Here is something that may shock you… In ANY. GIVEN. INDUSTRY. only 3% of the audience is in the market ready to purchase.
This has been true for many years now and quite possibly a statistic you’ve heard before.
Let’s break it down.
*Source: Sticky Branding
When the 3% is coming to your sales team, the team must be READY TO GO! The B2B world can move quickly and the desire to buy can dissipate in a snap. These buyers have already done their research and filtered out what they DON’T want. Now, if there is competition in play, it primarily boils down to price. Don’t worry, there are a few hotel sales tactics to prevent your product from becoming a commodity!
One of GitGo’s goals is to help hotels with key hotel sales tactics and break free from being perceived as a commodity by their customers. One would think it would be impossible to become commoditized when hotels are offering both a service-based, and experience-based product… Right? Additionally, the brand managers and marketers spend countless hours and tons of money to differentiate their brands and hotels! Holy cow, there are even lifestyle hotels out there!
A lot happens behind the scenes in brand development and strategy. Many hotel sales associates might not have a lot of control over this process. Yet, there are some key areas we can control, that ensure you do not fall into the commoditization trap that buyers may set for you. How? Build relationships and reach out to the “lower 90%.” They might not have all the answers YOU want, but one day the need will arise and they will remember your efforts. They will remember the human behind the sale. They will appreciate your connection when the need arises, because you respected and valued them when they weren’t ready to buy.
Here are 3 hotel sales tactics to avoid become a commodity:
1) Be proactive vs. reactive
Waiting for RFPs to come to your property invites the prospective customers to look at your hotel with the same lens as every other hotel. Likely, the buyer has already done some research on their own, and selected a handful of hotels they feel fit their needs. More often than not, price is a factor in their solicitation and your property is comparable with competitors.
What if instead, you were to proactively seek out new business opportunities and find a prospect before they are soliciting RFPs? You have a greater chance of differentiating yourself and your property! In many cases, you can even eliminate some of the competition! Many hotels we encounter have the reactive technique mastered. The proactive approach takes time and resources to uncover new leads, however the benefits it provides to your sales revenue will have the greatest impact to beating your sales goals AND maintaining a steady pipeline!
2) Make them an offer they can’t refuse
The question to ask is: What are you doing to make your offer stand out and get the prospect to “scream from the rooftop” that they want to contract with your hotel? This is your time to show the potential client added value. Brag about success stories, have client testimonials in your back pocket, showcase your team’s ability to make their event or stay better than anywhere else! You go above and beyond for clients every day, so make sure potential clients know this!
3) Get to know them, their needs and wants
When you enter into a relationship, you learn what’s important to the other party. This only happens through communication! You must get to know them in order to make educated decisions on what is compelling to them. Do not blindly respond to an RFP. Do your research, learn the triggers and sticking points for the buyer, understand their business, and then tailor the offer to them as best you can.
It’s all about differentiation and protecting your hotel from being lumped in with everyone else, or commoditized (yuck). As sales professionals it is completely possible to differentiate even the most basic box hotel through perseverance, creativity and authentic sales. There are many many stellar sales managers we’ve encountered who have done phenomenal things for hotels that from the outside looking in didn’t seem to have a lot of differentiation, but they found a way by taking a no excuses approach!
We would love to hear your stories about how you’ve differentiated yourself and your hotel from the competition. What do you feel you can do better, or we as an industry can be doing better? Please leave your comments and feedback below…
Interested in how GitGo can help you with developing a sustainable pipeline?
Reach out to JuliaS(at)gitgogroup.com