How To Sell Your B&B Rooms Without Offering Big Discounts
Are you looking for ways to increase the number of visitors to your bed and breakfast, but you don’t want to offer big discounts that cut into your bottom line?
While discounting can be productive under the right circumstances, and it’s nice to see the uptick in reservations when you discount rooms, it isn’t always the best scenario.
If you resort to discounts too often, those discounted prices quickly become your regular prices, and you have much lower profit margins. In today’s increasingly discount-savvy world, it’s important to position your B&B, find your niche and stand out from the competition so you don’t have to offer big discounts.
In this blog post, we’ll offer some suggestions for selling your B&B rooms without offering big discounts. You’ll find marketing tips and ideas to increase your bookings.
Think about your target guest. Are you looking for the retired set, corporate guests, thirty-something’s or families? Focus on your ideal guest and have this person in mind with all of your marketing. When you reach out to your target market, you won’t have to offer big discounts because they’ll most likely be more receptive to paying your rates.
How do you compare to the competition in your area? What makes you different? It’s important to set yourself apart. What’s of value to your ideal guest(s)? Do they want 400 thread-count sheets, vegan meals or planned itineraries? Once you’ve decided what’s important to your ideal guest, design a marketing strategy around it. Be loud when talking about your special offerings. Make sure potential guests know what sets you apart from the competition. They’ll then understand your rates and gladly pay them for your service and amenities.
Instead of discounting, focus on what makes you unique. (tweet this)
Focus on the Call to Action
Your website is vital to increasing the number of reservations you receive. It’s often the first look into your B&B. Think about every step your website visitor takes. Are you guiding them through your site? Is it neatly organized? Is the menu simple and straightforward?
Take care how your visitor makes their way through your website. Ensure that your unique selling point is highlighted followed by the call to action. Some calls to action to include in your website are:
- “Click here to experience the beauty of our rooms.”
- “Relax in our lovely, spacious guest rooms.”
- “Book now, we’re almost full.”
- “Find out why you should stay with us.”
- “Take a look at our Friday breakfast.”
Always use high quality images and video. These tools compel your visitors, drawing them in and encouraging them to book. A professionally-done website is also a must.
Add Urgency to Your Marketing
How many times have you been encouraged to purchase because “we only have two rooms left.” This type of imperative adds a sense of urgency and often leads to the sale. With a lot of area competition, you want to create urgency while your website visitors are on your site. You don’t want them to look elsewhere. Use booking language like book now to avoid the spring rush or take advantage of our great summer rates. You’ll “force” your website visitor into a booking decision and will likely increase the number of your reservation enquiries.
Urgency works well to get people to take immediate action and you won’t need discounts. (tweet this)
Construct Cliffhanger Packages
Have you ever watched TV show episodes back to back to back? Cliffhangers encourage us to binge watch, but so does our brain. Humans are generally unable to survive without finding out what happens next. We often watch the next episode becoming anxious for the next one. Take the cliffhanger approach to your B&B marketing.
When marketing your B&B through your website, email marketing and print materials, construct the ideal cliffhanger through a unique package deal. You’ll entice customers through the package and induce them to return for another visit.
Consider putting together long-term packages with local area businesses.
- One example is partnering with an artist’s studio. Create a package that includes your B&B and a set of art classes. Offer a set of sessions that build on each other – perhaps one in January and one in June. This is the marketing “cliffhanger.” It encourages repeat business. You’re also offering a “package” which sounds like a discount, but doesn’t have to be.
- Another example could center on your B&B and your local music theater or opera group. Offer a package during the season. The package could include lodging and show tickets. This encourages repeat visitors for each new show.
Opportunities for the cliffhanger abound. Others ideas include packages designed around sporting events, changes in the season, holidays and more. Be creative. Remember, the goal is to promote the package without having to offer discounts. Perceived value is the key ingredient.
Encourage Repeat, Consistent Business
Follow-up with your customers. This encourages their repeat business as well as you referral business. Your current customers are more likely to refer your B&B if they feel connected to you. Referral business is an important component to your success.
Send your guests a hand-written thank you note after their stay. Let them know how much you appreciated their stay and enjoyed meeting them. Encourage them to write a review either on your website, Google, Yelp, Facebook or other social media.
Send them a birthday card on their birthday. Include a small gift with it. Consider sending a coupon for a local restaurant or attraction. You might also offer complimentary champagne on their next visit. You could also send a small token – such as an ornament, seed packet or special recipe. It should be part of your overall marketing and work with your unique selling point.
These small gestures keep your B&B top of mind with your guests. They’ll want to come back and refer their friends. They’ll feel so good about your services that a big discount won’t matter in future reservations.
Start a Customer Loyalty Program
A lot of businesses offer customer loyalty programs that work. Here’s your chance to do something exceptional. You can base your loyalty program on number of nights booked, reviews posted online or on referrals that went on to stay at your B&B. You could even design it to include a points system for all three. Think of rewards that are of high value to your guests but of low cost to you. This gives your customers a reward but doesn’t mean you have to offer a huge discount. Again, it’s the perceived value that matters. One idea includes a complimentary meal at one of your area’s best restaurants. You could work out a barter deal with the restaurant owner – he offers a certain number of free meals to your guests, and you comp him a night’s stay. If he stays during the slow season, you won’t miss the reservation fee.
The customer loyalty program helps build your customer base. Announce it on your website. When vacationers find lodging they like in their favorite vacation spot that also includes a perk for them, you’ll not only encourage their repeat business but their referrals, too. You’ve given your guests a reason to return and a reason to promote your B&B.
We hope you’ve found some tips for selling your B&B rooms without offering big discounts. If you already do something that works, please share it here. We’d love to hear your strategies.
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