Conversation with … clients

Conversation with … clients

Many times on this blog you will read about conversations that I have in the lobby of the hotel with guests, hearing stories about their stay and their visit to New York. Last month I decided to hit the road with my sales team to some key feeder cities, including Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston, among others, to visit the people who are actually booking The Benjamin.

These conversations proved just as valuable — if not more so — as this group of planners are directly responsible for their clients staying at my hotel. A year-and-a-half ago these conversations were much shorter, and they usually started and ended with, “What is the rate?” This time was different. Now that the economy is changing (albeit still a little slowly for me), the conversations were back to discussing the experience.  

We engaged in meaningful discussion about what was important to their clients, and I happily found the opportunity to talk about how my team and I will personally ensure every stay exceeds expectations. Rate and value add-ons were a big topic, as usual, but it was gratifying to hear that the people responsible for booking reservations are concerned about the happiness and relaxation of their travelers again.  

Valuable insights, certainly, that I and my sales team can use moving forward to help emotionally connect with clients in a way that is truly representative of our hotel.

So, while rate will continue to be a factor in the value equation, it’s no longer the only factor, and it seems both business and leisure travelers are willing to loosen the purse strings for the right experience. I hope that guests would say we never lost that focus at our hotel, but we know how high the bar is and know that we better deliver.