person with a magnifying glass following footsteps as if searching for their hotel comp set

Understanding and outselling the comp set is a vital part of any successful hotel’s sales strategy.

NB: This is an article from Cvent

Whether you operate a boutique select-service hotel or a booming convention center with four restaurants and 250 rooms, you need to know who your competition is if you want to win more business. Plain and simple. 

Do you know which hotels you’re competing against? Do you know if you’re bringing in your piece of the pie? If not, you should!

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In this post, we take a deep dive into hotel comp sets. We define what exactly a comp set is, explore how you can identify it, and provide expert tips and ideas to help you stay competitive and boost your sales.

What is a comp set?

“Comp set” simply means competitive set. The hotels in your comp set are the hotels that potential customers are comparing you against when choosing where to book. These are typically the hotels you’re competing against in the immediate area, but it goes beyond that. For example: 

  • Which hotels are in your general proximity?
  • Which hotels around you are targeting the same corporate business?
  • Are any local hotels under the same brand umbrella as you?
  • Which hotels have pools, full restaurants, suites, etc.?
  • Which hotels have similar pricing?
  • Which hotels have the same star rating?

To get a clear picture of a hotel that falls within your comp set, you need to know everything: room types, suite options, pet policies, security features, guest laundry availability, and so on.

How to identify your comp set:

For starters, list the key features and benefits your property offers and compare those to the benefits of area hotels. Focus on area hotels that are similar in size and offer similar amenities. If you’re a limited-service property that only serves breakfast and has 900 sq. ft. of meeting space, it’s not likely that you’ll be able to compete with a 500-room banquet and conference center, and that’s okay!

Successful sales strategies are centered on an accurate comp set breakdown. Take time and do your research. You can even enlist the assistance of other employees.

Assign each front desk team member a potential comp set property and challenge them to get as much detailed information about the property as possible. Reward the employee who provides the most detailed response, then have a sales meeting to discuss the results.

For example, pretend that you’re a corporate traveller. Which property in your area appeals the most to you? Is your decision based on reward perks, breakfast options, or physical proximity to the company’s location?

Or, look at each property as if you’re engaged and are looking to reserve a block of rooms for your wedding guests. Which property details would you be comparing? Would lower rates be most important for your guests, or would shuttle service?

Imagine how different travellers would look at different properties. If they would rank your hotel against another property, it’s safe to assume that specific hotel is your competition.

7 tips to identify, and compete with, your comp set:

1. Use surveys to get honest feedback.

When you book new MICE business, provide the MICE contact with an optional survey early in the process. Ask about previous experiences in the area, things they loved about their last MICE stay, things they’d like to improve on, and so on. This will help the sales team identify booking patterns for repeat MICE business, as well as identify opportunities to really impress new guests.

Read rest of the article at Cvent