· Misc

Creating value

Last week in Toronto was the must-attend conference for Canadian hoteliers, the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC). A very popular once a year event to exchange with colleagues and discover what will influence the hospitality market. Big banners and small independent hoteliers had made an appointment to attend this event. A total of more than 400 participants of which I was part of for a second consecutive year.

Under the theme, "The future is now," innovative speakers working in hospitality and others, from different fields related to hospitality, shared with us their visions about social media, mobile technology, virtual reality and advanced data analysis. These tools allow consumers to be more and more demanding and savvy. So what can the Canadian hotel industry learn from our trend-setters and their future outlook on consumer activity?

Hotels have never operated in a more fragmented or competitive booking environment than they have today. Not only are hoteliers challenged to attract the right guest, at the right price, in markets that have seen large-scale hotel development over recent years, but they are also facing stiff competition from new players in the sharing economy.

The common thread that emerged from each of the conferences I attended was value creation. Yes, yes, value creation! The art of distinguishing your property from the competition by articulating value in the eyes of your guests so well that the price becomes secondary. Isn’t that difficult to believe when all you seem to hear are questions like: what is your price for a room? How much does it cost? I saw a $ x rate on Booking.com, Hotels.ca ...

Yet 81% of people are willing to pay more for a better experience. So, my question for you is: why do you continue to sell a rate when you would benefit from putting forward the value of the experience offered at your property? That's like leaving money on the table!

For the "new generation" consumer, nothing matters until it matters to him. That is why it is so important to explain what is in it for him in regards to the characteristics of your hotel. As a solutions and training provider in the hospitality industry for customer service and sales, Signature Canada has developed a program to help salespeople sell more efficiently. The focus is on the importance of turning features into benefits, leading to more personalized experiences, stronger customer relationships and increased sales.

What is the difference between a feature and a benefit, and why is it important to the success of the sale? The feature tells you about the hotel and the benefit tells you what you will personally get from this feature. This is the old adage of ... what’s in it for me? We all live on our own little private island, don’t we? Once you have this knowledge and connect with people on their own island, you are one step closer to closing the sale. So, how can we meet the needs and close the sale? Make it a personal experience!

Julie Charbonneau

Signature Canada is a leader in training employees to deliver legendary customer service while increasing sales. Since 1986, Signature’s unique training methodology has provided a measurable ROI for our customers, compelling them to return year after year.