With limited time and floods on inbound RFPs to respond to, proactive group prospecting can be hard. However, it’s critical that hotels sell proactively to keep up with increased competition resulting from new inventory coming into nearly every US market. Independent hotels often have to work harder to sell their property without the backing of a brand affiliation, but big data can make proactive selling easier, more efficient, and more effective. Kerry Kuhl, the National Sales Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, demonstrates how she successfully generates new group business using group data and booking patterns to develop time-saving tactics and do a lot of the heavy lifting for her.
“Thank you for letting us dive deeper into other hotel comp sets. It has helped us see more of our competition’s business to find new opportunities.”
– Kerry Kuhl, National Sales Manager
The critically acclaimed, star-studded Kahala Hotel & Resort is a strong leisure hotel, but groups and meetings are key to the team’s revenue too. With an influx of new luxury inventory on the islands, the 300-room Oahu resort is facing increased competition for groups. “I’ve had to get back into active mining,” says Kerry Kuhl, National Sales Manager. “We’re feeling the new inventory. They’re going after our meetings business aggressively.” The small sales team at Kahala needed smart, efficient ways to maximize business opportunities and stay competitive.
“I use Knowland’s Insight to do my homework on planners before reaching out,” says Kerry. “It opens up the conversation with a planner to be able to say you know what they do. Knowland is a great tool to convince them you know what you’re doing.” Kerry focuses a lot of her energy on the west coast to look for new group opportunities. “With Knowland, I can look into what groups meet at luxury west coast properties. If they’ve been moving around, we can pretty much guarantee they’ll meet in Hawaii eventually.”
Timesaving tactics are crucial to Kerry as well. “Seeing patterns in Insight is valuable,” she says. “It presents a really good picture of who’s coming to our area or would come to our area. I can get a lot of history and data to decide where my time’s going to go.”
“With Insight, I’ve realized there were many old groups I hadn’t reached out to in a long time in addition to new opportunities in other markets,” reports Kerry. “I can decide what’s worth my time and go from there. We track leads sourced from Knowland in Delphi and Knowland has been invaluable at helping us find those opportunities.”
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