The hospitality sales world is competitive, for both hotels in hosting events and the planners who orchestrate them. This industry, like any other, calls for constant innovation and strategic skills. We have seven hospitality sales tips and tactics that combine the best of all worlds: our old favorites, the cutting edge, and everything in between.
Explore the Top Hotel Sales Tips To Drive More Business This year
1. Conduct a SWOT analysis
SWOT stands for: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. You might call these your team’s “soft metrics”, as opposed to hard data (such as attendance stats).
A well-rounded sales team (of any size and scope) will always reserve special attention for these soft metrics. Do certain team members have unique skills you’re not leveraging (strengths)? Are you doing anything to scope out your competitors’ tactics (threats)? Conduct a SWOT analysis of your current sales team to understand where your team lacks and where they excel.
The day is won or lost in asking (and frequently returning to) these “soft” questions.
2. Follow the (social media) times
Make sure you’re undertaking every effort to keep up to date on your hotel social media channels. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and beyond can give you a competitive edge if you use them intelligently.
Can you track competitors using a custom Twitter timeline? What about tracking competitor Facebook Pages in Facebook Insights? There are thousands of professional groups on LinkedIn. Have you thought about scoping out your city’s major industries, looking for relevant local LinkedIn groups, and cutting a deal on their next convention?
Now that’s strategic social marketing and one of our favorite hospitality sales tips to share.
3. Don’t skimp on training front-line employees
Your front-line employees are your front desk employees, your event service staff, and those with daily, direct access to your customers.
Train these people well: make sure they can answer any questions about your hotel, events, or surrounding locale. These front-line employees are satellite sales staff: they can let guests know about special promotions or deals. If visitors have a good experience with these employees, there’s a good chance that goodwill positively influences their overall visit and perception of the property.
4. Take advantage of seasonal or local events
Plentiful profits await organizations who understand this point. In hospitality sales, “seasonal or local events” should automatically translate in your brain as “large gatherings of people…huge margin opportunities.”
Is your hotel near a cruise port? Try striking up a mutually beneficial package deal with the cruise line (reduced room rates for cruise guests, etc.). Cultural events, concerts, and festivals can also garner large groups of travelers. Look forward on the events calendar to see which you can create a partnership to boost bookings at your hotel.
5. Cherish and nurture repeat business
It’s cheaper to retain current customers than it is to attain a new one. This is why taking steps towards loyalty is one of our favorite hospitality sales tips. Whether that’s through loyalty programs, incentive campaigns, or added special perks. Communicate what these would look like via email campaigns or through paid social media advertisements on Facebook.
6. Look for untapped markets
Your property may be the go-to location in town for social events. Or your city is just ripe with social events period. But what efforts have you put forth to explore untapped markets in your city? Taking the Blue Ocean Strategy approach, your property could be destined for more than social events. Is there a demand for corporate events or small meetings that aren’t being met? Do you have space that could double as coworking space? Is there a big concentration of association conferences happening in your town that you haven’t thought to host?
Unsure of where to start? Set aside a small marketing budget for hotel ads, targeted to the new verticals or audiences you’re looking to host. See what the demand you receive.
7. Combat the lulls with special offers
In many cities, even though winter brings the prospect of seasonal profits, it can morph into a dead zone come January. A classic way to combat these lulls is through special off-season promotions. Drive urgency through great deals offered for a limited time.
Now we turn it to you: what are your go-to hospitality sales tips you can share? Let us know in the comments on Facebook.