It’s a story most hoteliers know well – the seasonal rise and fall of revenue based on room stays.
NB: This is an article from Hotelogix
It’s what makes you look forward to peak season and dread the off-season. For a long time, that cycle has seemed inescapable, with few ways for hotel owners to break out and change the paradigm. That’s an illusion, though. The truth is that hospitality sales techniques can help you boost profitability all year long through upsell revenue.
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Why the Need to Focus on Hospitality Sales Techniques?
Before we dive into how to design creative upsells, we need to take a moment to think about why it’s important in the first place. The two most common upsells for hotels are paid room upgrades and F&B add-ons. Those are both proven winners that can help you bring in more revenue, but they are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
By getting creative with your upsell ideas, you expand your revenue-generation abilities and boost your profits. A stronger bottom line means a healthier hotel and more job security for employees.
However, don’t neglect the benefits to your guests! They get a more enjoyable experience, which means they’re much more likely to return in the future. And isn’t that the name of the game – building brand loyalty so that current guests become future guests? Creative upsell deals can do that.
The Wide Range of Upsell Options
Before you decide to begin practising room selling techniques in the hotel, understand that there is no single upsell path. Yes, hotel room selling techniques can allow you to upgrade a guest’s stay, but that focuses on just one thing that you have to offer – rooms. In reality, you have so much more that can be of value to your guests.
What, though? Sometimes it’s hard for hotel owners to see the forest for the trees. You’re too close to the situation. Take a step or two back and you begin to realize just how many options you have. Those include deals that you sell as part of stay packages, existing services and attributes you currently bundle together, and so much more.
Creative Upsell Ideas for Hotel Owners
Now it’s time to start exploring the many options available to hotel owners when it comes to upsell ideas. We’ll break things down below.
Unbundling Existing Services and Extras
Take a look at your inventory. What sets each room apart? Is there a specific view that some rooms provide but others do not? Do some rooms contain a specific feature that others don’t? These are just two examples of premium upsells. You can even go so far as to make the floor a room is on a benefit – some guests prefer higher floors, while others prefer the ground floor.
Go through your inventory very carefully. Note what makes each room unique, or specific types of characteristics that make certain rooms more desirable than others. For instance, a great view combined with a higher floor (which adds to the view) could certainly qualify as a valuable extra. Then find ways to promote those rooms to guests as an upsell.
Beyond Room Types
It’s also important that you look beyond your rooms. Yes, room selling techniques in the hotel industry are among the most commonly used, but there is so much more the average property can offer to guests. Think about your food and beverages, for instance – can you create meal options that cater to different types of travelers? For instance, a romantic dinner for two in the room, a meal for a busy executive traveler, breakfast for a family, and cocktail hour in the lobby are just a few ways that you can turn your food and beverage service into a valuable upsell.
You could also offer a menu of in-room extras. These might be available ad hoc to any and all guests, or you could set them up in tiers so that certain extras are only available with higher-tier rooms. For instance, in-room champagne could be a good option for your most expensive rooms, while premium minibar offerings could be good additions for most room types. The trick is to find extras that offer value to your guests and then present them in a way that highlights their desirability.
Consider in-room services, as well. You’re not limited to just physical products or electronic services like streaming movies. In-room massage is a good example of an extra that could have significant demand with the right guests.
Getting Even More Creative
You can also get more creative. Many of your guests will be staying for leisure, not just passing through. Help them make the most of their stay!
You can do this in many ways, including:
- Discounts on dining in the area
- Offers in local bars or clubs
- Tours of the surrounding city
- Spa packages that help them relax and unwind
Of course, this might be impossible for some hotel owners to do solely with their in-house teams. Your hotel might not have a spa, or you may not have a full kitchen and staff to run it. That’s where networking comes in.
Working with Your Local Partners
There’s a notion that each business in a city is an island unto itself, but the truth is that they’re all interconnected. You can use those connections to help improve your business and give your local partners a leg up at the same time.
For instance, you could partner with the local movie theatre to offer discount tickets or special viewing packages for your guests. You could work with restaurants, bars, tour providers, luxury spas, and so many others. Doing so offers benefits to your hotel and your local partners, but it also provides convenience and other benefits to your guests.
Depending on where your hotel is located, you might be able to design guest experiences. These are basically end-to-end stays that follow guests from check-in to check-out and help them explore the area, relax and unwind, celebrate an occasion and more. For instance, a newlywed experience might involve checking into the room with the best view of the city at night, followed by a day trip to the nearby park and waterfall, and ending with a candlelight dinner on their balcony.
Take that idea and run with it. You can create experiences large and small, for couples, families, business travelers, church groups, and more. You know your guests best, so put that knowledge to work and deliver an experience that will stand out in their minds and keep them coming back to your property.