Hotel sales people have to distinguish their hotel from the competition

When you're different from the competition, write it up!

Just how do you great hotel sales people go about distinguishing their hotels from the competition?

Time and time again we see that hotel sales people are saying to the client “We’ll meet your needs, we have great accessibility, we’ll build a wonderful relationship, we’re business friendly, we don’t have a casino, we have awesome location, our service is fantastic, our food is great, etc.”  Well, what do you think the competition down the street in another hotel sales office is doing at the same time?  Don’t you think that every other hotel sales manager you’re competing against is saying the exact same thing?  The hotel sales person just thought he or she delivered a fantastic proposal, but no, it was one that looked exactly the same as the three other hotels that are bidding. There was no difference made clear to the prospect.

But take heart, hotel sales manager, where your weaknesses are the same as their weaknesses, the truth is you have lost nothing competitively. You don’t have it — they don’t have it. The competing hotel sales manager doesn’t have a shuttle to the airport, you don’t have a shuttle to the airport.

Because there’s no difference, it’s OK for you to mention to the prospect, “If you look, none of the hotels in our area have shuttle to the airport,” if that’s a true statement. But be a hotel sales problem solver — that’s what gets you credibility in the eyes of the client.  In this case I’d add, “But we’ve made other arrangements for you, and if you have a large number of people coming in, we have a list a mile long of transportation experts we work with all the time, we’ll take care of that…”

But here’s the real winner: where your strength matches up favorably against the weaknesses of the other hotel sales staff, that becomes the thrust of your presentation.

That’s the money shot, “Look, we have this, and it’s clear it’s important to your decision making process. The other hotels you’re looking at, they don’t have it.”

Now, you don’t have to say it that way, of course.  Any meeting planner with any sense will get that, because they’re looking at your hotel sales proposal and they’re looking at their hotel sales proposal.  But — and this is huge — if you don’t mention that in writing in your proposal and all you do is talk about it over the phone, you’re if trouble.  If it doesn’t show up in writing, including your proposal and in any subsequent emails that you send them, you’re passing up a huge hotel sales opportunity.  You’re asking way too much for them to remember if you haven’t made that the thrust of your hotel sales presentation.

Remember to distinguish your hotel by gently but firmly pointing out your strength IN WRITING and often when it’s a weakness of your competition’s.

Posted 3/26/12

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