It happens to everyone, the leads are few and far between and you are stuck on where to go next. Do not despair! If your job is heads in beds, this is where you start looking for who to sell to.
Make sure you always have an easy Lead Form at the Front Desk. Offer to buy dinner or give a gift card to the GSA with the most turned in leads. They have several minutes during check in to get a company name and ask “What brings you to the area?” It is amazing how many leads will come from this simple conversation.
Many companies now are using third party booking sites to get the best rates possible so make sure that “Priceline”, “Expedia”, “Hotwire”, etc. are never listed as the company name for an in-house guest. Always make sure that someone is getting an actual company name for the guest who booked through these sites.
Frequently check the on-line site for your city’s economic development for any new companies requesting permits or articles on corporations moving to your area. With any start-up or relocation, there multiple saturation points for booking more rooms. Also, as time permits, go to the economic development meetings for your area and make friends with the people on staff there. They love being able to refer a new company to “friend in the hotel industry.”
Google your competitors’ phone numbers. If any major corporations have listed that hotel on a public site as the preferred vendor, it will show and you can steal them away.
Tour your comp set often. Know your competition, keep your ears and eyes open for any business that you can steal away and make friends with the sales and front desk at each location. Let them know what your hotel has that they do not and vice versa so that referrals are easy and offer them a great walk rate. Walks from other hotels are easy targets.
June McCreight began her career in the hospitality industry as a housekeeper in 1996. In the years since, she has risen through the ranks, learning maintenance, front office, sales and revenue management, property management and district management, bench management and opening team management. She has trained hundreds of hoteliers and won many awards for her management successes. In 2011, June wrote and published, The Strangers in My Beds, a fictional novel based strictly on the strange events of her career in hotels. In 2014, June partnered with her father, a very accomplished software architect, and opened the business, Coba Enterprise Management, LLC with a very unique and specialized CMMS (Computer Maintenance Management System) software for hotels.