Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 34

Time for a group sales tune up

What repeat customers can you secure? Customers who
work with you annually or on a regular basis should be
included from the onset. Don't take them for granted,
though, but ensure that they can be well-accommodated.
What is your pricing program? To give you a reality check,
pricing is governed by many factors outside of your control. Remember that you may want to increase your rates,
but if the market is going the other way you rarely have
a choice and must follow suit.
What concessions are available? Here, experience and
product availability will be an important guide. I'm a
fan of value-adds that reflects the strengths and unique
qualities of the product offering.
What has worked in the past and what were the specific
circumstances? Sometimes an old promotion that failed
may be worth reconsidering with the new understandings
that you've gleaned over the years. Similarly, if you've run
an annual offer that has worked for the past few business
cycles, don't be so quick to abandon it simply because you
want to stir things up.
What are your annual room night goals and are they
realistic? These are typically based upon a combination
of history, spending and marketplace conditions, and
any single elements can alter the outcome. Make sure
that your goals are pragmatic so that you can sell them
to ownership.
What's in the pipeline? Don't forget to factor in the goingin data that reflects tentative and definite room blocks
that are already been established.

CREATING YOUR UNIQUE
SELLING PROPOSITION
The purpose of a unique selling proposition (USP) is to position
and differentiate your property in the minds of your target
customers. It should answer the question, "Why should I book
my group with you and not someone else?" In response to this
question, the USP should reflect the irrefutable advantages
of your property as comprised by both product features and
consumer benefits. Great USPs are highly memorable and
emotionally charged.
In a simplistic manner, think of USPs as selling lines for
your hotel. In the world of big brand advertising, there are

3 4  | NOVEMBER 2017 | TODAYSHOTELIER.COM

numerous examples that you can draw upon - think CocaCola, FedEx, McDonald's or a car manufacturer. However, in
this case, your USP is targeted at the purchasers of group
room blocks, so USPs like "The biggest meeting room west of
the Mississippi" or "Meeting rooms with giant bay windows
so you can see the lake" would make a whole lot more sense.

10-STEP SALES PLANNING PROCESS
Simplifying the sales planning process into 10 steps is always
a beneficial exercise for retraining your team to think about
sales properly. With the previous background work complete, your associates should be able to assemble a killer
sales program.
Basics checklist. Is there anything critical? What are the
specific priorities and how is the timeframe looking?
Build an annual sales calendar. Examine booking dates in
comparison to the actual utilization timeframe. Maintain
12 months of activity and don't forget to incorporate
seasonality into your schedule.
Define objectives. Use both seasonal and experience logic,
and then assign individual team goals accordingly. Think
in terms of SMAC - specific, measurable, achievable and
compatible.
Develop your initial offers. Brainstorm ideas with your
team and encourage participation. At this stage, no idea
is a bad idea.
Offer refinement. Apply parameters to fine tune your ideas
and make them stand apart from others that are being
touted by your comp set. Think about offer uniqueness
and building a competitive edge while never forgetting
customer benefits. And of course, be open to bottom-up
initiatives.
Get creative. Start by theming each offer. Create in-house
involvement and be sure to check operational sensitivities. Always relate the chosen theme back to your USP.
Tactical elements and budget development. Here you want
to look at all the ways you can communicate your offer to
potential customers. This list includes traditional advertising, direct marketing, website, telemarketing, social
media, e-newsletters, search engine marketing, in-house
collateral materials, past customer mailers, tradeshows
and public relations. Remember, though, that you can't
have it all. You need to budget which tactics you believe
will work best.
Build the creative elements. Now take your creative and
apply it to the selected tactics. Ensure consistency with
your USP and themed offers. Be eye-catching and provocative while also thinking positively.
Execute the campaign. Follow-up on leads generated by
your sales plan. Bend the rules a bit and have fun selling,
but above all don't forget to close the sale.
Measure results. Listen to your team and record customer
comments. Be prepared to adapt to necessary changes
and don't ever give up.


http://www.TODAYSHOTELIER.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Today's Hotelier - November 2017

Letter From the Chairman
Letter From the President & CEO
The Perfect Storm for Hotel Owners
Design That Brings People Together
New Brands Design for a New Kind of Hotel Experience
Time for a Group Sales Tune Up
AAHOA Interview
Marketing
Technology
Small Business
Finances
HR
AAHOA @ Industry Events
AAHOA Founding Members
AAHOA Vendor Partners
Classifieds
Advertiser Index
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - intro
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - cover1
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - cover2
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 3
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 4
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 5
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 6
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 7
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 8
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 9
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - Letter From the Chairman
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 11
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - Letter From the President & CEO
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 13
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 14
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 15
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 16
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 17
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 18
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 19
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - The Perfect Storm for Hotel Owners
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 21
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 22
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 23
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - Design That Brings People Together
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 25
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 26
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 27
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - New Brands Design for a New Kind of Hotel Experience
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 29
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 30
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 31
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - Time for a Group Sales Tune Up
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 33
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 34
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 35
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 36
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 37
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - AAHOA Interview
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 39
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - Marketing
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 41
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 42
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 43
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - Technology
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 45
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - Small Business
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 47
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 48
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 49
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 50
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 51
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - Finances
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 53
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 54
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 55
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - HR
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 57
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - AAHOA @ Industry Events
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 59
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - AAHOA Founding Members
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 61
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - AAHOA Vendor Partners
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 63
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 64
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 65
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 66
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 67
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 68
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 69
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 70
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - Classifieds
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 72
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 73
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 74
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 75
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 76
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 77
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 78
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 79
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 80
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - Advertiser Index
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 82
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - cover3
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - cover4
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