Do you know who your real competitors are? You may think they are the hotels down the street, but are you really comparing apples to apples?
It is important to know exactly who your competitors are and to keep up with them at all turns. This will save time and effort later on during the sales process.
There are a couple different types of competitors you need to be aware of.
The first are Direct Competitors. These are the hotels your customers believe are interchangeable. Meaning, they believe you both have the same product and service to offer.
The second are Alternative Competitors. These hotels offer similar products on a different level or are more geographically remote. But your customers will still consider them.
Do you know your counter-parts at your competitor hotels? If not, get to know them!
Ask them to take you on a site inspection of their hotel, learn and be observant.
Take careful notes of the route they take you through the hotel, their presentation style and how they interact with the staff. This will show you exactly how they interact with customers and how you can leverage this to your advantage.
It is important to know your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. This is how you can positively sell against them. Highlight your strengths against their weaknesses, and downplay your weaknesses against their strengths.
For example, does the competing hotel have natural lighting in the meeting space and you do not? You will need to know this when selling against that hotel. Play up other strengths of your hotel, such as having all meeting spaces on one level versus the natural lighting issue.
Keep up with your competitors by knowing what they are charging, when they are planning renovations, who is staying with them, etc., and you will have the knowledge base needed to sell against them.