Hotels needs bookings. This very simple truth has many aspects. Of course, you do not want to book all your customers through booking sites or other third parties. Ideally, guests book directly at your hotel website or by calling your reservation.
It is one thing to make your direct booking options more transparent, easy to find and high-ranking in search engines, yellow pages etc. And it is a different matter to convert as many callers to booking guests.
Key to Success: Knowing your House
Many callers place some form of inquiry first, before they may book. Presenting your house as attractive as possible and adding some soft incentive – or pressure – to make callers book immediately is key to success.
First of all, this requires your reservation team knowing the house they sell. Even with teams located inhouse, this may not be the case. With reservation teams in some central locations, as practiced by larger hotel operators, it is an important issue in any case.
Second, it requires the booking agent to understand, what the guest may be looking for. Asking is not always the best approach. Often it is the surprising suggestion of the agent that makes the difference. Giving the caller a positive imagination he or she did not have at the moment of calling makes a big difference. Of course, it is hard to constantly surprise potential guests. But showing, that the agent cares and imagines the situation the potential guest will be in, is an excellent first step.
Only then, standard selling techniques to improve conversions, cross-selling or upselling should be attended to. It is always better to sell something known to a person whose situation is known. This is very simple, but rarely practiced.
Reservation Sales Training Topics
In our reservation sales training we keep that focus. The following aspects are part of the inhouse-sales-training we offer:
Know the values
- Your house: Know all selling points
- Different types of guests and what they value
- The power to surprise: Bringing together guest values and your houses strengths
- Controlling a fluent and easy conversation
- Ask the right questions well
- Advertise naturally
- Suggest more expensive and additional offers, based on their value added
- Push friendly, with confidence
For convention sales, visit our respective training course outline.
Tailored to Client Needs
This sales training for hotel reservation teams should run for at least one day. Often, part one alone needs one day, part two another. It depends on the number of participants, the status of the team and so on.
We believe, that a training effort should be spread over some time. For example, we start with one day of training and give the participants two weeks to work with what they learned. In a second training session the team can talk much more profoundly about the key success factors. They can highlight best practice experienced and discuss challenges discovered.
With more training sessions the standards are lifted allowing to work on phrasing an upselling effort or excercising soft pressure.