Looking for Love in all the Right Places

Finding business for your hotel is much like searching for Mr. Right.  Are you “Looking for Love in all the Right Places”? Is the perfect business for your hotel right in front of you and you just cannot see it?

Oftentimes, a sales person can get trapped in an endless circle of ‘wrong time, wrong place’.  I recently attended a roundtable presentation entitled “Prospecting – Where Can We Look For New Business?”  Here are some of the ideas presented:

  • Retail/Restaurant
    • New store builds and/or openings:  Check out local city/county government’s zoning department website for site and development plans that are approved or being reviewed.
    • Store closings:  Transition teams will need accommodations, especially for branded stores.
    • Store training sessions:  Transition teams will need accommodations, especially for branded stores.
    • Visit specialty stores during pre-holidays.  For example, Michael’s hires extra people to come into stores to “fluff trees” in July, prior to holiday set-ups.
  • Entertainment
    • Film crews:  Check out website and establish a relationship with local Film and Digital Media Commission (usually part of CVB or Chamber).
    • Traveling shows:  Visit venues and check to see if they refer hotels to traveling performances, roadies, etc.
    • Performing arts:  Visit theaters, opera houses, etc. and check to see if headliners, roadies, set up crews, etc. need accommodations
    • DIY and reality TV shows:  Check to see if there is a project/pilot coming to your area.
  • Hospitals
    • Visit all departments:  Administration Office, Director of Human Resources, Rehabilitation Centers, Plastic Surgery Centers, Physician Recruiting, Social Work, Education or Continuing Education Coordinator, Patient Liaison, Patient Relations, Marketing, Residency program or rotations, Specialty centers (these are departments that specialize in treatments or procedures and some doctors attend sessions to learn).
  • Natural Disasters
    • Insurance companies:  Home fires or floods, small home disasters (water heater leak), traveling corporate employees
    • Electric companies:  Crews that come in to help during emergency timeframes
    • Oil spills:  Crews that come in to help during emergency timeframes
    • Flooding:  Crews that come in to help during emergency timeframes
  • Government
    • Homeland Security:  Oftentimes these people travel and need accommodations, meeting rooms, and group rooms.
    • FEMA:  Oftentimes they relocate people due to disaster relief and displacement.  Crews that come in to help during emergency timeframes.
    • Red Cross:  Oftentimes they relocate people due to disaster relief and displacement.  Did you know that the Red Cross will pay for 3 nights accommodation due to home fires?
  • Military Bases
    • Billing, Housing and Lodging departments, Base Commander, Education, Family Life, Sports & Recreation, Entertainment, Family Day Visitations, Deployment, Base Hospital.  Contact Lodges or Base BOQs in case overflow is needed.
    • Many Air Force bases do pilot training and need accommodations for training.
  • Universities
    • Inbound athletics
    • Renovations/Building/Expansion offices
    • Fine Arts/Performing Arts/Theatre Department
    • International Students (incoming students, visiting families, accommodations for when dorms are closed and students can’t go home)
    • Dean of Students
    • Housing/Residence Director
    • Human Resources Director
    • Department Chairpersons
    • Director of Facilities Planning
    • Undergraduate Admissions
    • Centers or Institutes that might bring in special visitors or offer training
    • IT Department that might bring in special consultants to work on tech upgrades and projects
    • Office of Physical Plant/Maintenance
    • Branch Campus – visiting professors
  • Athletics
    • Golf Professional Tournaments – If there is a TPS course in your area that hosts a professional tournament there is potential for many night stays.  Media and roadies, caddies, crew, etc.
    • Celebrity or Charity Events
    • Minor League Baseball Teams
    • Amateur Athletics
    • Cheerleading Competitions
  • New Construction
    • Construction companies
    • Architectural firms
    • Engineering firms
  • Corporations
    • Human Resources for relocations
    • Relocation Departments
    • Training Departments
    • Accounting/Auditing Departments
    • IT Departments
    • Sales Departments
    • Interns
  • Adoption Agencies
    • Speak with social workers, community service managers, and administration (including office managers), executive directors, operations directors and admin assistants.
  • Assisted Living/Hospice
    • Speak with administration departments to make referrals to families.
  • Real Estate
    • Speak to person in charge of relocation
    • Agents:  When homes sell faster than anticipated oftentimes families will need transitional accommodations.

While there are many, many more “right places” to look for business, one of the above might open a door you have not yet knocked upon.  Think both inside and outside the box when it comes to prospecting for the right business for your hotel.

Happy Looking For Love,

Linda

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