Sales Is Scary

Holidays are fast approaching and unless your hotel is located in a tropical, warm weather or snow-covered, mountain resort destination, you are probably looking at the onset of a lackluster sales season.  So what’s a hotel and sales team to do?  How do you make your hotel and your destination desirable?

How about stirring up a magical potion and “creating” a reason to visit your hotel?

The gateway to the holiday season is Halloween.  Typically it is a holiday for children who dress up as their favorite character and go door-to-door trick or treating.  Yes, there are some of us who still channel their inner child and don costumes and instead of trick or treating, have parties and dances (like me…. going as Mary Poppins this year). How should this typically “child-like” holiday be celebrated in corporate America?  How do we step out of the world of “sales is scary” and change our mind-set to “sales is fun”?  How do we create wonder and awe for our product?

Here are a few ways you can use upcoming holidays to your hotel’s benefit:

Halloween:

* Create “boo-quets” and deliver them with candy to your top clients.
* Send out e-blasts to local clients and offer a “spooktacular” special rate.
* Host a “fright night” movie marathon in your great room and serve a witches brew punch and themed snacks.
(Show a “kid friendly” movie first and save the really scary movies for later.)
* Have your employees dress in (tasteful) costumes.  Housekeepers can “reverse trick or treat” and leave a small treat in guest rooms when they service the rooms.

Thanksgiving:

* Create a “giving thanks” promotion and deliver a basket of goodies to top clients.
* Take a photo of your staff around your communal table simulating the pilgrim’s feast.  Create a “thank you from our family to your family” card or flyer and e-blast to your mailing lists.
* Distribute your holiday flyer to local businesses and organizations and encourage them to give to their associates for family members who might be coming to your town for the holidays.

Christmas:

* Do a holiday food drive.  Encourage guests in your CRM correspondence to bring a non-perishable food item to your hotel and donate to a local worthy organization’s food bank.
* Celebrate the season in a non-denominational fashion.  Use “season of giving” or “celebration of lights” type of imagery.  Create a flyer and e-blast with the message “Our gift to you” premise.
* Distribute your holiday flyer to local businesses and organizations and encourage them to give to their associates for family members who might be coming to your town for the holidays.

Some other ideas might include relaxing your “no pet” policy during the holidays;  Offering themed punch and sweet treat at check-in;  Use a themed item as your rewards recognition gift at check-in;  Create themed social media posts;  Use national and local media as your sources and keep a up-to-date holiday happenings list at the front desk; Customize your check-in experience to make reference to happenings and/or events.  For example, if there is a parade going on, the GSR could inform the guest of the times, routes.  Or, if there are specials at restaurants or entertainment venues locally, make note to the guests at arrival; Change the color of your typeface for emails and correspondence to reflect the season.  Use clip art to make the message more festive.

The most important thing I want to stress is for you and your sales staffs to step out of the ordinary.  Look at your monthly comment cards and service scores.  If you act just average you will be perceived as just average.  Come up with ways to kick it up a notch.  Stop being boring or typical and be extraordinary and memorable!

Happy preparing for the holidays!

Linda

 

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