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By Katie Scheer

For hotels, the competition for securing sales and catering business is at a high. This record-breaking level of competitive demand is not forecasted to stop any time soon, so what can hotels do to maximize the amount of business that they reel in?  Differentiation is key. 

Differentiation can take form in many different ways.  Here are the top ways to get noticed and to intrigue every prospect so much that they secure business with you:

  • Customer Service Practices - To set yourself apart, you must be the fastest and most helpful, genuine, and proactive prospective vendor.  You must exceed deadline expectations and deliver more than what is anticipated.  You have to set standards and stick to them.  With each interaction with the prospect, you should aim to please and provide an element of surprise.  The surprise could be as simple as you demonstrating your listening skills and true interest in them as a person.  For example, you can ask them how their son's birthday party was since you know it happened on the prior weekend.
     
  • Selling Style - How you sell has to be authentic and completely catered to the prospects' needs.  Unless you are an Oscar-worthy actor, your approach will be transparent, so believe in what you are saying and doing.  Otherwise, your efforts will be worthless since the prospects won't feel your passion nor believe what you are pitching.  Go the extra mile by coming up with ideas and solutions that will ensure that your customers' events will be unlike any other. 
     
  • Unique Offers & Details - The bread and butter is in the details of the event, and you want to ensure that what you offer up is unlike what anyone else is bringing to the table.  Learn their specific needs and get creative and think outside of the box.  Also, do some research- do keyword searches on Google and get inspired by posts on Pinterest. To get your wheels turning, here are some impressive event add-ons and ideas (these are inspired by the research that we have done at thousands of hotels during the last year):
    • Chair massages, lawn games, and/or putting green during meeting breaks
    • Unique social media hashtags and free web page for the event/meeting
    • Food trucks and/or microbrew dinner with a living room setting for comfortable eating
       

To support each of these ways to be differentiated, it is most important that your professionalism is enhanced by your authentic desire to help and best serve your customers.  Have purposeful conversations and make the customers feel like they are special.  Because…
 


 

Put differentiation in action now so you can feel the successful impact of snagging more (most!) business. You've got this!

About Katie Scheer

Since May, 2002, Katie Scheer, co-author of ProLearning Blog, has been with ProSolutions (hospitality consulting, training, and evaluation experts).  As the Vice President, she leads ProSolutions operations, sales and marketing, network and revenue management, new customer initiatives, and corporate strategy.  She takes the success of ProSolutions very seriously and is very passionate about helping other companies to also achieve optimal success.  ProSolutions has helped major hotel companies to uncover customer service opportunities and greatly increase their sales and revenue, and they have built customized training and certification programs that enable companies and hotels to take their teams to the next level in performance.  

Contact: Katie Scheer

katie@prosolutions.net / (407) 538-6619

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