You are now officially accepted with the account you have been trying to capture all year! NOW WHAT? Getting approved is the just the first step, it means nothing if the revenue does not come in!
$$ Step One: CAN YOUR CLIENT SEE YOU? It is imperative to check with your client on how they view your hotel as preferred, whether it is obtaining a GDS screen shot, On-Line Booking tool review, Preferred Hotel Listing, etc.? If they can’t see you correctly they will not book your hotel!
$$ Step Two: Shifting Share! What hotels are they accustomed to staying at and why? You have to know whom you are competing against. Just because they have added you to their list of preferred hotels, does not mean they have eliminated other properties they have been using for years? How are you better than the comp set? Brand Points? Rate? Amenities? Be prepared with a plan of action to present to every person that books rooms as well as the guests staying with the company!
$$ Step Three: Build Awareness! Saturate EVERY contact within the organization, the agency and top guest staying! Be ready with all that you offer above and beyond the competition and why the guest should give you chance now that you are preferred! Do they even know you are preferred and an option for them? Have flyers they can e-mail to guest, booking links, anything to show your hotel off! Invite them all to an “Open House” or “Lunch and Learn Event”. Getting them to see, feel and touch your hotel is key! If they are not local, bring your hotel to them by way of presentation!
$$ Step Four: Know the Guest! What is it that the actual guest wants in the hotel they stay at? Ask the one’s booking, but most important watch for any guest that has stayed in the past or is trying you out! Watch your reservation reports and in-house guest list! Provide a welcome letter, thanking them for choosing your hotel, reminding them you are a new preferred. Ask them why they chose your property, who made the reservations and how can you get more? What office did they come from so you can contact the office directly?
$$ Step Five: Keep them Loyal! You may not stay on the preferred list if you are unable to keep them loyal to you and your hotel! Relationships, Service & Quality are KEY! The decision makers want to know they are placing their guest with the properties that have strong relationships, where they know they will be taken care of and offer the best quality for the rate offered. Top Accounts should be worked MONTHLY, then schedule smaller accounts for persistent rotation through the year to visit! Having the relationship allows you to not only capture more share, helps with increase rates every year and there are no surprises of them moving to your competitor!
Bottom Line is getting your hotel on the preferred list with an account certainly does not mean they will book your hotel or that you will get your fair share of business. There is a process and the accounts must be worked year round, year after year to ensure you are capturing your full share and more!