In the hospitality industry, opening your hotel up to corporate clients can be a game-changing sales strategy. Corporates are always traveling on business and securing corporate partnerships can help your business with making consistent bookings, increasing revenue, and growing a strong brand reputation. In this guide, we’ll explore the strategies you can implement to help your hotel property sell rooms more effectively to corporate clients.
The Importance of Targeting Corporate Travelers
If we look at the big picture, corporate travelers tend to represent a significant segment of the hotel industry’s clientele. These people are always on the move whether for business purposes, attending meetings and conferences, or holding training sessions. Corporate travelers are also known to frequent specific hotels if they meet their requirements. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that many hoteliers target business corporates to improve hotel sales.
- Consistency – Businesses often require accommodations for their employees multiple times a year, ensuring a consistent stream of bookings from one source.
- Higher Revenue – Corporate booking rates tend to be higher than leisure rates, which will mean increased profitability.
- Brand Reputation – Hosting business clients can improve a hotel’s reputation, especially amongst the business crowd who may provide more referrals.
Strategies for a Hotel Business Targeting Corporates
1. Packages Tailored for Business
Hotels designed to accommodate business travelers are going to need specific amenities and features that are different from leisure-focused hotels. As such, if you want to sell hotel rooms to corporates, you’re going to first need to accommodate these changes. You don’t need to change your entire hotel to match business travelers (if you still want to target leisure travelers). Instead, you can create specialized corporate packages that include amenities like free Wi-Fi, early check-in/late check-out options, complimentary breakfast, and meeting room access.
2. Offering Value in Pricing
Pricing for corporate packages can be relatively higher than leisure rates. This is mostly due to the various additional facilities and amenities provided to corporates. However, you should focus on dynamic pricing that provides value for money. This is not to say that you should consider reducing your prices to bring in more corporations. Instead, you should focus on offering discounts for extended stays or repeat bookings, as well as rewards such as a loyalty program enticing corporate clients to choose your hotel over competitors for the long term.
3. Making Use of Booking Platforms
In order for your hotel to be found by business travelers, you will need to list your hotel on online booking platforms. Room sales can be made to people from anywhere in the world, so it’s best to opt for international booking platforms such as Booking.com which have a large audience. You can even specify that your hotel has rooms catered to business travelers so that direct bookings can be made. Aside from these large platforms, there are also smaller websites that specialize in corporate travel management like Concur where you can list.
4. Building a Direct Sales Team
Customer service is a crucial aspect of the hospitality industry. If a hotel is seen as inviting, professional, and offering a good overall experience, it is more likely to be chosen by corporations. Therefore, it would be ideal for you to hire a dedicated sales team to foster relationships with corporate clients. You can use this team to proactively reach out to businesses and present your hotel’s packages for their accommodation needs. Additionally, you can also use them for after-sales in order to maintain relationships with your best clients and entice them to return for future bookings.
5. Promoting Corporate Facilities
As we mentioned earlier, having the right amenities for business travelers is a major plus point. If your hotel offers meeting rooms or conference facilities, you need to highlight these amenities when presenting your hotel to these travelers. Whether you do this through online means or through direct communication, make sure to showcase these facilities to your potential clients. Get some professional photos taken of all your facilities so they can be uploaded to your listings. Additionally, it would be a good idea to create a well-equipped business center with Wi-Fi, printers, and office supplies. This offers corporate clients a convenient workspace at the hotel while giving you a chance to promote your hotel more attractively.
6. Be Flexible With Policies
The biggest difference between leisure and corporate travelers is that plans are made and changed very quickly in the business world. These individuals may need to book a hotel room on the same night or cut their trip short by a few days on short notice. Therefore, having inflexible policies will only result in those individuals choosing other hotels for their next stay. It would be best to introduce corporate-focused policies that are flexible enough to accommodate these requests.
7. Offer Personalized Service
With corporate clients, you want to build a long and successful relationship. This means treating them with care whenever they visit. By training your staff to provide personalized service such as by remembering their preferences and needs, you can create a positive and lasting impression that will keep them coming back for more.
8. Managing Your Online Reputation
What people see online about your business will be their first impression of what to expect. Therefore, you need to keep up a positive image through all online channels. Your social media profiles should showcase your hotel and amenities well, and your online reviews should ideally be consistently highly rated. Consider hiring someone to manage your online reputation.
Selling to business travelers requires a different strategy than selling to leisure travelers, but it can be more lucrative in the long run. Consider all the points mentioned in this blog and identify what changes you will need to make to your hotel before you open yourself up to corporations.