In a world driven by social media and online search, sales tactics are essential to generate revenue. According to the data from the 2019 Travel and Hospitality Industry Outlook by Deloitte, industry growth is consistent throughout the past decade. From 2009 to 2017, gross bookings in U.S. hotels grew to $185 billion from $116 billion.
That’s not just because people are traveling more. It’s also because marketing teams have more opportunities to create innovative campaigns to boost sales. Anyone who runs a hotel or restaurant is a salesperson. It’s thus critical to learn sales skills and translate them into practices appropriate for your industry.
Here are 9 hospitality sales tips that combine classic techniques with modern practices.
Create Special Offers for Customers
If it’s the peak of the season, you compete with all local restaurants and hotels. If you’re in the middle of a low period, you compete for the small target audience of customers with all other businesses in the region. One way or another, you always fight for attention.
Making special offers is one of the classic hospitality training tips that works for any type of business. Offer time-sensitive deals and coupons. These help trigger desire to lock in the opportunity ASAP.
Organize Local Seasonal Events
There is a tiny village called Banon in the French Provence. If you travel around the Provence, you will likely miss this beautiful village. But if you happen to be there in early summer, you’ll see posters for Banon’s Fȇte de Fromage (Cheese Festival) all over the region. Local cheese makers invite locals and tourists to this event, and the peaceful village becomes a top tourist destination over that period of time.
Local seasonal events have always been among the top sales tactics for the hospitality industry. Organize a wine tasting event, or anything related to local products. Partner with producers who will promote themselves during the event.
Provide Career Growth Opportunities for the Best Employees
Your employees, especially those who are in direct touch with clients, are the faces of your business. Treat these people well, so they will treat your customers well.
The employees who work in the background are also important. Make them happy by getting them new MacBooks so they’re able to work efficiently. But don’t forget the training needed for each new tool you introduce.
Follow this simple rule: each employee should see their future within your company. They should be aware of the potential for career growth, so they will be motivated to work harder.
Form a Commercial Team
Some owners of small restaurants and hotels may not feel like they need to hire people for a specialized marketing team. But, if the most successful hospitality businesses invest more in marketing campaigns. They have beautiful websites, blogs, and a well-planned social media presence.
Marketing is a full-time job, which may clash with your business management tasks. Hire the right people with the right background. They can give you the right tips and develop a strategy that brings revenue.
Follow Social Media Trends
Many businesses use LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms. It’s hard to get noticed among the noise. But when you use social media diligently and in a unique way, you will get a competitive edge over other local hospitality businesses.
Don’t forget about TikTok and other new social networks. Tiktok is fun network that’s still unexplored by most hotel and restaurant brands. There’s an opportunity to be among the first ones that use it for a hospitality sales campaign.
Offer a discount or free drinks to everyone who agrees to complete a small survey regarding their experience with your business. Feature these testimonials on your website. When you offer a free treat, your customers may also give you reviews on social media, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and other platforms.
A report by TripAdvisor showed 94% of restaurant users in the U.S. choose a dining place based on the reviews they read online. Reviews are essential for the success of your business. To get good ones, you’ll have to tailor a nice offer and work hard to make your clients happy. Bad reviews can turn into a PR nightmare.
Listen to Customers and Meet Their Needs
Your property may have the nicest restaurant or the largest swimming pool in the area. But if your target audience doesn’t believe it’s right for their needs, it won’t reach its full potential.
Collect data from surveys and online reviews. Know your specific target audience. It may be formed by factors like income, music taste, age, and more. Don’t aim for a general audience of people who just want to eat and sleep somewhere. Offer something special to a certain category. That way, they will get exactly what they expect, and they will recommend your business to others.
Keep Customers Coming Back
Brand loyalty can have a huge effect on business. It’s more expensive to acquire new customers than to keep the current ones. Focus your social media campaigns on attaining new customers. You also have a great opportunity to turn first-time customers into a loyal ones.
Offer incentives for return visits. Hopefully, your customers will be more inclined to return instead of exploring a new restaurant or hotel.
Analyze Your Campaign on the Go
This is another reason to have a specialized marketing team: you need a pro who knows how to gather and analyze data. Your online marketing campaigns generate a lot of data. Those metrics are not easy to analyze and turn into specific actions if you don’t have the needed experience.
A good team will create seasonal reports, which show the exact value of your campaigns. If they’re not generating brand awareness, revenue, or whatever you’re going for, it means your campaigns need intelligent changes.
Hospitality Sales and Marketing is Hard Work
Hospitality businesses have a lot to gain from using sales techniques. Now that people have access to competitive offers over the Internet, you have to get noticed with creative online marketing campaigns.
The nine tips above require hard work and a good plan. Gather your team, make a strategy, and start taking specific steps towards reaching your revenue goals!
Author Bio: James Dorian is a technical copywriter. He writes articles on marketing, business, and technology. Check out his article on Internet Explorer for Mac.