Value added selling for B&B's

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happykeeper

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Howard sounds like my kind of guy. We have a long ways to go in adding value before we'll consider discounting for nothing. Our newest blurb is Real Hawaii.. Real Value and it is our first effort to catch the attention of resort goers who are looking for something fresh and who are routinely paying large amounts of money in extra charges.
The one thing that Howard did not hit on directly is that when you offer a discount, you MUST get something in return. In our case, we increased our average length of stay by almost a full night when we went to a sliding scale. Again, we do not discount from our published scale. Instead we exchange additional nights for a better rate. Right now we use a sliding scale and it is doing its job, but I hope to convert that into packages eventually and do away with the scale.
 

seashanty

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i don't agree with that article. that offering discounts is a lose-lose proposition. because then he goes on to say 'if you are offering discounts all the time .... your loyal repeat guests are never going to pay full price.' should it be offering discounts ALL THE TIME is lose-lose.
i did not offer discounts all the time. just sometimes.
what about all the crazy discount offers we see for resorts and hotels? they do it strategically ... not every day. not all the time. you've all heard it 'special conditions apply'
i was offering so much for the money and was going crazy trying to pull people into my place. value value value ... but the guests were booking across the road because the rooms cost less. he offered less, the guests were content to take less to pay less. cookies in the afternoon? big deal. coffee and tea anytime? ho hum. free wifi? well, we'll go without. fabulous breakfast that comes with the room? possibly .. but we can buy a breakfast over at the general store for $6., so we'll stay across the road and still end up paying less than staying with you. on and on and on.
i offered discounts ...
1. when we were new
2. when the times were slow
but then in the high season, i had my guests. they recognized the value and wanted to stay with me. paying more to do so. they wanted all the amenities i offered.
and then the place across the road .... surprise ... added cookies, coffee and tea, breakfast with the room, etc. (no free wifi yet) his rates are still lower but the bar has been raised.
anyway, i've taken marketing courses and seminars and continue to do so. but when your place is empty and you've got a mortgage to pay, trying to stress value to show how 'sensitive' you are to the economic times is not going to bring guests to your door.
in my opinion, a combination of strategies is best. specials alternating with packages that vary by the season - or the month - even better, partnering with other businesses and continuing to stress value. i find that you have to do a combination of things. if your place is full, your bookings are solid, the place is humming ... that is great and you are doing something right -- keep at it. but i'd offer something different once in a while to encourage my loyal customers to keep coming back.
by the way, who is howard levitan, what are his credentials? i note the article was posted in june. my season and strategy in early june were very different from my october's.
 

Iris

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i don't agree with that article. that offering discounts is a lose-lose proposition. because then he goes on to say 'if you are offering discounts all the time .... your loyal repeat guests are never going to pay full price.' should it be offering discounts ALL THE TIME is lose-lose.
i did not offer discounts all the time. just sometimes.
what about all the crazy discount offers we see for resorts and hotels? they do it strategically ... not every day. not all the time. you've all heard it 'special conditions apply'
i was offering so much for the money and was going crazy trying to pull people into my place. value value value ... but the guests were booking across the road because the rooms cost less. he offered less, the guests were content to take less to pay less. cookies in the afternoon? big deal. coffee and tea anytime? ho hum. free wifi? well, we'll go without. fabulous breakfast that comes with the room? possibly .. but we can buy a breakfast over at the general store for $6., so we'll stay across the road and still end up paying less than staying with you. on and on and on.
i offered discounts ...
1. when we were new
2. when the times were slow
but then in the high season, i had my guests. they recognized the value and wanted to stay with me. paying more to do so. they wanted all the amenities i offered.
and then the place across the road .... surprise ... added cookies, coffee and tea, breakfast with the room, etc. (no free wifi yet) his rates are still lower but the bar has been raised.
anyway, i've taken marketing courses and seminars and continue to do so. but when your place is empty and you've got a mortgage to pay, trying to stress value to show how 'sensitive' you are to the economic times is not going to bring guests to your door.
in my opinion, a combination of strategies is best. specials alternating with packages that vary by the season - or the month - even better, partnering with other businesses and continuing to stress value. i find that you have to do a combination of things. if your place is full, your bookings are solid, the place is humming ... that is great and you are doing something right -- keep at it. but i'd offer something different once in a while to encourage my loyal customers to keep coming back.
by the way, who is howard levitan, what are his credentials? i note the article was posted in june. my season and strategy in early june were very different from my october's..
Seashanty, I think you misunderstood what Howard was saying. He meant that if you discount your rooms once, twice, the regular guests will not make another reservation until the next discount comes down the pike, so to speak.
See if anyone goes shopping at Macy's unless there's a sale going on...
 

