With more hotels arriving in your backyard, has your sales team evolved from order takers to true sales professionals? Here are 5 building blocks that are critical to sales success:
- Find business that meets the strategic objectives of the hotel.
Figure out what success looked like in the past. Rebook and replicate with other similar customers. If the strategy is to find different customers, such as ones who will pay a higher rate, determine where they are going now and why, and then develop a plan to target them.
- Ask open-ended, probing questions to identify the customer’s needs, both tangible (e.g., size of room block) and emotional (e.g., save their job) that are subtler and often difficult to articulate.
- Really listen to customers’ responses and watch for non-verbal cues to understand deep-seated needs. Acknowledge that they have been heard by echoing back information and if applicable, personalize their stay with details learned.
- Sell the experience of the hotel, not the features. Connect to the customer’s emotions by talking in terms of benefits based on their identified needs. Accentuate the hotel story as this will be what customers remember.
- Timely and consistent follow-up. Meeting planners continue to complain about the delayed and incomplete follow-up that often results in losing the sale.