You could be running the best promotion in the world, but…
Last week I was approached by someone from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) who is leading a tactical workgroup on recovery for hotels. He had a pdf I had written over 10 years ago, on 100 promotion ideas for hotels, and wants to use it as a foundation for their brainstorming. My initial reaction was surely it will be out of date, but when I reviewed it I concluded that pretty much all the ideas were just as relevant today as they were 10 years ago.
Most centred around additional sales by adding value to give customers a reason to spend more.
But, here’s the thing…
None of those ideas are any good if your customers don’t get to hear about them!
Now, more than ever with reduced capacity you and your team will want to maximise sales from every customer, so your team need to be confident in upselling and cross selling.
Upselling and cross selling first principles
London’s taxi service is arguably the best in the world. If you get into a London cab and give the cabbie the address you’re heading for, you can be sure he or she will know exactly where you want to get to and the best way to get you there.
That’s because they must pass “The Knowledge” before they can drive a London Taxi, something that can take 3-4 years to master.
Although they wouldn’t necessarily expect such detail, every customer expects your team to have at least a basic knowledge of your products and services.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s for dinner, bed and breakfast, serving cake in a café or the latest treatment in your spa, customers want and expect your team to be able to give accurate information on your products and service so they can make an informed choice.
But this is even more important if you want your team to sell, upsell, or cross sell.
As a minimum they need to understand all the offers, products and services you provide. This goes beyond just a laundry list; it needs to include understanding of the features and of course the benefits from a customer’s perspective.
What’s included in a package, what are the different options, what are their recommendations or suggested combinations? A good understanding of your customers’ profile, needs and expectations will help this process.
I’m often shocked by the lack of exposure team members have to the products they are selling, let alone what’s available from other departments. Without this knowledge how on earth can they upsell or cross sell?
As examples: for accommodation – have any of your reservations team ever set foot in the spa, or seen first-hand the difference between a standard and an executive room? The same principles apply whether it’s glamping, shepherds huts or a hotel. In a restaurant – how many of the dishes have your team tasted? What side dishes, accompaniments or wines would they recommend?
Customers buying decisions are based just as much on emotions than on logic, so it’s not just all the features your team need to know, but how to convey the benefits and make it emotionally appealing to the customer. Describing something with enthusiasm and feeling can be hard when you’ve not had any first-hand experience.
Use your internal team to train others so they can cross sell. For example, your pastry chef will do a better job of describing your desserts or afternoon teas than a manager who isn’t involved in making the cakes or puddings. Involving others in the team who you know have an interest and passion for that service and/or products and who will be more than happy to share their knowledge, allows their enthusiasm rub off.
You can’t necessarily cover every conceivable angle. Such as, in a restaurant you might not expect every team member to have sampled every wine on the wine list! But they still need to understand the points of distinction and what complements which dishes.
It’s finding a way to describe your products and services so they sell themselves.
If you only do one thing as a result of reading this – test your team members on their product knowledge of the top 10 products or services each might sell, upsell or cross sell. Don’t assume they know; put it to the test!
Product knowledge is just one aspect of upselling and cross selling. And as it’s so important right now so you don’t leave money on the table, that’s why I’m re-running my Upselling Workshop on 20th & 21st October.
That means you won’t miss out on that potential extra half term business. Save £20 on the early bird if you book before Thursday 15th October.