Building a Guest-Centered Sales Culture

By Mike Paton Senior Vice President, Signature Worldwide | June 15, 2010

To capture a bigger share of the market, your employees must focus on delivering more bang for the buck than your competition. Otherwise, guests decide where to stay primarily based on price and location. And that means you're nothing more than a commodity to most of your customers.

Hotels with a guest-centered sales culture outperform competitors by building more value into every guest interaction. When your sales and service team is dedicated to providing a special experience for each traveler, you create preference and loyalty with your guests. And that helps you fill your hotel at a higher rate.

Sounds simple, right?

Anyone who's tried to build and maintain a sales culture knows it's not easy. But in working with more than 5,000 companies since 1986, we've found that it can be done by following three basic steps:

Use the Right Glossary

The biggest obstacle to getting your associates focused on selling is emotion. Many employees so dislike the idea of selling that they actively avoid it. You can help your team overcome that fear with a better definition of the task.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.