In the hospitality sector, we are all fighting for the same clients …. or are we?
One of my hotel clients’ asked if I would like to attend an appointment that a GM from a local hotel had requested.
It made me think about competitors…. made me wonder why the new Hotel Manager had requested a meeting with us, to see the facilities that our hotel had to offer, when the two hotels are not part (in our eyes) of the competitor set.
He brought along with him, his proactive and reactive sales teams, who like him were new to the area and their job roles.
It’s an interesting thought, we all do this when we start working in our new property, attraction, or hospitality organisation. Often completing a SWOT analysis so we can understand the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, not only self-analysing our own services but identifying flaws or successes of our competitors.
“Competition is always a good thing. It forces us to do our best. A monopoly renders people complacent and satisfied with mediocrity.” – Nancy Pearcy
When was the last time you visited your competitors, Checked their website? Had a nosey at their social media posts?
How can we be well informed and knowledgeable, understand our strengths and re-iterate the best solutions to our clients, if we, do not what our competitors are up too?
The meeting with the new Manager (hotel part of a well-known franchise chain) proved very insightful, we discovered that their transient business travellers B&B rates were significantly lower than what we charged.
This didn’t deter us or make us re- think our pricing strategy.
It gave us the confidence to stick to our rates, the offering from an independent resort property was far greater than the chained hotel. You can’t compare apples with pears!
We were able to have conversations with the business traveller’s confidently when it came to negotiating new agreements, explaining why our rates were higher, the local butchers’ sausages served at breakfast, on-site complimentary leisure facilities and ample parking, not to mention real milk in the fridges in all the bedrooms.
When did you ask your sales teams to go on a site visit to the local competitor?
They will experience customer service and may well come back with some great ideas that could be implemented in your property.
Along with the knowledge of their competitors, when it comes to negotiation and closing the sale, they will have that competitive edge.
Knowing your competitors will:
- Help you to make your product and services stand out
- Enable you to set your rates competitively (like for like product/ service)
- Identify your competitor weaknesses, home in on them when you are negotiating and closing the sale, elaborating the strengths of your product and service to your prospect client.