment Matters, to learn more about first impressions.


Most importantly, you must know that the first moment that the truth is revealed will always remain the first and lasting impression a client (existing or prospect) has about you.


There are six moments of truth in every interaction, and learning to control these stages can become the deciding factor that determines if a client buys from you instead of walking away.


Stage 1: Less than Zero

When something happens to prompt the buyer to start looking for your product, whether it is a meeting planner that has just been handed marching orders to plan a meeting or there is a date when you know they will begin searching for their annual meeting location. The Less than Zero stage is on deck.


Things you can do to control the moments of truth in this stage:

  • Become a Thought Leader and curator of relevant content based on your market or area of sales expertise
  • Make sure you are maintaining client relationships so that you are top of mind when your planners begin research (do this by networking…often)
  • Be aware of your marketing plan. Know what ads or campaigns are out there
  • Be active in your community


Stage 2: Zero Moment of Truth


This next stage is when the buyer is researching your product. In this stage, your buyer is sending out RFPs, reviewing your website, checking out reviews, and deciding if you will be getting an RFP or not.


Things you can do to control the moments of truth in this stage:

  • Update your personal LinkedIn Profile and other social sites to ensure a positive, professional presence.  Ensure that your profile outlines how your product can benefit the client better then your competitors.
  • Google ad words, SEO, and other search engine tools will be your friend – you want to make sure you are popping up when people search for you
  • Update your property’s social media platforms. They are more important than you may think. A potential client may look at your LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram for photos of past events, client interactions, friendly associates, and more. This is a non-intimidating way for a potential buyer to do some research on your before they ever pick up the phone.
  • Review or refresh your property’s website. It should be up to date and include all the information your client is looking for, including meeting specs, room capacities, and hotel property photos. And be sure all photos are professional.
  • Are you partnered with third parties who are helping to promote your property on their platforms? Some of our favorites are PlannerHero, ConferenceDirect, Cvent, ALHI, Teneo, Helms Briscoe, and more.


Stage 3: The First Moment of Truth

The First Moment of Truth is the stage where you initially interact with your client directly. Your buyer is looking at your product by way of reviewing your proposal or attending a site visit. They are getting their first impression of not only your property but of YOU as a seller.


Things you can do to control the moments of truth in this stage:

  • How are your phone and interpersonal skills? Make sure you are confident on the phone and networking with clients. You can do this by taking our SalesBoost courses to practice selling conversations in our conversation simulator.
  • The proposal that you send to a client must include all the information that is listed on the RFP. Don’t leave anything out even if it seems negligible – they notice, and they care. This includes diagrams and photos
  • Make sure that your proposal and emails are all grammatically correct. We love using Grammarly!
  • Before a client arrives at your property, ask them if there is anything they are concerned about or questions they will need to be answered during your meeting
  • Know how a client will be arriving at your property. Is there an opportunity for you to pick them up or offer them a ride somewhere?
  • Walk your meeting space before a client arrives, make sure there is no trash or messy meeting spaces
  • Read our related blog Controlling the Moments of Truth to see the top 10 ways to anticipate needs during this stage


Stage 4: The Second Moment of Truth

Congratulations! Your client has actually purchased your product. Take a moment to pop that champagne, and then let’s dive into this fourth stage. The contracting process is critical, and your work is most definitely not done. Technically, your client can still walk away at this point if we are controlling our truths here.


Things you can do to control the moments of truth in this stage:

  • Qualify all concessions before drawing up the contract
    Download our 25 Qualifying Questions for more information
  • Qualify any special clauses that will need to be added or removed
  • Listen to all concerns and negotiations without getting defensive


Stage 5: Actual Moment of Truth or Moment of Truth Gap

The period of time between signing the contract and the execution of the event. In this stage, your entire team should reaffirm the client’s decision and continue to build trust in you and your hotel. You must continue to provide value.


Things you can do to control the moments of truth in this stage:

  • Make sure the handoff between your sales team and your events team is seamless. Sometimes this warrants a face to face meeting with your team internally
  • Effective and timely communication with your client before and during their event
  • Transparent and honest communication before and during the event with you and your service team
  • Your client is looking to you and your team as the experts.  Proactively suggest options that will enhance the level of their meeting or event.  Yes, Upsell and Cross Sell...your client will appreciate it. 



Stage 6: The Third Moment of Truth

When a customer is providing feedback on your product or sharing with their network – This can also be referred to as the “Word-of-Mouth” stage. Although some people may forget or minimize this stage, it is actually critically important. The impression that your client has at this stage not only effects repeat business from them but potentially business from their entire network.


Things you can do to control the moments of truth in this stage:

  • Ask for your customer’s feedback before they leave your building. If you can talk through any issues that may have arisen during the meeting or event, your client may express their emotions directly to you instead of online or other public forums.
  • Having an open discussion with your client shows that you are committed to righting any wrongs, and you care about their feelings.
  • Provide an easy platform for your customers to provide feedback. This could be facilitating a face-to-face discussion, a survey link that is emailed, or sending an email requesting their feedback.
  • Send a hand written note of thanks and gratitude for their business.
  • Use social media to post about your client being at your property and tag them in the post. This provides an avenue for them to post a casual testimonial about your property or sing your praises. That client may, in turn, share your post creating more of a buzz around your property.


We encourage you to take these six stages and apply them to your selling strategy. Then, understand where you have an opportunity for development at each stage to continue to Control The Moments of Truth.


Never let another client (existing or prospect) fall through the cracks due to errors you could have prevented.  Use these 6 Ways to Control the Moments of Truth to anticipate, plan and practice like the best of the best.


Stages of Moments of Truth:

Adapted from Step Hyken,


Topics: Sales, Clients, Networking, hospitality, optimization, Sales Training, Sales Tips, SalesBoost, Prospecting, Moments of Truth

About the author

Blog by: Leslie Dunn on March 12, 2020
Leslie Dunn
Leslie Dunn, Strategic Account ManagerLeslie provides experience in sales, marketing and training at the brand level and property level. She understands first-hand the importance of investing in your people and providing sales teams with the right tools and resources to be successful. She is responsible for content development, marketing and branding, and providing stellar service and support.