The PRICE technique

The PRICE technique

Current wisdom tells the boutique hotelier not to discount; rather, add value. So, you’ve taken that to heart and created a package that’s filled with amenities to enhance the experience for your guests. But for the price-sensitive guest, how do you get that value across and make the sale before he or she succumbs to sticker shock? There’s a time-honored technique for selling luxury — one I learned at a training session years ago — that works exceptionally well in today’s market. It’s called, appropriately enough, the PRICE technique, and it breaks down into five easy-to-remember steps:

Prepare your customers by sparking their interest.
Reassure them of the value.
Establish the Integrity of your product.
Gain their Confidence.
Exceed their expectations.

Then, and only then, do you bring up the price of the package.

I’ll use a package from my own property, the Mirbeau Inn & Spa, as an example of using PRICE to sell value. We offer a wine tour package that includes two nights’ accommodations, a Finger Lakes Welcome Gift Basket valued at more than US$200, a six-hour wine tour with picnic lunch, two spa treatments, dinner for two and breakfast daily plus full use of the spa’s facilities and all resort activities. This is an experience that is guaranteed to resonate with the Mirbeau customer — offering the best of the resort and the destination wrapped up in one weekend getaway — and it’s priced accordingly. Here’s how a phone conversation might go, point by point, with a potential guest who inquires about the package:

Prepare: “This is one of our guests’ favorite packages, and it’s my own favorite to experience the best of the area this time of year.”

Reassure: “It’s a great value, nearly all inclusive, allowing you a full day to enjoy the spa and another to explore the surrounding wine country.”

Integrity: “Our spa has been ranked one of the top five most romantic in the world and is rated 4 stars, and the wine country here is one of the most scenic in the world.”

Confidence: “Not only can I suggest the best wineries in the area for you to visit on your chauffeured tour, but I can also set you up with the perfect spa treatments for your bodies’ needs.”

Exceed: “All gratuities and taxes are included in the package, and you can enjoy all of our resort facilities — including hot tubs, wellness classes, bikes, steam rooms, saunas and more — for no additional cost.”

And, finally: “For everything I’ve just described, the price for two people is only US$810 per night. May I assist you in reserving it?”

I have trained this technique for years at Mirbeau and several properties before that. It’s an essential part of our sales strategy and the key, in my book, to establishing significant value without discounting rates. I look forward to hearing if it works for you, too!