Select Service and Boutique Hotels: Rebuild Your Sales Toolkit and Position for Growth

There is no question that our world has been turned upside down these past few months, but no segment is more resilient than smaller hotels. Although occupancies have declined and your staff has been reduced, you need to start gearing up. This is the time to prepare your organization to capture new business as it emerges. As you start to bring back staff – or even deploy current staff in a new way, it is time to review how you will rebuild your tools, your strategy, and your team to position your select service or boutique hotel for return profitability.

With occupancy slowly returning, it is important to use your resources as productively as possible. This is about running your sales office more efficiently. You may need to use your team, your tools, and your space in ways you have not in the past. Among other new best practices this means charging for meeting or gathering spaces instead of offering them as a complimentary amenity.

Today’s Meetings are Perfect for Your Small Hotel

The first meetings that are returning in the COVID-19 environment are small local events that meet the restrictions of local gathering guidelines. This business if perfect for select service and boutique hotels with the right-sized spaces located close to local companies and organizations that are not ready to travel outside their local markets yet. This is your new hunting ground.

Here is how to effectively prospect for small-sized group business:

  • Target local corporate headquarters and regional offices
  • Focus on meetings of 50 or less, based on your local market restrictions
  • Research larger events that are being broken up into smaller regional meetings where your hotel can be one of multiple destinations
  • Ensure you have the audio-visual contacts to deliver the right media support today’s meetings require, e.g. video streaming, high performance Wi-Fi, large monitors
  • Communicate your cleanliness protocols to meeting planners because your future clients want to know how you are working around the clock to keep guests safe and healthy

Bye-Bye Order Takers, Hello Hunters

In today’s small operation, each member of the team wears a sales hat. They are the most important resource in your toolkit. As a result, you need to carefully evaluate how you are ramping up your prospecting and selling. Part of that process is ranking your sales staff on their ability to hunt for business. This may not have been considered, or needed, in the past.

The days of the inbound RFP are gone. Anyone can be an order taker and respond to an RFP, not everyone can hunt and maintain account relationships. Ask these questions to make sure your sellers can do more.

  • Can a seller develop and maintain relationships with accounts that may not deliver business until late 2020 or 2021?
  • Do you have hunters who can identify new business and identify opportunity to increase market share from existing accounts?
  • Can your team maintain or even grow rate by selling on value and not competing on price?

Choose a Prospecting Tool to Drive Profit & Recovery: Introducing Knowland Prospector®

With the far-reaching effects of COVID-19 persisting across all markets, hoteliers must identify ways to improve efficiency and enhance prospecting efforts to capture as much available group demand as possible. The need for accurate, timely access to market data is more critical than ever.

Knowland has launched Knowland Prospector®, specifically designed to meet the needs of Select Service and Luxury Boutique hotels. With Prospector, a general manager or hotel sales team can target the segments and specific account profiles and behaviors most likely to book venues with limited meeting space.

We invite you to sign up for your free 90-day of Knowland Prospector® to access target accounts, account booking history and preferences from a database of over 16 million historical events covering your local market, target markets, competitors, and hotels you want to steal share from.