The hospitality market has changed, it has evolved. The hotel is no longer a place to spend the night but has become a fundamental part of the guest’s experience and Hotels can offer to the guests much more than a room.

NB: This is an article by Salvatore Ciotta, Revenue Specialist at Hotelperformance

From spa with thermal treatments and massages to gourmet dinners, from meeting rooms to outdoor activities such as city tours or a boat trip, there are many extra services that could be sold for all duration of the journey. The selling of these services could lead to an improvement of revenue and increase the value of the guest experience. Of course, it can only happen if guests are informed by a clear and attractive communication.

Each hotel should contemplate a strategy to increase the revenue through the sale of ancillary services and two fundamental marketing strategies that can help in this case are upselling and cross-selling, activities that involve the staff, which must be appropriately trained to use them.

Upselling is a technique used to persuade the customer to buy a better version of the products or services that are about to be purchased, while cross-selling is a strategy used to add more extra products or services to the original purchase.

Upselling is the most common way for hotels to generate higher profits and it is an efficient strategy for both a family-run hotel and an international chain, efficient for any type of a hospitality structure.

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Here are fifteen useful tips, both for upselling and for the normal operations carried out with the Guest at the time of check-in:

1. Always welcome each guest with a smile, it will be felt in your voice (even in telephone conversations) and it will be seen in your face

2. Even If you are on the phone dedicated to him, do not get distracted. If the guest is at the reception, always establish and maintain eye contact with the guest

3. Ask open questions to understand the guest’s needs; make prompt suggestions and offer alternatives with an up-sell

4. Define the guest profile by studying the booking details and identify those who are most likely to take a higher category room

5. Identify the guest’s name immediately and use it in conversation

6. Get help from technology to know better your guests and offer them, in the various moments of the customer journey, a personalized and tailor-made experience

7. Match the needs of the guests to the furnishing of the rooms, the spaces, the services, or the view (sea view, pool view, mountain view)

8. Companies that book using corporate rates are statistically less willing to accept superior category rooms (except for special guests)

9. Guests on honeymoon, leisure vacation, family travel, long stay guests who book through online travel agencies (OTAs), who have direct or walk-in bookings, are more likely to accept an upgrade offer because they are often not fully aware of the presence of different types of rooms

10. Offer to the guest who stays for several nights an upgrade to a larger room

11. Offer pre-check-in services by giving guests a taste of your hotel prior to check-in. When guests are aware of what is available, they are more likely to be willing to purchase a superior product

12. If the guest has a reservation in a lower category, highlight the benefits it would get in a higher category room

13. Describe the rooms by emphasizing the features and benefits first and mention the price of difference just afterword

14. For walk-ins, always provide details of a lower category and a higher category to reduce the risk of losing the sale

15. Always thank the guest after a successful upsell!

Upselling, if planned and used correctly, is a win-win strategy, where both the guest and the hotelier will win: the guest will have a better service and will live a unique experience, the hotelier will have an increase in revenue thanks to the increase in average expense and the satisfaction of guests will certainly generate excellent reviews.

Try to offer something for all guests, not just those staying in the suites.

Don’t forget that guest happiness and the good reviews are the best marketing tool out there: a happy guest is a loyal guest, and they will become your hotel’s best ambassador.