Do you know that one of the best ways to grow your business is from the inside out? One of the many mistakes that a Director of Sales can make is to focus on growing the new business without first understanding where their current business is coming from.
By understanding the streams in which your revenue is currently coming from, your team will know exactly where to fish! As I always say “fish where the fish are!” If you have been in the hospitality industry for years, then you have often been told to review your arrivals list. While this is important, reviewing your past reservations and future reservations in lump sums will provide you with a larger amount of data in which you will be able to uncover guest stay patterns.
Whenever possible, export your hotel’s data into excel. This will allow you to manipulate the data easily. Quickly search for patterns either by last name, date of arrival, length of stay etc. By sorting your reservations by last name for example, you can quickly see if a guest has utilized your hotel more than once in the past. How often have they been coming to your hotel?
Do you know what brings them into town? Is there an email address on file in which you can determine what company they are working for? I will also sort my reservations by length of stay and review each reservation that has a length of stay pattern of four or more nights. Typically, these guests are in for business travel which is exactly the type of clientele I want to fill my hotel with.
Now that you have identified your target guest, pick up the phone or send them over an email. If the target guest is a past guest, I will contact them and thank them for their business and ask if I can assist with future reservation. Offering additional reward points for booking with you directly is a great incentive for the guest to call you back.
Once you have them on the phone, don’t forget to ask them what brought them to your city. If the guest has a future reservation with the hotel, I will call and inform the guest of my role and inquire about any additional needs they may have (feather pillows, high floor etc.) and then proceed to inquire about their needs for our area.
My goal is to always uncover why a guest is coming to the area and then determine if their company has additional needs in my area or what other companies (possibly their competitors) may have additional needs in the area as well. By paying attention to the guests that are already booking your hotel, you can grow your current business while strategically prospecting from within your own system.
So before you start looking outside of the box, start from within! Good Luck and remember… “fish where the fish are!”