Moving from sales resistance to negotiations

hotel sales training helps you avoid tug of wars

When you can’t meet a client’s needs, it’s time to move into negotiations.

A major topic in my hospitality sales training sessions is the need for hotel sales managers to objectively analyze the strengths and weaknesses of their own hotels. They should also do that with competing properties. If you were to scroll back through this blog and look at the various free hotel sales training entries, you be able to learn about such topics as:

  • Hospitality sales professionals and their hotel’s strengths
  • What are your property’s flaws?
  • The anticipatable objection
  • Distinguishing your property from the competition
  • Should you “burn” the competition?
  • Creating and understanding “The Matrix”
  • How to win a hotel competition

To briefly recap, once you understand how to identify strengths and weaknesses of your property and those of the competition, you need to deal with the situation where the weaknesses of your property compares unfavorably with the competition’s strong points. This can be difficult. And a real eye-opener.

Also, it’s at this point that you need to transition from trying to remove resistance at the point of sale and into negotiations.


Here’s an example. “Mary, you’re absolutely correct; we do not have that feature at our hotel that you want. And Hotel X does. Here is how we’re going to address that…”

You’re now moving right into negotiations. It is a very important hospitality sales skill, and the real pros make this transition with ease and fluidity.

As you conduct negotiations, you will offer other incentives to make your hotel’s flaws diminish in the mind of your client or prospect.

For example, if your client needs transportation from the airport and you don’t have a shuttle to your hotel, perhaps you would be able to provide airport transportation yourself. Or perhaps you can lower rates on another negotiable. As you get experience and more sales training, you’ll be able to build a list of items that you can offer to overcome the objection. You might want to consult your manager or more senior members of the sales staff to see what they have been able to offer clients in the past to overcome objections. Create a list of those that you are authorized to use.

Another approach to negotiations is to negotiate the entire deal as a package.

Experienced meeting planners and other clients of ours have been trained in what is know as the “divide and conquer” technique. Using this, the client will enter negotiations addressing just one item as a time. It’s a common trap for the hotel sales manager and you should learn how to avoid it.

Finally, if the hotels sales managers at your competition are getting good training, they will be aware of the point of resistance at your hotel that is difficult for you to overcome. Of course, they’ll know what their strengths are too. If you assume that your competitors have received this training, you’re do your homework and you’ll be ready to compete for the business.


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