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hotel upselling

Maximize your profit with hotel up-selling strategies

Egle Silenaite-Enyed
Oct 8, 2019 2:00:00 PM

Doesn't matter, how small or big property is, there is always a chance to increase the guest satisfaction by offering extra services. Some of our small customers can be named as great examples, because they partner up with other local businesses in order to increase not only own sales, but also helps to earn for the community.

However, the primary goal of up-selling or cross-selling should NOT be to increase the revenue. Focusing on money is a wrong approach and will not work well in long run. People can sense when you are not genuine and offering certain services just for the sake of an extra earning. First of all, any additional offerings should be beneficial for guests and happy guests will guarantee you higher income by default.

Up-selling Cross-selling
The practice of encouraging customers to purchase a comparable higher-end product than the one in question.
Showing a clearly added value to the service or product that customer is purchasing.
Invites customers to buy related or complementary items.
Appealing to the impulse of buying something on the spot.

Table prepared with the help of BigCommerce Essentials

How to do the hotel up-selling / cross-selling in a right way?

Oh yes, there is a right and wrong way. As mentioned before, do not try to be obvious that all what you want is just an extra income. Find the right time and way to offer additional services. Never push people to buy something what they are not interested or they don't need it... yet. This point is very important, because if you will approach your guest at a wrong time, they might not even know that they need one or another service. It might turn out only later on and that's why timing is very important. 

Besides catching a right time, you also need to know to whom to offer the service and what service. So another golden rule - know your guest! Don't bother to offer a luxury package for a 1-night business traveller or Night-life package for a family with kids. If you know your guests, it means you know their expectations. This should help you to come up with the up-sell plan what you can offer for each targeted guest type. 

Best practices of hotel up-selling / cross-selling based on the guest type

👨‍👩‍👦 If you have a family with children coming to your hotel, you can offer them an upgrade to a bigger room or to a room which has a bathtub. Parents usually prefer their kids to take a bath rather a shower so this suggestion can seem very tempting. Another possibility for families - offer a room without a balcony. Parents might be feeling safer, if kids don't have access to the balcony or terrace. You can offer a "Toy Box" so little ones can find some things to occupy themselves: small toys, colouring books, pencils. Parents might see the value to pay a little extra but then they will know that their kids are happy and also enjoying the stay.

💼 If you have a business guests staying at your hotel, first of all offer them to upgrade to a more "technically advanced" room which has more electric plugs or even additional gadgets. If you have different rooms that has a working desk or stronger wi-fi, use it as an up-sell offer for such guests. You can offer them more flexible meal times as these guests might have more strict schedules that mismatch with your breakfast or dinner times. Transfer and parking services can also be useful for such travellers so make sure they are aware that they can get it at your property.

👫 For couples that are looking for a romantic getaway, you can always offer a room with bigger bed or better view. They might be interested in the "breakfast in bed" service or romantic city tours that can be organised either by your hotel or sold by a local agency. SPA services are definitely something, that couples are usually interested so you shouldn't miss the opportunity and offer them a relaxing day at your own or a any nearby SPA.

Of course, there might be other guest segments that you are focusing on or would like to focus. Doesn't matter what is your main crowd, but you can always find a way how to improve the stay of your guests. People most of the times wouldn't even mind to pay a bit more if they see the actual value of the service. That's why it is important to approach them on the right time and with the right offer.

Timing is important!

When you want to offer your guests some extras, you should know when is the best time to approach them. You shouldn't think that up-sell is a one time thing and if guest said "NO", then there is no other service that you can offer.

Engage with your proposition once the reservation is made. For this purpose you can use scheduled e-mail or mobile applications for hotels. Let your guests to have a possibility to upgrade to a bigger room even before they arrive to your place. Just list them all possible choices and let them choose. Don't be too pushy, don't over advertise your extra services. Express a clear value what guest will get and focus on the benefit rather than a price. Sometimes guests don't want to buy anything in addition before they saw the actual hotel and their room. Once they check-in and get comfy with the surrounding, then you can approach them with a special offer. This is the time when guests' inner shopper turns on and they become more open for extra products or services.

However, you should avoid cross-selling during the reservation process. If you will "bomb" the reservation page with too many extra products or services, it can get too overwhelming and guest will end up not even going through the possibilities. Be smart and rather send a personalised offer 3-4 days before the arrival.

What else works well for the up-selling / cross-selling tactics is the urgency. Create the special offers that your guests couldn't resist. And present them in a way that there is not much time to think about them. Various "Last minute offer", "Only today", "Last call", "Limited offer" works very well, because people don't want to miss a good deal and they might pay more attention to what you have to offer. 

***

There is an old business saying "Always be selling". Hotelier should be always selling, but not with the direct intention to earn, but with the intention to make guests happy. Happy guest = more happy guests = more income at the end of the day 😊 In order to come up with the right strategy, you will need to sit down, make some research about your own business, analyse your guests and their needs. Once you have plan in action, make sure that all your staff is on the same page. Educate them and introduce the best up-selling / cross-selling techniques. Once your whole team is on board, you can expect to see many smiling and satisfied guests!

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