10 Top Ways to Upsell in Hotels and Increase Revenue

Written by Lauren Valensky

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If you're a hotel owner or looking to get into the hotel business, you'll probably want to know how to increase your profits. Since the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% compared to 5-20% for a new prospect, one of the best ways to do this, is by upselling your guests [1].

Completely cost-effective and an easy way to increase your earnings, upselling can make all the difference to your business's bottom line. However, lobbying customers to spend more money at your establishment isn't always easy, and a fine line exists between upselling, and annoying or offending your visitors.

So if you want to getaway from the hard sale and get seasoned in subtle upselling, continue reading for 10 top tips on how to upsell rooms in a hotel.

What is upselling in hotels?

Upselling is a sales technique where the salesperson encourages the customer to purchase more expensive items, upgrades, or other add-ons in an attempt to make a more profitable sale. So while there are a large number of existing upselling techniques in hotels, their unifying aim is to make more money from each visitor.  

Hotel upselling can happen at any point during your guests’ stay; from the moment they book their room, to when they check out and are asked how their stay was. Even if your employees are not face-to-face with a guest, upselling can be achieved through marketing materials like your website or social media platforms.

When done right, upselling can be very beneficial for both parties involved.

Epos Now solutions provide the latest marketing technologies., including integrations to boost local inventory advertising, loyalty programs, automatic customer mailing and more.

Epos Now can help you boost your retail or hospitality business from one, cloud-based system regardless of your business size.

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Pack away the ordinary

Upselling is made a lot easier when you offer unique, interesting, and unexpected experiences – so start by shaking up your establishment's status quo. From adding award-winning cuisine to a world-class spa, make your hotel stand out from the competition by offering selling points that can't be found elsewhere.

You should also banish all the ordinary, mundane items from your hotel rooms and public spaces. If you want customers to pay more for an upgraded experience, they need to be able to see and feel the difference as soon as they step through the door.

Some ideas to get you started include:

  • Providing complimentary coffee and tea in the lobby instead of just in guest rooms.
  • Replacing traditional luggage racks with something more eye-catching and unique like a feature sculpture or natural wood.
  • Offering guests the option of a welcome drink upon arrival.

By upselling your guests on the USPs of your hotel, you’ll be able to charge a premium for your rooms.

Offer an upgrade

The most common form of upselling is offering guests an upgrade to a better room or suite. This can be done at the time of booking or when the guest checks in.

If you have any rooms that have not been booked, you can also offer guests an upgrade at a discounted rate. For example, if you have an unreserved room with a view of the city, you could offer it to guests for a small surcharge.

If a guest is only booked for a standard room, offer them an upgrade to a suite or deluxe room. This can be especially effective for quiet periods when you have additional rooms available or the hotel is not busy.

Present personalised packages

Another great way to upsell hotel guests is to offer special bundles that include extras, such as spa packages, gourmet meals or tickets to local attractions.

By bundling these items together, you will be able to offer a discount that will entice guests to upgrade and perhaps extend their stay.

If you want to go the extra mile, you can create custom packages based on the specific needs and interests of your guests.

For example, if you have a guest who is visiting for their anniversary, you could put together a special package that includes a romantic dinner for two and a couples massage.

Check out check-in

Check-in is a great opportunity to upsell, as guests are more likely to say yes when they are first asked at the front desk.

As well as the typical room upgrade offer, you can use this time to promote any special packages or deals that you may be offering. For example, if you have a package that includes tickets to a local site of interest, you could mention it to guests as they check-in and offer a discount if they purchase then and there.

Check-out is also another great time to upsell guests. You can use this time to promote special packages or deals on future stays and secure repeat business.

Think (break)fast

If your hotel offers a complimentary breakfast, this is another great opportunity to upsell guests. You can do this by promoting any special packages or deals that you have on offer, as well as any upgrades that may be available.

For example, if you have a package that includes a gourmet breakfast, you could mention it to guests as they check in and offer a discount if they book immediately.

Don't overdo it

While it's important to be proactive when upselling guests, you also don't want to be too pushy. Effective upselling strikes a balance between being helpful and being overbearing.

You can do this by offering guests a choice of packages or deals, rather than trying to upsell them on one specific thing and making sure that any upgrades or extras are genuinely worth the money.

Train your staff

If you want your hotel to be successful at upselling, it's important to train your staff on how to do it effectively. This includes teaching them about the different products and services that you offer, as well as how to upsell without being too pushy so that they can maximise revenue for the hotel.

Add in add-ons

Offering additional services such as airport transfers, spa treatments or excursions can be a great way to increase revenue. Selling gift vouchers for hotel stays or treatments make great presents, especially around key gifting periods such as Christmas, and can push profits through the chimney roof.

Cross-sell your other companies

While upselling and cross-selling are slightly different concepts - they share the same objective. If your hotel has its own restaurant, bar or nightclub, guests can be upsold by offering them discounts or free entry to these venues.

It's not just business, it's personal

When upselling guests, it is important to make the offer personalised to them. This could involve offering them an upgrade to a room type that they usually stay in, or recommending a restaurant based on their dietary requirements.

The better you know your guests, the easier it will be to upsell them. If you can find out their preferences, interests and needs, you will be more likely to succeed in upselling guests, since you can be able to offer them upgrades and extras that they are more likely to take up.

Resort to a powerful POS system for all your customer management queries

While maximised profit margins are one of the best benefits of upselling in hotels, the guesswork involved in this technique can make it stressful and time-consuming. Let your point of sale handle things like sales trends, customer profiles, and loyalty programmes. Epos Now offers state-of-the-art POS systems for hospitality and retail businesses. We let you choose the tools and insights to help your business achieve its goals. 

  • Connect with market-leading CRM and loyalty apps through the Epos Now AppStore.
  • Access multi-award-winning inventory management systems that sync online sales and in-person sales for the most up-to-date stock levels.
  • Save customer contact details and shopping preferences for targeted marketing.

If you're still looking to get off the ground floor and raise your upselling game, we'd love to hear from you!

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