Monday, April 29, 2013

Should Moteliers Start Flogging Off Guest-Room Chattels?

I've attended a lot of tourism meetings over the years and when it comes to discussions about marketing, "packaging" different products and "collaboration" between operators are common themes that are presented as new ideas with the potential to open the floodgates of eager destination visitors.

Being aware and working in with other business operators has its advantages and packaging a mix of different products and services can have modest success in niche markets.

In motel-world, the thick-end of consumer demand is for individual product via different channels at different times. Combining rooms with outside product or services can over-complicate a simple offer. While this may not make sense, consumers are irrational and seem to have a natural instinct to hunt and gather distinct individual products that are presented well and appear to offer value.

From this weekend's Twitter feeds, we see that SoLoMo Consulting have presented a collaboration idea for moteliers to assist them sell more room nights:

So what's the idea?

Well, the main gist is that moteliers are encouraged to partner with bed retailers and offer guest rooms for overnight consumer testing of new beds. The motelier gets the use of a new bed and a night's accommodation while the bed retailer has the opportunity to sell a bed.

Sounds crazy? Well, maybe not...Some moteliers are already embracing this general concept.

I know of one motelier that actively sells beds as a successful business sideline. If a guest initiates a conversation about the qualities of the bed in their guest room or happens to mention a favourable night's sleep, this particular motelier will often cross-sell a new bed! By the time the guest arrives home, the motelier has done the deal and arranged a new bed to be delivered and waiting direct from the manufacturer.

From my motel, I've also sold beds to guests from time-to-time that have become attached to the bed that they've slept upon the night before and I wager that many other moteliers have done the same.

Beds are not the only item that moteliers have cross-sold to guests. Probably the most common collaboration is between moteliers and local artists that display artwork for sale in guest rooms.

The most extreme example of cross-selling items from motel guest rooms that I've come across is a Hamilton motelier that had a problem with guests pilfering. An interesting knee-jerk reaction was to offer in-room chattels for sale. A "menu" was placed in each guest room that included all in-room chattels with a purchase price. I'm not too sure if guests ever willingly made a purchase, however if any item went missing after a guest departed, their credit card was instantly debited with the appropriate price on the chattel-menu!
"Retail and Hospitality: Sell More Beds and Bed Nights by Collaborating
Posted on April 28, 2013 by Luigi Cappel

Three industries for the price of one. If you see me speak, you will know that ‘collaboration’ is a common word in my vocabulary. You may have a lot more opportunities with businesses in your neighborhood than you realize. If you are in the hospitality industry renting out rooms, or a retailer selling beds, or a bed manufacturer, this blog is for you.

I and other members of my family are in the market for a new bed. I believe my bed is over ten years old and I have had a number of back injuries over the years, so getting the right bed is very important.

The problem is, when you go to a retailer like Harvey Norman (only mentioning them because I have tried beds there, although I haven’t purchased yet) the sales people will obligingly let you try various beds, starting at the mid price range, then let you try dearer ones and cheaper ones and by the time you have been on half a dozen beds you are totally confused with independent coils and chiropractic society recommendations, whilst tempted by 5 years of interest free finance. That was deliberately a long sentence by the way, as can be the result of buying the wrong bed. Once you’ve made the decision, you are the proud owner of a second hand bed, worth about half of what you paid for it, assuming there is nothing physically wrong with the bed.
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