Would your hotel like to sell more suites? If so, I have a simple suggestion: Offer them to your guests!
I own and manage Profitable to Train, LLC and a large part of my business is traveling to various hotels, working with them on operational points of sale (O.P.O.S.). By O.P.O.S, I mean anywhere a guest could potentially spend money. I check to see if the property is making the most of their opportunities. Spa, Reservations, Restaurants, Room Service, and Front Desk are all areas where hotel have opportunities to increase their profitability. In the areas of Reservations and Front Desk, I have found that most hotels do not mention their suites nearly as often as they could.
Having the courage to offer a higher priced item to a buyer is often the most direct way for a company to be more successful – no matter what the product is. Every location, whether in a market with a strong economy or a weak economy has an excellent opportunity to offer a suite to a prospective guest. In the industry where profit margins are razor-thin, having that courage might just be the difference between staying open or not.
In Reservations, I teach that it is not about the price of a product but about the experience of the sale that will guide buyers. Example: Most competitors start with their lowest priced room first. If they do not hear price resistance, they try to sell one or two categories better. By then, the guest has already heard what they think is the most important selling point to them-the best (lowest) price available.
I work with Reservations Sales teams to think differently. They ask the caller appropriate questions and then sell the features and benefits that would appeal to that caller’s specific needs. A guest who is told about a beautiful suite will often buy the suite. Knowing how to target a guest based on their desires and having knowledge about the competitive product available enables agents to sell their suites with confidence. If a guest mentions that price is an issue, they immediately can offer a range of rooms available-often the guest purchases the suite anyway.
If you have a large inventory of suites to sell, you may want to consider using them as your lead room type, or at least as your Upsell category. That way, you are able to differentiate yourselves from the comp set, and offer guests the type of customized service I have come to expect from the best in the industry. It is also an excellent way to show value when Upselling a guest from a room into the next category. The RevPar is higher, cost of maintenance is about the same as a room, and the guest has more comfort, space, and a better experience over all.
Do you have the courage to be successful? Offering your best product and getting off the price treadmill will get you there.