27 Sep 2017
Don’t Just Sell Rooms, Build A Hotel Value Pyramid
When I was designing our KTN Reservations Sales QUEST program, it occurred to me that a pyramid was the perfect sales model for establishing value during reservations conversations. Many of us think of a pyramid simply as a smooth geometric shape. However, the ancient pyramids had steps and were built to be climbed.
Last summer I had a chance to visit the Great Pyramids of Giza, outside of Cairo in Egypt, and actually did attempt to climb up the steep steps of the Pyramid (although with 120 degree heat I didn’t make it up that far!)
Similarly, helping callers walk up the steps of the Hotel Value Pyramid will assist them in their quest for a place to stay, and will assist us as properties in our quest to grab more bookings right now versus letting them go back online, possibly to someone else’s website.
There are three levels on the Hotel Value Pyramid:
- The Foundation – the destination and location
- The Middle – the amenities, services, and outlets in or nearby the hotel
- The Top of the Pyramid – the accommodation itself
To get the most calls converted into confirmed bookings, be sure to establish value at all levels before topping off the pyramid with a price tag.
Unfortunately, too many reservations agents these days build upside down value pyramids. These are the agents who start off by checking dates and quoting rates. When and only when callers ask about the location, amenities, and services do they offer other such details. Their value pyramids easily topple over with the slightest objection.
Instead, if the value of each level is established before rates are quoted, the chances that an objection will occur decrease and if so, the odds are higher that it can be overcome.
The amount of information you potentially need to provide about each level will vary not only according to the “call story” you are fielding, but also to the type of accommodations and experiences you are selling.
For example, vacation rental homes and most condos do not have restaurants, bars, nor recreational activities right there onsite to talk about. Instead, such services are located nearby in the area. Alternatively, full service hotels and luxury resorts have a multitude of services that could be of interest. Similarly, some hotels have only a few room categories, while resorts and vacation home rental companies have a multitude of options. Therefore the amount of information you provide at each level of the Hotel Value Pyramid will vary according to what you are selling, and according to who you are selling it to.
As we have explored in previous blogs and webinars, if you use an Investigative Questioning process to un-mask “the story” behind the caller’s plans before quoting rates, most will indicate what components of the value pyramid you need to fill in before you mention a price.
Some call stories are no doubt easier to sell to than others. For example, most regular, repeat guests just want to talk about the rooms and rates. They have stayed before and know about the amenities and services; that’s why they are coming back. They already know about the location and area too. For these callers you need only focus on the top level.
Other callers might be familiar with your location, but they have questions about the hotel, resort or community amenities, services, dining options, as well as the room or suite. For these callers you can start from the mid-level and build up from there.
Still other callers have never been to the area before, and in these cases you have to build the Hotel Value Pyramid from the ground-up.
By asking the right questions, you will know how to determine what guests want and need to hear.
So when responding to caller’s questions, remember to use the Hotel Value Pyramid concept to go beyond just quoting rates. Instead you will be successfully conveying the overall value of the experience of being a guest at your hotel, resort or vacation rental company.