Being in sales all my life and in hotels for most of it, the old rebuff from my dear revenue colleagues was ‘if the hotel is full, it is down to the market, and if it is not it is down to the sales team!’ Of course, we argued about that a lot and the truth is always somewhere in the middle.
However, now, for sure things have changed; the market will not be booming and the hotels will not fill themselves by default. Therefore, we have to generate the demand to try to increase occupancy. Clearly, that is very hard and will involve many different factors, not least of which is the government and their stance on quarantine, social distancing and other measures.
But, as sales people we must still try to do our best and not wholly rely on factors we can’t control. So, what can we realistically do:
- Now, more than ever, there must be a joined up approach. In whatever location you are in, you must get together with other hotels/venues and agencies to market the destination in the best possible way. Ideally, the tourist board or convention bureau would champion this but don’t rely on it! Clients will now presume the worst so you must inform everyone on what you CAN do and not what you can’t.
- Focus on the local domestic market. This will probably be quite new to many but must be sold and marketed in a different way to before. More people will stay in their home countries for now.
- Prepare new experiences. There may be activities that are no longer possible at the moment but there must be new ones that can be experienced. Don’t presume being safe, hygienic and COVID19 compliant will be enough. There is no way this will build enough demand.
- Be creative. Perhaps you can use your space in different ways to before? A ballroom could be a socially distant shared office or bedrooms could be used for pop up restaurants or exhibitions.
- Get back to old fashioned sales. Old contacts may not be valid and the old ways of reaching out to clients may not be applicable for some time. As such, we need to be determined, passionate and happy to have many proactive phone conversations to succeed.
A lot will change, that is for sure. Are you ready for it, will you be proactive and how will you cope?
Please let me know your thoughts below and reshare.