6 Hospitality Sales Tips
( 4 min read)
How can you boost your sales within the hotel industry? There are a lot of different approaches and methods that are useful. This blog post will give you 6 sales tips.
Sales - Most Important Function
Many would argue that sales is the most important function within a business - even hotels. Without sales - no business. This “fact” not only point to a specific role within the hotel (often Sales Manager). In the hotels all employees have an important part to play when it comes to sales. There is probably no other business where so many different roles within the company interact with the customers; Housekeeping, Front Desk, F&B, Event Coordinator, Marketing Manager and Sales Manager is some of the titles that play an important sales role.
The Sales Managers (Directors of Sales, Commercial Managers) should however be the expert and should be accountable in bringing more business. Below you will find 6 useful tips for the Sales Managers within hotels.
6 Hospitality Sales Tips
1. Include and train your front line employees
You have already read about the importance of sales impact among other roles within the hotels. I would argue that Sale Managers are responsible to train and develop the sales even within the front line employees. The front line (Front Desk, Conference staff, Housekeeping) meets your customer every day and have a unique opportunity to increase the hotels revenue. Beside excellent service that will increase guest satisfaction and build word of mouth this is some examples of areas you should focus on: Up-Sell, ask guest about their company (if not known) for follow up and data quality, next conference, learn how to promote restaurant and spa, interest to see other facilities within the hotel, let guests know about special deals or promotions.
2. Data Quality - Establish a routine to secure data quality
Keep track on your data is vital for a Sales Manager in order to increase the business and this data must be accurate in order to be useful. If the hotels data is inadequate it’s hard to make good decisions and keep track of your business. Bad data should be your sales organizations worst nightmare and negative impact of inadequate data can be; You don’t know how your customers perform, spending time on wrong customers and/or segments, negative impact on the prospecting process, how you should plan you activities, unprofessional impression in meetings with customers or prospects.
Unfortunately many hotels have inadequate data with lack of routines to secure that you can make more data driven decisions. Is this the case in your hotel? Make sure to establish a daily routine (normally take maximum 5-10 minutes) to secure correct data in your PMS (& CRM). Ideally it could be a routine for the Front Desk, Reservation, or Revenue Manager, but the most important is that someone (person or department) in the hotel have this as a routine.
In this article you can read more about the importance of data quality.
3. Social Media - LinkedIn
It's not easy to reach out to customers and prospects through phone calls and its harder than ever to get face-2-face meetings. However, most of the people are online, so why shouldn't you? LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to engage with your customers, publish content and connect with prospects. It also provides you with valuable information of the person if you have a meeting booked. If you haven't tried Sales Navigator, consider to do this. You have one month free trial on your LinkedIn account.
Read more about 10 Sales Tips from LinkedIn here.
4. Collect business cases and present in your meetings and share in social media
To have a high score on tripadvisor and google is something that is extremely important for hotels. We know that most of the guests are reading reviews before they decide which hotels they want to book. However, when it come to meetings, hotels are usually lacking to collect good business cases from their customers. A good reference from another customer is probably the most powerful you can have. Use this more often and also, ask the customer if you can share it on LinkedIn and other social media channels.
5. Do differently in your face2face meetings
Prospects and customers are always comparing hotels for there next conference or yearly corporate agreement and many of them want a site inspection before they make their final decision. This is the optimal opportunity to win the business and make the difference. Before the meeting you hopefully have all the facts and you know all the needs the customer have (if not, start with this). When you know the needs you can “surprise” the prospect. For instance; if they pointed out that the food is the most important aspect during the conference, include your F&B manager for some minutes in the meeting. Another surprise for the prospect can be to have the company logo (together with a message) on the projector screen when you show the meeting facility. Small “surprises” like these examples will create “wow” effects for the prospect and they will feel like they are in good hands and that your hotel can create the extra value for them. It will certainly increase the chance to win the business. So be creative.
6. Close collaboration with your commercial team
To have a commercial team that collaborate and work together is vital to maximize your revenue at a hotel. Still, too many hotels work in silos and not together. As a Sales Manager you should have a close collaboration with your Revenue Manager and Marketing Manager. In the commercial team you should define the goals, clearly define the different roles, decide activities, have structured meetings through the year and have a common view. All this should be done together, not in silos.
You can read more about a well-functioning commercial team here.