The hospitality industry is a lucrative one for many B2B salespeople. The demand for travel is uncontrollable even in these times of lockdowns and quarantines. The industry keeps growing to keep up, opening up new opportunities for newer entrepreneurs to take the stage.
Though difficult at first, mastering the nuances of selling to hospitality clients can be extremely rewarding. Below are some steps to take in ensuring your messaging resonates well with industry buyers.
Understand Industry Challenges
A major component of the success that comes with success in B2B sales is the intimate knowledge of their target demographics. The hospitality sector is no different and can be even more dense with tiny nuances not found in most modern industries which can include:
- Hotel chains operate on a 24 hour day to day basis with global locations meaning busy hours are never ending.
- Scheduling and timing sales calls is important depending on the function and purpose of the organization you’re selling to as such, special attention needs to be paid. Usually a manager is present on site at all themes although regional directors for bigger chains are subject to changing schedules
- The type of hotel you sell to also makes a difference, some hotels are union properties which may require special agreements to take into consideration when purchasing and implementing new equipment or procedures.
- The rise of newer ways to find accommodations such as Airbnb has pushed hotels to look for ways to offer more authentic and luxurious travel experiences.
- The seasonal nature of travelling and vacations can have an impact on the overbooked or empty periods and months. Take advantage of this and find ways to pitch in and fill vacant rooms or other ways to aid in the off or busy seasons
Understand Why Size Matters
All hotels provide the same type of service for their guests. Beyond that, there are vast differences that exist among the different types of companies that operate in the sector. A corporate city hotel and a 3 bedroom hotel with breakfast are vastly different in terms of costs, operations and needs. All of which are factors that are important to consider carefully.
A careful balance between selling to small organizations or investing in bigger partnerships with larger hotel chains that will help place your products in front of thousands of people instantly. It is important to build opportunities by going outside the box, it may be a big risk but it’ll be beneficial if it was a calculated one.
The final factor that remains a big influence in buying decisions of larger hotel chains is brand standards. Many properties and hotels are used to being provided by a pre-selected vendor for certain products and services due to corporate mandates. In such cases, it may be better to appeal and sells directly to the corporate office or turn your sights to smaller and more independent properties with the right freedoms and flexibilities.
Understand Who To Sell To
Many properties are composed of many distinct departments that function and work like separate nations. This means that the general manager or hotel manager isn’t always in control of the final say when it comes to purchasing decisions.
Different roles like housekeeping, the front office or IT departments can collaborate when it comes to implementing new guest software. This is just one example of why it is important to consider who would best be served by your sales pitch, tailoring your approach and messaging to fit.
Develop a Strategy
Most of the leading hospitality suppliers have discovered how powerful social media can be in this rapidly changing and competitive sector. Many of them have harnessed the powers of platforms such as LinkedIn, constantly consuming industry publications and taking part in public forums to keep up with trends.
Finding ways to engage with other businesses in the social sites they thrive in as well as utilizing effective content strategies that provide insight to your business are the main ingredients for success.
Network and Refer
The hospitality industry may seem like a small world. Employees constantly transfer to new hotels and make new connections. Having a healthy and strong relationship and good network can take you to many places that you may have not known.
Cultivate and facilitate a successful relationship even after the sale is over. This helps form a key that can unlock even more opportunities and an even wider network which can expand sales and growth exponentially