The world of hospitality sales has become increasingly competitive. That means it is harder than ever to meet your revenue goals.
NB: This is an article from Hotelogix
Not only must you contend with competitors, but other distractions pull your audience’s attention away. How are you supposed to achieve your hospitality sales goals? There is no one-size-fits-all approach that will work, but we’ll cover several critical sales tips to help you reach (and even exceed) your revenue goals.
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Begin with a SWOT Analysis
Not familiar with the acronym SWOT? It stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This type of analysis allows you to take a deep dive into your sales team (and your business) to identify things that can be improved on, things that can be built on, and more.
How do you conduct a SWOT analysis? You don’t need a formal document to do so. Just make time to regularly assess your team and ask questions that tie into the SWOT format. What sorts of questions should you ask? Here are a few examples:
- Do any of our team members have skills that we can use but are not currently capitalizing on?
- Do any of our team members need additional training that they have not received yet?
- Do any of our team members have suggestions that we have yet to try?
- What are our competitors doing? How does that affect us? How will it affect us down the road?
These are just a few basic examples. Create your own based on the breakdown of SWOT, and you’ll be better armed to conquer the world of hospitality sales.
Training Your Team
Your team is the key to success in terms of achieving revenue goals. If they’re not prepared for the reality that is the post-COVID world, you’ll struggle to move the needle. Thankfully, you can invest in training for your people and build their skills while simultaneously improving your ability to compete and earn.
However, you need to go beyond training your sales team and invest in training for all of your frontline employees. This includes the following:
The list goes on and on. You need to invest in training for anyone who comes into contact with your guests regularly. These people become the face of your organization, and they’ll make or break your ability to reach those revenue goals. Of course, training can be difficult in the hotel industry, and the ramifications of COVID-19 have only made it more challenging. Remote training through an advanced, cloud-based PMS offers agility and the opportunity for your employees to complete training at their own pace without affecting shift staffing.
Use Local Events to Your Advantage
What happens when there is a local event in your area? The answer should automatically get your marketing ideas flowing – they always involve groups of people gathering. As the world opens back up after COVID-19, you can expect local events to be incredibly popular. People want to get out and do the things they once did. Attendance at local events will be very high.
It doesn’t matter where your property is located; you’ll find local and seasonal events that you can tap into to drive bookings and sales. From massive conferences to local fall festivals, there’s something for you to use to build profitability. Other options include concerts, cultural events/celebrations, and even well-known fitness events (think the Boston Marathon or Atlanta’s Peachtree Road Race, both of which draw thousands of people to the area).
Don’t neglect the opportunity to forge business alliances here. For instance, if you operate in an area where with a theme park or two, you can try to create a package deal with park operators that will benefit both your businesses. For instance, you might offer reduced room rates for people with ticket stubs or who can show proof of attendance at the park.
Focus on Repeat Business
An existing customer is worth far more than a new one and costs far less to keep than it does to attract a new guest to your hotel. Repeat business is your “bread and butter,” so to speak. If you’re able to make a good impression on guests and get their contact information, you can then tie them into personalized email and physical mail promotions that keep your hotel front of mind.
How do you do that? You’ll find tons of options. One is to offer some sort of loyalty program that rewards your guests for staying with you. However, those are a dime a dozen these days, so don’t be afraid to get more creative. Get to know your guests. What do they like to do in the area? Who do they travel with? Spend some time sending personalized communications with relevant local highlights. That way, you provide them with value but also build your brand.
Use Special Offers
Finally, make sure that you’re able to fight slower periods with special offers. Make these during your off-season periods and use your guests’ contact information to make sure you’re able to put relevant information right in their inbox. How do you make these offers as compelling as possible? You’ll find quite a few ways, all of which will boost your hospitality sales.
First, make them time-sensitive. This creates a sense of urgency but also ensures that you’re increasing bookings during the time of year that you need them most. Second, make them personalized. This ties back into what we talked about previously – personalized communications offer value to the guest while also building your brand.
Another option is to offer direct booking discounts. Combine this with a limited promotion duration, and you’ll give your guests a compelling reason to book now rather than later.
Here’s to Your Hotel Sales Success
As you can see, there are plenty of ways that you can improve hotel sales and achieve the revenue goals that you’ve set. We’ve covered some of the most promising options, but there are others, including seeking out and exploring untapped markets and mastering social media, both of which can give you an additional leg up. Begin with a SWOT analysis, train your frontline employees, use local events to your advantage, focus on building repeat business, and then capitalize on special offers to boost bookings during your slow periods.