Get more direct bookings with just a simple list
Time and time again, I’m asked by B&B Owners what they can do to get more direct bookings. Each time I say to them – you simply need to build an email list!
It is a marketing must …
If you want to get more direct bookings then you need to collect information from people.
Why? So that you can:
– Add them to your database and contact them again.
– Sell to them, in the right way.
– Upsell and cross-sell to them, at the right time.
And here is a really important one …
– So you can get more direct bookings!
You need to collect information from people so you can:
– Ask them for a testimonial.
– Ask them for a recommendation.
– Ask them why they didn’t book.
– Offer them a special offer.
If you do not capture their details you cannot do any of this.
Instead you are left …
– Waving goodbye to the back of a prospective guest …
– Watching them get smaller …
– Watching them forgetting about you and your B&B.
Without contact details, you are only left with hope
Your only strategy is to cross your fingers and hope that they remember you.
Hope that they will visit your website again.
Hope that they will pick up the phone.
Hope they do it next week, like they said they would.
Unfortunately ‘hope marketing’ is not a strategy for success – in fact, it’s not even a strategy!
Do not make the mistake of thinking that data capture is somehow ‘sophisticated’ marketing. That it is somehow too advanced for you and your business.
Capturing peoples’ details is vital
It’s a really important step if you want to get more direct bookings and increase your profits. Like most marketing though, the less people do it, the more effective it is. And that is where I have got good news for you.
The majority of your competitors still have not cottoned on to this vital marketing tool. They are seemingly too busy to implement this most imperative and essential marketing strategy.
Instead they are all crossing their fingers, hoping that the person will call back and make a booking.
Leaving a prospective guest in complete control of the relationship is a recipe for disaster
They are not as motivated as you to push, chivvy and drag the relationship over the booking line. If you want a booking you need to put yourself in the driving seat.
Like many things in business, the collection of contact details from your prospective guests will not happen by accident.
You need to put in place a foolproof system that ensures that the right data is captured at the right point.
It is important that it is systemised, just like all the other important stuff you do in your business; it is not going to happen by accident.
You do not have to try and get everything in one go and scare your prospect off, but 99% of people who have got a genuine interest in staying with you or in your area will be happy to handover some kind of contact detail – if you ask in the right way.
For most B&B owners that means name, address and email but if all you can get is name and email then that’s a perfect start.
Rather than just asking for some contact details out of the blue, build it into your normal processes.
If the first step for most prospective guests is to request some information, stop giving that information out freely and create a policy of only sending it out by post – that way they have to give you their address.
Or offer to confirm everything you’ve told them in an email and to include a free guide to the area – they’ll happily swap their email address for that.
Do whatever you need to do to systematically get your hands on their contact information to build up your valuable database.
I see so many B&B owners make little or no effort to get contact details from prospects and often even neglect to collect data about the guests that do stay with them, which is an altogether more serious crime.
Until next time, remember …
Make sure that you collect data and build your email list – it really is worth its weight in gold if you want to get more direct bookings.
And spare a thought for some of your competitors, with their fingers crossed, with hope in their eyes.