Thinking outside box

What Do You Do When You (Think You) Don’t Have Anything To Do?

Thinking outside of the box is a task for everyone in our business. Even sales people who think they don’t have anything to do – do have something to do.  It is important to remind yourself that you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing.  


Imagine you are reviewing your end-of-the-month production reports.  You notice it is a bit lackluster and just attribute it to “summer”, “vacations”, “slow times for your hotel” and other mundane thoughts.  Could you have put more effort into your job?  Done a better job of prospecting for new business?  Surprised your customers by making sales calls in the heat?   


Of course you can, because hindsight is 20-20.


So  let’s take a look at August and what you are going to do differently.

thinking outside the box

To be a hotel sales person you need to have the inner drive to keep pushing… even when doors are closing, and more importantly when you can’t even get a door to open.  So, what do you do?


Thinking outside the box means that you  put on your creative thinking cap and dig deep into your historical performance and local forecasts.   In previous blogs, I have suggested running past performance reports for future months.  What does this mean?  

"Past business reports. Look at the next 90-days LAST YEAR. For example, you can run August, September and October month end 2022 production reports with details (or by rate code) and see who was in your hotel this time last year. This is a great way to make a sales calls – you can find groups or companies that stayed in the past and prospect them to see if are coming back this year for the same type of meeting/event!"

Have you done this task for the balance of the year?  Have you reached out to previous groups to see if they will be (again) hosting a meeting or event that requires a hotel?  You have nothing to do so why not?  Do you think your comp set hotels are doing this task? 


Think outside the box!


What about packages or promotions?  



I can see you all shaking your heads from here – that none of these things will drive performance. 


Let’s agree to disagree. 


More importantly, since you don’t have anything else to do, why not try it? 

  • September:  What typically happens during this month?  The obvious answer is “back to school”.  Thinking rationally, back to school also means back to work.  Vacations are no longer a factor, people are in the office, and business is, well, busier.  Craft a promotion or flyer offering companies special incentives to get their event on “your books” before it is “back to the books”.  It doesn’t have to be a huge cut in rates or deals to break your budgets….. do a points promotion and remind planners that they can use these points for future vacations or hotel stays!
  • October:  Cool, crisp outdoor events, leaf-peeping, Halloween – here are a few ideas to drive sales.  Drive promotions, long weekends, and bleisure travel come to my mind.  “Planning a meeting?  Bring the family and make it a long weekend.  Here’s what you can do when business turns into leisure! (name a few activities, festivals, sporting events, or family-friendly activities)”
  • November:  Veteran’s day and Thanksgiving offer opportunities for travel.  It might be more leisure based, but what about reunions (all types as well as family based).  Look for family groups that might have visited 2-5 years ago.  Is it time for them to return and celebrate?  Group room blocks, meetings or socials, hospitality suites – all are opportunities to promote your hotel to these groups.
  • December:  Given all the holidays in the month – there are similar comparisons to November and what you can do to promote your hotel.  Are you located in an area where inclement weather might be a factor?  How about emergency rooms for companies near your hotel?  It is also time to renegotiate your LNR companies so preparing on how to tackle those rates that typically expire at the end of the month warrants your time and strategies.


Now, go to past issues of the TeleGRAM and look at the upcoming holidays and sales ideas.  Have you tried to think outside the box and try any of these suggestions?

"Think not only outside the box - but outside the room where the box is stored."

We all need to keep in mind that “thinking outside the box” is a very important part of our job descriptions.  It is the line item task that will always your responsibility and the reason why you can never say “I don’t have anything to do right now.”   Don’t be afraid to fail… be afraid to try.  Let’s talk about what we need to do at your hotel to increase sale NOW!

Happy thinking outside the box,


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