Mike and I were before Covid-19 in the year around 8 to 14 weeks on the road. If we advise customers and because we like to travel.
That adds up to a few overnights.
Often frustration too, because expensive accommodations aren’t automatically great. I am quite robust.
A scorpion in an african bush shower is no reason for a panic attack.
But mold in a German shower?
But cleanliness is just one of the things people want when they’re on the road.
Make selling easier: customers don’t just look for facts and logic
After almost 18 years together "on the road" we have noticed a few things that distinguish great accommodations from those that are better avoided because there is more hassle than recreation.
It’s by no means just hard facts that count.
There are things that don’t cost anything and that make it easier for you to sell. These are things you can use with your customers and convince them more easily.
Here are our lessons from the road.
What you don’t want done to you
There is one phrase that has fallen into every accommodation we love (and recommend). It reads: You do it the way you want it ..
This sentence could pass as a tagline for a website because it portrays a complete philosophy.
And the owners of the accommodations we mean consistently get great reviews on Booking.com or other booking platforms.
Why is it so?
Because they instinctively focus on one thing. They put themselves in the customer’s shoes. They may not do an insane amount – but they do the essentials.
What is the one thing that Their customers is crucial? And how can you convey this thing? Is it security in the buying decision, i.e. social proof that you can demonstrate? Is it all-around service?
What business are you really in?
Said accommodations may not be perfect – but the imperfect things don’t matter.
The providers we’re referring to don’t just see themselves as owners of a vacation home, a hotel, or as landlords of a place to stay – they see themselves as hosts.
What does a host do?
It provides ambience. It creates a good atmosphere. It’s all about basics like cleanliness, comfort, amenities, yes.
Customers don’t want to have to worry and they want to feel comfortable.
But it’s also about feeling welcome. It’s all about the experience o.k. is, even if you look like an unwashed hippie, because the last stage was too long and the next shower is overdue.
It is about the feeling that no question is too stupid.
Not even the ones the host has heard 100 times before.
Great vendors understand that they are creating an experience for guests, their customers. An experience so pleasant that you want to come back again.
What do you do to make customers open doors for you faster? How do you make things easier, more enjoyable, simpler?
Kink in the wrong places
Guest business is a tough business. Small margins, lots of unexpected things, like the weather. Nevertheless, the accommodation in Mike’s home Dresden, where we prefer to stay, is practically always booked up.
And there is no shortage of guest accommodation in Dresden.
Still – we have to juggle badly to end up in this vacation rental.
One reason is generosity.
That starts with a welcome drink that can be taken on the terrace. At the expense of the house. And there are all those things you’re guaranteed to forget when you’re only out for a short time: salt, pepper, dishwasher tabs, tea, coffee, sewing kit …
A telephone is available. Including. Even the internet does not cost extra. Not even the parking place. Do the hosts still earn?
Yes, because we often add another day and also accept price increases.
This is perfectly fine for us at the value of money. And it’s obviously true for the other guests as well.
Where do you lose customers because a little thing bothers these people. Where could you gain a lot more if you changed this thing.
Free guide: The discovery sheet
The shortcut to increasing your sales call close rate to 72%-84% without having to manipulate, pressure or pretend.
Half the battle – your face
If you can’t smile at people or don’t like conversations with potential customers, they shouldn’t be selling. And that’s a problem, because selling is kind of everywhere.
Whether it’s at the hairdresser, the tax office or the soccer club.
Because customers buy YOU first before they buy anything from you.
May be that they have once luck. But that is all. Customers want you too, the way you care or "be there". Customers look for the human factor.
Where do you let unpleasant emotions into your sales talks and therefore appear less convincing.
The balance between effort and task
Our hosts always have a good sense of when it is "enough". You are there when questions arise. But they are not intrusive. They are virtually invisible, so we can enjoy the time undisturbed.
But they respect our privacy. This tightrope walk is an art. Some people are sensitive. Or is biased.
We feel a lump in our stomach or look for recognition. We want a customer to see, understand or succeed at something.
And we justify it by knowing what is good for the customer. But even if this is true, no one likes the feeling of being patronized. You do not and neither do your customers.
Are there situations where you want something too much and put your desires above those of your customers? Do you want something from customers that does not fit the nature of the business relationship?
If so, you will make selling easier if you literally let loose.
Advantages, features and benefits are of course well suited, if you want to make selling easier. We cannot do without them.
But there’s a whole armada of assets you can throw into your client’s persuasion scale, even if your offering isn’t the "hottest" one on the market.
Start by answering the five questions. And you have some more good arguments.