As a hotelier, your goal may be to offer a superlative guest experience, yet you do not disregard the fact that you are essentially administering an enterprise. Ergo, the art of vending hotel accommodations is quintessential to your triumph as a hospitality manager or operator.
The key to success lies in prioritizing guest experience while also focusing on maximizing room occupancy, regardless of the season. This means developing effective hotel sales strategies to ensure profitability and a thriving business strategy.
Hotel Sales Strategies
An unoccupied hotel is a nightmare for hoteliers, indicating a failed business strategy. To avoid this situation, hoteliers must implement sales strategies that attract guests and ensure a steady flow of business, even during the slower travel season. Selling as many rooms as possible is crucial to driving revenue, which enables hoteliers to invest in the hotel’s future and provide the level of service that guests expect.
Prioritizing hotel room sales techniques helps to create the atmosphere that guests anticipate. A vacant or nearly empty hotel can leave a negative impression on guests. Selling as many rooms as possible ensures that the hotel remains lively and dynamic, which is important for guest satisfaction. To achieve this, hoteliers must develop sales strategies tailored to their target market and local destination, considering effective hotel room sales strategies such as those outlined below.
Six Essential Strategies for Hotel Room Sales
Hotel Group Sales Strategy
This strategy requires a shift in marketing and sales approach to corporate target groups. Offering deals on rooms and meeting spaces to these groups can lead to repeat business. To secure group bookings, it is most cost-effective to connect directly with planners. You can list your property on venue marketplaces where planners can view floorplans, photos, and unique features. Segmentation of your target audience will allow for more compelling offers to the appropriate groups for your property.
Hotel Direct Sales Strategy
This strategy aims to generate as many direct bookings online from guests as possible. Direct bookings are ideal for hotel operators because they generate the highest revenue without the need to pay commissions to agents or distribution partners. To implement a direct booking strategy, hotel managers should invest in an online booking system that integrates with their website and property management system. Additionally, prioritizing a social media strategy can help increase direct bookings.
Collaborative Destination Marketing Sales Strategy
This sales strategy involves hotels partnering with other tourism businesses in their local destination to promote the region as a whole. The goal is to work together to create a destination marketing campaign that targets inbound tourism markets and increases overall traffic to the area.
Cross-Promotion Sales Strategy
With this sales strategy, hotel managers identify major events in the local area throughout the year and develop promotions that coincide with them. This allows them to capitalize on the influx of visitors attending the events and generate bookings they may not have had otherwise. Conferences, concerts, and sporting events are ideal opportunities for cross-promotional sales strategies.
Guest Rewards Sales Strategy
Many travelers, particularly millennials, value rewards programs and are more likely to do business with companies that offer them. Hotels have had great success with rewards programs, which often generate repeat bookings and referrals. In a guest rewards sales strategy, hotel operators develop a system that rewards guests for frequent stays, upgrades, and referrals to friends and family.
Revenue Management Sales Strategy
This sales strategy aims to maximize the number of rooms booked throughout the year, regardless of typical travel traffic patterns. Revenue management plans require hotels to drop room rates during the low season to encourage bookings while raising rates during high traffic times. This allows hotels to generate more revenue per available room during peak periods when guests are willing to pay higher rates.
Other Tactics to Boost Hotel Revenue
In addition to larger sales strategies, several smaller tactics can be used to increase hotel room sales and generate more revenue from each guest. These include:
- Upselling: This involves offering guests a more expensive version of the service or product they are purchasing. However, it’s important to be tactful when using this method. Timing, tone, and frequency are key factors to consider. Rather than aggressively pushing for an upsell, make guests aware of their options and let them take the initiative.
- Re-marketing: Re-marketing allows hotel operators to reconnect with potential guests who have visited their website but have not yet made a booking. This strategy can be used to remind customers to visit your site again and make a reservation.
- Incentives or cross-selling: Offering additional products or services to complement a guest’s purchase can be an effective way to increase revenue. This might include added-value items such as a complimentary massage or a local tour.
- Building local partnerships: Hotels can form partnerships with other businesses and attractions in the area to create mutually beneficial marketing opportunities. Co-promoting with restaurants, specialty shops, adventure companies, or museums can increase exposure for both parties.
- Streamlining the booking process: A user-friendly website is crucial for driving direct bookings. A slow, confusing, or complicated website can quickly turn off potential guests. Ensure that the website is clean, easy to navigate, mobile-friendly, and has clear action buttons to make booking as easy as possible.
Hotel Sales and Marketing: Strategies to Boost Sales
Sales and marketing are interdependent functions, where effective marketing strategies enable successful sales. However, it is crucial to ensure that marketing campaigns align with the capabilities of the sales team, as marketing products or services that cannot be delivered may lead to negative customer experiences and feedback. In essence, sales and marketing should work together to create a seamless customer journey; where marketing generates interest, while sales teams ensure customer expectations are met.
To ensure a consistent flow of bookings in the hotel industry, it’s important to leverage various marketing and sales strategies effectively.
- Create a Strong Brand Message and Voice: Establish a clear and compelling brand identity that resonates with your target audience. Craft a consistent brand message across all marketing channels, showcasing the unique value your hotel offers.
