For a hotel to close a sale, they need to know their customers inside out. They should anticipate their customer’s needs and demands to have an upper hand while approaching them.
We bring to you a 3-stage approach that a customer goes though before finalising a property:
1) ‘Need Recognition’ –
This is the first step when a guest is exploring his/her options of hotel stay. Hotels would generally have 2 type of clientele, corporate and non- corporate. In the olden days, most of the corporate deals were done face to face where the sales teams would approach companies and understand the company’s travel requirements. This involved hotel collating information about the company needs and understand how well the hotel can fulfil them.
Nowadays many corporate and non-corporate bookings are negotiated directly via the hotel’s website or OTA’s. Hotels need to ensure that their information is clear both on the website as well as other OTA’s. They need to be aware of which OTA’s can generate the best business for them and be present on them.
Content marketing plays a major role when targeting these guests, hotels should ensure that their information is crisp and can answer the needs of their potential guests.
2) ‘Research’ –
In this day and age, travellers do a lot of research before booking hotels. They check out the competition, compare prices and extra value addition offered by the hotels, local information and so on.
Hotels need to ensure that they project their USP’s on their website. What makes the hotel different? What more can the hotel offer to their guests? Hoteliers should also encourage their guests to write reviews about their stay and post pictures on social media about their experience at the hotel to add more strength to the hotel’s claims.
3) ‘Evaluating Alternate options’ –
Once a guest has researched and short listed their options, they come to the final decision. Hotels are evaluated upon location, tariff, value additions, reviews, etc. Hotels need to project their credibility and let customers know that they are the right choice for them.
For corporate clients, hotels should speak about the corporate brands that tie up with them; this increases hotel’s reputation. Nothing sells better than word of mouth advertising, a guest’s validation is the best marketing tool for a hotel.
Nowadays most hotels have limited interaction with the guest since maximum sales happen online, so hotels need to ensure that their marketing tactics are up to date and easily accessible. If your hotel is conscious about the above 3 approaches, they can close in on bookings more effectively.