Challenges Facing Hotel & Event Sales Managers
SOCO/ Sales has delivered multiple hotel sales training sessions for dozens of properties across Asia. With a particular focus on increasing team knowledge and application skills to increase room sales. Over time, we noticed all hotel sales managers face similar challenges – particularly the need to sell many rooms each year. Even worse? They need to beat out the competition simultaneously.
Unfortunately, right now, the competition is fiercer than ever; We’re all trying to sell in an unpredictable time. Nevertheless, it’s always crucial to support each other, so we’ve created this brief guide for Hotel Sales Managers to help you optimize your sales in these far from optimal times.
All good managers prioritize the development of themselves and their team to achieve their targets. So, here’s what I recommend concentrating on when it comes to optimizing hotel room sales.
1. What’s in it for them?
First, try asking yourself the question, Why do your customers choose to stay with you?
You can start by making a list of all of the reasons why your present customers chose to stay at your hotel. Perhaps you’re in a prime location for sightseeing, or you offer great value for money? Maybe it’s your award-winning restaurant, or you’re surrounded by popular cafes?
If you don’t know, just ask! You can ask your guests what they enjoy the most about your property. This will allow you to craft an excellent and honest sales value proposition your prospects won’t be able to refuse.
2. You Vs. Competitors
It’s great to know why customers choose you, but you also need to understand why your customer sometimes chooses the competition. What exactly are they offering, and how are they positioning themselves to increase room sales?
Hotel Sales Managers can complete a thorough competitor analysis to precisely uncover what your competition does well and not so well. This will determine how you can differentiate yourself from them.
Customers have more choices available to them now than ever before, so what sets you apart from other hotels? Therefore, it boils down to positioning. When customers think of your business, what exactly are they thinking?
One way to discover what sets you apart from other hotels is to ask your current guests why they picked you. What do they see as your strengths? Which of your qualities are most important to them in your work together? What is most valuable to them?
You could also do an internet search on the keywords “signature strengths” and complete an online questionnaire that measures character strengths. Pick your top-3 strengths and use bridge statements to clearly communicate how they benefit your customer; for example, in my case, “I’m always exploring and identifying new tools that can help clients increase their sales.”
3. What does your customer want?
You can’t sell anything until you know what your customer wants first. As I always say, listen more than you talk, and you will be able to effectively uncover your prospects’ needs. Create a list of questions you can ask to find out what’s most important to them. I call this a Hotel Sales Training Needs Analysis.
Many of us make the mistake of selling our products or services (prescriptions) before fully understanding our prospects’ most pressing challenges (symptoms). Could you imagine your doctor handing you a prescription before taking the time to fully understand your symptoms? Of course not. That’s why we create a needs assessment to use as a checklist or diagnostic tool with our prospective customers, similar to what a doctor or mechanic would use before writing a prescription or estimate.
It could include,
- What do you plan to do when you visit our city?
- Have you been here before?
- Will you be travelling by car or public transit?
- Will you need meeting rooms or conference space?
4. The Features to Benefits Translation
By putting all of the above together we can come up with a solid action plan of how to present your hotel to prospects. Understanding the features to benefits translation will make sure you’re sharing only what’s important to your prospect which will make it easier for them to see why staying with you is the right choice.
Upgrade Your Sales Skills
Before you do all of this stuff that I’ve talked about: stay motivated, change your message, etc, if you’re going to go after way more people, you’ve got to upgrade your sales skills.
Yeah, that’s a given you’ve got to hone your craft and get better at your job. Improve your sales skills. So how do you do that? Keep watching reading articles and watching sales tip videos like this. We’ve got tons of sales training videos on our YouTube channel, so keep watching videos and reading books and listening to podcasts and sign up for SOCO Academy, our e-learning platform.
Do whatever it takes to get the skills that you need to prospect to hunt, qualify, to demonstrate your USP in your value, handle objections, present effectively, and to negotiate to get more repeat business from people. There is so much that you need to do and so much yet to learn so keep focusing on upgrading your sales skills
Increase Room Sales with Hotel Sales Training
SOCO/ is an award-winning Sales Training company, and we’ve spent years working with some of the most exclusive hotels throughout Asia. We don’t like to boast, but we know what works in the real world and what is simply a waste of time for sales training.
Our customized sales training workshops focus on helping new and seasoned hotel sales managers to fill in their skill gaps and standardize their organizations sales methodology overall. We are constantly refining our training programs to meet the changing needs of businesses and reflect on what is happening in the hotel industry. Our priority? Ensuring every attendee receives relevant and actionable training that produces tangible results. (Room Sales!)