- Target Key Markets: Identify and target specific customer segments that align with your hotel’s offerings. Tailor your marketing campaigns to address their needs, preferences, and pain points effectively.
- Establish a Social Media Presence: Build a strong presence on popular social media platforms where your target audience spends their time. Engage with followers, share captivating content, and respond to inquiries promptly to foster a sense of connection and build brand loyalty.
- Implement Email Marketing Tactics: Leverage the power of email marketing to nurture leads and build relationships with potential guests. Send personalized and relevant content, such as exclusive offers, local event updates, and personalized recommendations.
- Optimize Search Engines: Ensure your hotel’s website is optimized for search engines to improve visibility and organic traffic. Conduct keyword research, optimize meta tags, and create high-quality content that aligns with the search intent of potential guests.
- Ensure Mobile Compatibility: With the increasing use of mobile devices, it’s essential to have a mobile-friendly website and booking engine. Make sure the booking process is seamless and straightforward for mobile users, enabling them to easily explore and book accommodations.
- Use Visually Engaging Advertisements: Capture attention with visually appealing advertisements that highlight the unique features and experiences your hotel offers. Incorporate high-quality images and videos to showcase the ambiance and amenities that set your property apart.
- Craft Compelling Copy: Create persuasive and engaging copy that effectively communicates the benefits of staying at your hotel. Emphasize the value proposition, unique selling points, and personalized experiences to entice potential guests.
- Showcase Positive Feedback and User-Generated Content: Leverage the power of social proof by featuring positive guest reviews, testimonials, and user-generated content. Share guest experiences that highlight exceptional service, memorable moments, and delightful experiences.
- Offer Value-Rich Promotions: Create attractive promotions and packages that provide added value to potential guests. Whether it’s discounted rates, complimentary amenities, or unique experiences, offer incentives that motivate guests to choose your hotel over competitors. e.g.
- Seasonal Promotions: Eye-catching promotions like ‘Summer Getaways’ and ‘Winter Retreats’ can be used to direct the audience’s attention towards underrated places or places with less crowds during non-peak seasons.
- Themed Promotions: Hotels may offer honeymoon or anniversary discounts if they’re in a romantic locale, adventure deals in offbeat destinations, or ultimate relaxation experiences in coastal cities.
- Event-based Promotions: Customers researching for art festivals, local festive celebrations, sports events, or other events in the hotel city may be targeted with special discounts.
- Highlight Unique Selling Points: Identify and emphasize the distinctive features and offerings that set your hotel apart from others. Whether it’s a breathtaking view, a luxurious spa, or a renowned restaurant, highlight these unique selling points in your marketing and sales efforts.
- Provide Virtual Tours of the Hotel: Offer virtual tours through videos or interactive experiences that allow potential guests to explore your property from the comfort of their homes. Showcase the rooms, amenities, and key attractions to create anticipation and generate interest.
- Offer Fresh and Informative Content: Regularly update your website and blog with relevant and engaging content. Provide travel guides, local event calendars, and insider tips to position your hotel as a trusted source of information and a valuable resource for travelers.
- Engage with Followers on Social Media: Actively engage with your social media followers by responding to comments, messages, and reviews. Show genuine interest in their experiences and inquiries, fostering a positive and interactive online community around your hotel brand.
e.g. The Palomar San Diego scavenger hunt was a creative and fun promotional idea that generated coverage for the hotel while providing guests with a guided tour of the city.
- Partner with Local Businesses: Collaborate with local businesses, such as tourist attractions, restaurants, or event organizers, to create joint promotions or packages that offer unique experiences to guests. By partnering with complementary businesses, you can expand your reach, tap into new markets, and provide added value to guests seeking a comprehensive and memorable stay.
- Encourage Guest Reviews and User-Generated Content: Request and encourage guests to leave reviews and share their experiences on platforms like TripAdvisor, Google Reviews, and social media. Positive reviews and user-generated content serve as powerful endorsements, influencing the decision-making process of potential guests.
By adopting a holistic approach that aligns sales and marketing efforts, hotels can drive revenue and build brand loyalty. These strategies will enable hotels to remain competitive, captivate guests, and achieve long-term success in the dynamic and ever-evolving hospitality industry.
Benefits of Implementing Hotel Room Sales Strategies
- Consistent revenue: By employing an effective hotel sales strategy, you can earn more revenue throughout the year, regardless of seasonal fluctuations in the tourism industry.
- Property improvements: With increased booking revenue, you can invest in improvements that generate buzz about your brand and attract more guests.
- Expanded offerings: As sales increase, you can create packages such as romance or adventure packages and luxury upgrades to sell more rooms and increase revenue per booking.
- Focus on the guest experience while emphasizing booking as many rooms as possible.
- Implement sales strategies even during slow travel seasons to improve business and attract more guests.
- Essential hotel sales strategies include group bookings, direct bookings, destination marketing, cross-promotional sales, guest rewards, and revenue management strategies.
- Other selling techniques include upselling, cross-selling, packages, promotions, remarketing, and local partnerships.
- Experiment with creative sales ideas to see what works best for your business.
- Use hotel sales tools such as a channel manager, online booking engine, and website builder to attract more guests.
Remember, the goal is to create a comprehensive sales strategy that consistently generates revenue and improves the guest experience.