Upselling and cross selling – The key to increasing TREVPAR performance for hotels and resorts


The pressure on independent hotels can sometimes be immense, from offering the best price in an extremely competitive market to ensuring that you are providing a unique and memorable guest experience. Sometimes, though, despite all our best intentions, many clients never actually find out about everything you offer.  Our beloved guest directory in the rooms is more times than not never opened or the flyer we leave on reception doesn’t get seen.  There are so many points of contact that a client has with your staff that sometimes that gentle hint or suggestion by a receptionist or waiter can open the door to a potential increase in sales of the many different services you offer.


Upselling and Cross Selling are not new techniques; they have been around for years. However, Hotels have been slow to adopt methods that a)have been used by airlines ever since the launch of low cost and b)can make the difference to your profit margins.

So how are hotels increasing TREVPAR (Total Revenue per available room) from introducing to their staff Upselling and Cross Selling techniques and initiatives?

Let me tell you about my personal experience.  Two years ago, I contracted HBD Consulting ( a company that specialises in training staff on how to interact with your guests to drive revenue from a previous role at a Hotel.  They reviewed our current internal marketing structure and how we communicate with our guests.  They also put together an incentive bonus plan for all guest-facing staff.  After the initial training sessions, there is a continual assessment to ensure best practises have adhered too.  The six months that then followed, we took a check on the results achieved.  My staff produced over 40,000€ in increase in revenue which consisted of the following:-

  • Upgrade of rooms
  • Dinner reservations
  • Late Check out
  • Toiletries
  • Golf Lessons

Services such as parking,  breakfast in your room, theatre tickets and romantic packages can also be suggested. Anything that can be done to make the guest experience more memorable.

We also saw an uptick in average restaurant spend as waiters were taught to help and advise guests, based on dishes the kitchen wanted to be pushed,  as well as moving wine that needed to be sold to reduce and rotate stock.  Staff morale was also improved especially in departments where there is little opportunity to increase their wages.


Future of upselling and cross selling with Technology

There is a general recognition within our industry that, two things are essential to compete in the future 1. Provide compelling and unique guest experiences and 2. Connect and interact with your clients more fluidly.

These are the two very principals of which Upselling and Cross-selling are based and which technology can only enhance.  Concierge apps for smartphones and tablets are leading the way in bringing your guest service directory to a smartphone and make it easier for your client to interact with your staff.  Instant push notifications that promote events and services that you have available during their stay and in a format that 90% of your clients will read while at the same time making it easier for your customer to find out, book and buy your services throughout your hotel.


Social Wifi is another important factor as this is also a great option to connect with not just your hotel guests but also delegates to a conference or wedding invitees.  No opportunity should be missed to provide service and up-sell, enhancing the overall experience of a guest’s stay

By developing your staff’s techniques to improve their ability in Upselling and Cross-selling strategies, as well as introducing new ways on which your guests can interact with you, is why hotels who have taken this leap forward are already reaping the TREVPAR revenue rewards from doing so.

(HBD Consulting is a global leading provider of Upselling and Cross Selling techniques that help hoteliers drive revenue and increase GOP performance.  Comprised of a team of professionals with over 25 years experience in the hotel industry. Founded in 2007 their aim is to provide up selling and cross-selling solutions through proactive training courses. Over 35,000 people were trained in 2014 from 10 countries).

Hotelient (, a leading provider of guest marketing solutions for independent hotels and Resorts, has partnered with HBD Consulting ( to increase the potential of hotels to improve their overall revenue performance and guest experience.  For more information email

About the author

John Kearney has over 20 years of Hotel Sales and General Hotel Management experience working for both Independent 4 & 5* Hotels & Resorts as well as with Intercontinental (IHG) and Radisson SAS for Hotels based in London as well as across Spain.

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