10 Creative Tips on Selling A Hotel Experience To
Attract More Direct Bookings
What is it that makes your hotel distinctive and memorable? A great Experience!
These days, for a hotel to stand out, you’ve got to offer more than comfy rooms and good service. Guests have come to view this as standard. What they are interested in is to come away with a memorable experience.
But what exactly defines a hotel experience?
It’s the intangible sum of your hotel’s attributes – built on your vision, influenced by your culture and service delivery and ultimately, by your guests’ perception.
It’s unique and cannot be duplicated.
And it’s your number one sales tool – the tool that helps you get more direct bookings.
But how do you put into words the intangible?
How do you capture the ambience, mood and essence of a place? The philosophy behind your hospitality? The spirit of your team and the spirit in which they interact with your guests?
Try these 10 Tips to Grasp the Essence of YOUR
1. Start out at where it all began
Step outside your hotel for a moment (mentally that is, you won’t have to leave the building 🙂 ) and put yourself in a different frame of mind.
Think back to where it all began. What compelled you to get into the industry in the first place?
What thoughts and images come to mind? Probably something like a buzzing hotel lobby, smiling guests, a vibrant environment, possibility, innovation, fun and a passion for being a great host.
2. What do you want your hotel to be known for?
OK, now that you’re in hospitality mode let’s look at your vision.
What kind of a host did you want to be known as?
How did you envision your guests would feel staying at your hotel?
Come up with attributes that describe your approach to delivering hospitality.
The answers to these questions will help you develop your brand and connect with your guests, the pre-requisite for attracting direct bookings.
Language sets the tone. Too many websites sound stiff, distant and impersonal.
Slip into your day-to-day role as a charming host and let your personality shine through.
Be authentic. Let readers feel the fun, excitement and sincerity of your hospitality.
And then take the test: Visit and navigate around your website. How does it feel?
Is it your impression that the people behind the site are looking forward to welcoming and
Can they motivate you to make a direct booking right there and then?
4. Create a connection
Know your target audience!
Whether you have guests looking for a great place to relax, wanting to spent time with their family in a summer resort, looking for the perfect setting to live out their honeymoon romance, or needing quick professional support while they are organizing their next meeting – they all have very individual requirements and expectations.
Find out all you can about your target audience and build relationships. Make them feel they are the center of your attention and you can rest assured you’ll stand out in their minds.
5. Mine the web for insights of how people perceive your hotel
How do your guests truly feel about your hotel experience?
Few will tell you straight out and while we often think we know what our guests and customers think, more often than not, we really don’t.
Check the obvious sites of Trip Advisor & Co, but also dig deeper. Search Google for articles and mentions and check the social networks for comments about your place.
6. Have a walk into your hotel lobby
Try looking around as if you were arriving for the first time.
Pay attention to the atmosphere and energy you feel and let it inspire you.
7. Ask your team
Your team is indispensable in the creation of the overall guest experience.
Ask managers and staff members at all levels to spontaneously come up with three words that describe the essence of your hotel.
8. Make use of your stories
There’s hardly a day in the life of a hotel that goes by without a great story to be told.
So much is happening on all fronts, and how you approach and handle these issues says a lot about your qualities as a host.
Take a closer look at these incidents and the heart of your hospitality will surface.
Stories are also a great way to bond with your guests.
9. Check out your competitors
Go online and check out the good and the bad and then brainstorm ideas for your hotel.
Try looking at your competitors’ websites from the perspective of a guest interested in booking a room.
What is it about the design and content that stands out? What immediately pulls you in?
What turns you off or takes away from your desire to know more or search further?
Which hotel do you remember after you have seen about five or six? Make notes and let your creativity spark.
10. Look for humor
People love a good laugh. It immediately establishes a connection, gets you noticed and makes you memorable.
Find a story, an anecdote, an incident that makes you laugh or smile and make use of it in the presentation of your hotel experience.