Last week we covered the first three (of six) psychological triggers that hotel sales executives can use to influence prospect decision-making.
We didn’t invent these six tools… they are based on the Six Weapons of Influence, created by Robert Cialdini, a renowned Professor of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University.
Here is part two of this important article, with the final three techniques to empower your hotel sales and marketing efforts:
4. Likability – build rapport
Clients buy from people they like. That’s Sales 101.
Likability comes when you genuinely care about your client and help them achieve their goals. So, even as you’re selling your hotel space, make it less about your hotel and more about the planner. Find ways to relate to them on a personal and emotional level, such as sharing stories of your family after they shared one about theirs. Build relationships with your prospects over time and send them relevant articles or tips whenever you find something that would interest them.
5. Commitment and consistency – go after small acts of commitment
According to Cialdini, people have an innate desire to be consistent and true to their word. Because of this, once they commit to something, they are more likely to go through with it.
The secret to using this principle of commitment and consistency to book corporate business is to require planners to take some small action that commit them to saying yes. For instance, when a planner accepts your offer for a site visit, a complimentary overnight stay or a private meeting with your GM and convention services representative, then you have successfully convinced them to make an early commitment.
Even if they still can award the business to another property, you’ve moved them closer to signing with you. Another way to get clients to commit, is to ask them what would have to happen in order to win their business. Then, actually deliver on that and remind them that is what they asked for.
6. Scarcity – place limitations
We’ve all experienced the excitement of narrowly grabbing a seat at a quickly sold-out event or finding a rare antique. Smart hotel marketers and sales people know this as using the scarcity principle, which motivates customers to make a purchase by letting them know there is a looming deadline or a limited supply.
The premise is to make planners act fast by creating a sense of urgency and inciting a “fear of missing out” (FOMO in millennial speak). An example of this is to embed urgency reminders (ie: “limited space remains”) on the venue availability calendar on your hotel website. Or, offer an irresistible incentive to any planner that books their meeting within a specific period of time, capped by a stringent deadline.