Street Corner Sales Tactics

With occupancy predicted to drop by STR Global in 2017 for the first time since the Great Recession, plus an easing of RevPAR growth to a predicted 2.3 percent, the hotel industry is facing its first speed bump in years.

That doesn’t mean you should sit back and let the decline own you. The hotel business is a street corner, local business. It’s critical to look around your neighborhood to sell more room nights. Now is the time to redouble your local sales effort to help supplement your business.

It’s no longer a world where you can simply build a hotel and expect guests to show up, even if your hotel has the power of brand marketing and reservation systems. You still must fill many rooms on your own. It’s very important to make sure you have a good presence in your market and in your backyard.

Here’s how to do it:

Find new business sources

Ask guests why they’re there. It’s a great way to find new business, because conversation may lead to additional business from the same source. Plus, ask guests how and why they made a reservation. This will provide you with potentially new to you demand generators, which you can then create a marketing campaign around.

Be Creative and Unique

Partner with a local restaurant to put information about your hotel in their welcome area, perhaps offer a raffle for a free night stay if they drop their business card. This will help you build a mailing list of locals, while also helping determine potential demand from out of town markets. That restaurant may be attracting contractors and suppliers, from say, a business you didn’t realize had lots of out of town visitors and customers. Once you attract one out of town group, more are likely to follow. With the cloud based property management system from SkyTouch Technology, your hotel could then craft individual packages to further woo those potential customers.

Let the Competition Help

Oh yeah, it works just as well for your hotel too. There literally may be business leads parked right out front.

Also, work on getting promoted by your local Convention and Visitors bureau, do a sales blitz in your local region to the major companies in the area to see if they utilize hotels, and visit the city and county building department to find construction jobs about to happen in area. Then call on those companies.

Once you get a customer, record their preferences utilizing the SkyTouch Technology Experience Program (STEP). You can build guest profiles to tailor personalized experiences for the guest’s future stays, which in turn ups their experience and makes them more likely to share positive hotel reviews online and with coworkers, friends and family.

Other places to scope out include car rental counters, towing and limo companies – getting a handle on special events coming to town, visit employment and real estate agencies as well as churches and bridal shops. Also, keep an eye out for motor coach companies and persuade them to send business for your area.  If you follow these few simple rules, you’ll help protect your business from a potentially softening market.