happykeeper

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i don't agree with that article. that offering discounts is a lose-lose proposition. because then he goes on to say 'if you are offering discounts all the time .... your loyal repeat guests are never going to pay full price.' should it be offering discounts ALL THE TIME is lose-lose.
i did not offer discounts all the time. just sometimes.
what about all the crazy discount offers we see for resorts and hotels? they do it strategically ... not every day. not all the time. you've all heard it 'special conditions apply'
i was offering so much for the money and was going crazy trying to pull people into my place. value value value ... but the guests were booking across the road because the rooms cost less. he offered less, the guests were content to take less to pay less. cookies in the afternoon? big deal. coffee and tea anytime? ho hum. free wifi? well, we'll go without. fabulous breakfast that comes with the room? possibly .. but we can buy a breakfast over at the general store for $6., so we'll stay across the road and still end up paying less than staying with you. on and on and on.
i offered discounts ...
1. when we were new
2. when the times were slow
but then in the high season, i had my guests. they recognized the value and wanted to stay with me. paying more to do so. they wanted all the amenities i offered.
and then the place across the road .... surprise ... added cookies, coffee and tea, breakfast with the room, etc. (no free wifi yet) his rates are still lower but the bar has been raised.
anyway, i've taken marketing courses and seminars and continue to do so. but when your place is empty and you've got a mortgage to pay, trying to stress value to show how 'sensitive' you are to the economic times is not going to bring guests to your door.
in my opinion, a combination of strategies is best. specials alternating with packages that vary by the season - or the month - even better, partnering with other businesses and continuing to stress value. i find that you have to do a combination of things. if your place is full, your bookings are solid, the place is humming ... that is great and you are doing something right -- keep at it. but i'd offer something different once in a while to encourage my loyal customers to keep coming back.
by the way, who is howard levitan, what are his credentials? i note the article was posted in june. my season and strategy in early june were very different from my october's..
I hope you won't think it rude of me to suggest that you actually ended up agreeing with him. I doubt the author would disagree with your thoughts on seasonal rates. I also think you would find agreement regarding targeted specials and packages that have special conditions. That is what our sliding scale does in a basic way. Hotels use sophisicated(?) measures to do the same thing.
Of course, your points are really important in that they expand the thinking about what he is saying. At least that's what I got out of it. You couldn't be more accurate in saying that stressing value when you have a mortgage to is a mismatch of strategies. Times of crisis can't be met with long term strategies. Further, your expansion of value to include partners is hitting the nail on the head. You have to have several eggs in your basket. Multiple strategies and niches are essential IMHO. I have no idea who Howard is- forgive me if I overemphasized the author- and his article is really very brief and only lays out some simple concepts.
 

seashanty

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no, i don't think it's rude. i guess i am bristling at articles or blogs that seem to suggest that things i did, that worked for me, are not the way to go. and i didn't see an indication of that in the article.
when i worked at a little store years ago, we had to sell off inventory at or below cost to pay bills. hard to do, and heartbreaking to know what had been spent and what potential profit was being lost. but it kept our heads above water until we were able to weather the storm and turn things around.
 
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