Getting your guests to buy your hotel experience (Sales) is about one thing…trust.
You could build the best hotel experience ever, have the biggest advertising budget, employ armies of sales people and get mentions in all of the top pubs…and still go down in flames if…no one trusted you.
You build trust through relationships, not with fancy ads, slick videos or super cool trade show booths and websites. And, it happens one person at a time, through personal meetings, conversations and experiences with you and your property. Sure, great PR, travel agents and meeting planners accelerate the process. But, even these intermediary relationships are built upon trust. Your product is either referred to them by someone they know. Or, after inducing trial, they simply feel good about recommending you to others.
In the case of the guest, don’t think for a minute they trust advertisements enough to choose your property. An ad might remind them about a conversation with a trusted source or even the last time they stayed with you, and hence result in a reservation. But, ads alone aren’t seen as objective information, at least not anymore. So, don’t spend much money here.
The best use of your time and sales dollars remains in developing personal relationships with influential people and your prospective guests. Of course, this is much easier if you have something memorable to talk about!