As hoteliers and sales people, we’ve all been there… You look ahead at the upcoming month(s) and suddenly panic sets in. There are many reasons for being faced with this situation. Sales team turnover/transition, the hotel has been in peak season and your sales team has been focused on assisting operations vs. selling, your sales team is new and not well versed in proactive sales techniques… I could go on and on. The bottom line is that now you have an entire quarter red-flagged as “need period” and are advertising “hot rates” and whatever “quick spend” promotion you can come up with. The problem is clients don’t make those “quick spend” decisions, and it’s the eleventh hour, and you need a miracle. Sadly, there isn’t a miracle pill that will solve this challenge 100%. However, there are some tactics we’ve deployed with our hotel partners that we’ve seen make a difference.
Below are 6 simple hotel sales tactics (that really work) to address your immediate cash flow needs.
1. Reach out to clients that have used your hotel within the past 2 years (your hotel’s historic records may need to adjust depending on your market). It may make sense to look at the same time of year to narrow down the list, but in most cases, you may need to just do a complete historic pull and call them all.
2. Call all current, and past catering clients, and ask for referrals for group/transient business needs either within their organization or outside.
3. Implement or reinvigorate a referral program for inside leads from staff and/or from your current “A-list” accounts.
4. Review the convention calendar for your market & reach out to your local CVB to determine if you can offer any AdHoc blocks for upcoming conventions.
5. Reach out to local venue partners to offer guestroom options (add some extra referral incentives) to any of their upcoming meetings/events.
6. Partner with 3rd party lead providers and educate them on the business needs you have that are immediate. Perhaps your property was overlooked in their initial search process.
Usually, a hotel’s current sales team can handle this 1st prong process completely on their own. However, if your hotel is experiencing a lot of turnover or transition you may be better served to outsource this.
I’m not going to lie, as a business owner myself, I’ve been there and I get it! I also remember vividly my time on property as a hotel sales manager and director needing to bridge those revenue gaps for my owner. It’s those experiences that fuel my passion and commitment to educate sales teams on how to transform from reactive to proactive. This is just the first step! Once you have begun tackling your current challenges, you must ensure that you don’t face this same problem again in the future by also implementing a consistent proactive prospecting program.
Amy Infante and her team at Plan B Consultants & Sales4Hire help hotel owners and sales leaders navigate the B2B buying process to get the results they desire from their sales strategies and teams. To keep in touch with Amy and learn more, visit us online at: www.planbconsultants.com and www.sales4hire.com
If you haven’t yet, also be sure to read Part 1 on this topic: “Why A Prospecting Campaign Won’t Fix Your 30, 60, 90 Day Problem”