Doug Kennedy Announces Next Topic In His Webcast Training Series: Contemporary Approaches for Upselling at Check-In — Source: Kennedy Training Network (KTN)

Register your team and participate live, or view the recording, of Doug Kennedy’s next 40-minute training webcast scheduled for Friday, January 26, from Noon – 12:40pm EDT. REGISTER HERE

Lately, too many hotels seem to be relying on pre-arrival drip campaigns to upsell guests to higher-priced accommodations. The problem is that guests’ inboxes are flooded with similar offers from airlines, rental cars, and other hotels on their itinerary, so most just ignore them, said Kennedy, And that’s assuming they don’t get marked as spam.

Kennedy believes that upselling can best be accomplished when welcoming front desk colleagues have authentic, human conversations. Email campaigns only sell room categories, Kennedy added, But front desk staff can sell specific locations and views. Plus, these conversations take place upon arrival, a time during which guests are likely to feel more spontaneous and indulgent, and at a time when the only factor is the incremental gap amount needed to treat themselves.

Upselling tactics and sample dialogue covered include:

  • Re-assuring them that the room they already “bought” is still a great option (and if applicable, that loyalty membership has already been considered with the preassigned room.)
  • Opening the door to a conversation by asking if they are aware of, or interested in, available upgraded options.
  • Presenting availability as a special, timely opportunity.
  • Using “Rate Framing” to create value.
  • Using an incremental quoting approach.
  • Conveying the value received with the upgrade, including specifics of the actual room location or view.
  • Using personal recommendations and/or endorsements.

Doug’s monthly series of live webcast training events focuses on topics related to hospitality excellence, transient reservations sales, and hotel group/event sales. In creating this series, Doug draws on content from his on-site training programs, conference keynote presentations, and his monthly training articles.

Everyone who registers receives a link to the recording, even if they cannot attend. The 40-minute format is perfect for “lunch and learn” or staff meetings. The target audience is anyone who is interested in upskilling themselves or others, and the topic areas are broad enough to be relevant for all sectors of the lodging industry.

We are grateful to the generosity of our sponsors who have allowed us to offer complimentary admission, said Kennedy. It takes a lot of time to design, promote, and deliver these events, and so we would normally charge at least $99 registration per person, but this series is now completely free to all.

Sponsors include: Travel Outlook, the only KTN Certified call center, Better Talent, a subscription-based talent acquisition company serving the lodging sector, and Track Hospitality Software, a TravelNet Solution, whose products include a PMS and CRM.

Complimentary registration can be accessed at Here are the topics and dates for the additional topics scheduled so far.

Quoting Higher Rates And Overcoming Rate/Availability Restrictions For 2024

Monday, February 19 (Noon EDT)


As many resorts, hotels, and VR companies enter the peak booking season, now is a great time to train your team on tactics for successfully selling the higher rates that your revenue managers have most likely rolled out for 2024. This webcast also covers how to explain rate fences, restrictions, rates that change based on demand, and “mid-stay rate variance". While the main target audience is reservations and front desk staff, hotel salespeople can also benefit from some of the concepts. Sales tactics covered include:

  • Convincing yourself that higher rates match the value received and a reminder that it is their money, not yours!
  • We don’t raise rates during busy seasons! High-season rates are the “normal” rates; they go down during periods of lower demand!
  • How to explain rates that change between a first inquiry and a call-back.
  • Overcoming objections to revenue management “levers” such as minimum stays and “day of arrival” restrictions.
  • “When all you have left is all you have left, never say ‘All we have left is…” and instead position remaining options in a positive way.
  • How to “downsell” when necessary to less desirable options based on locations, lack of views, and/or size.

Best Habits For Hotel Sales Site Tours: Stand Out When They Stop By (Whether In Person Or Virtually)!

Monday, March 18 (Noon EDT)


While many event planners, group and meeting planners, and business travel (BT) buyers go through the buying cycle without ever visiting the hotel in person, there are still plenty who prefer a site tour. And smart salespeople always offer to conduct live virtual site tours for those who cannot visit. Typically, it’s those who are booking the highest revenue-generating deals who are the most likely to go for a tour, and the hottest prospect is surely to be the one investing time to stop by in person. Yet the chances are they are also visiting other potential hotels on the same day. Participants in this webcast learn tactics will learn:

  • How to entice buyers into a visit, whether in person or virtually.
  • Prepare your front office staff to greet the prospect by name on arrival, even before it is spoken.
  • Prepare and then include key leaders such as your General Manager, Operations Manager, and/or Guest Services Manager, as well as frontline staff.
  • Include “heart of the house” tours, as buyers may find it interesting to peek behind the scenes.
  • Avoid the habit of listing quantitative facts and instead use a storytelling approach.
  • How to close the sale and leave the next step on your to-do list.
  • Send personalized follow-ups.

Successfully Fielding Legitimate Guest Complaints AND How To Stop The “Full Refund Scammers.”

Friday, April 19 (Noon EDT)


While the vast majority of guests who complain simply want to have their emotional reactions validated, there is a small, vocal, and possibly growing percentage that Doug Kennedy has labeled “Full Refund Scammers.” In this webcast, Doug will first present KTN’s “EARS” method of successfully resolving guest complaints. Also presented are ways in which your transient reservations and guest services team can work proactively together to prepare for the arrival of potential “full refund scammers” who arrive with the objective of getting their stay comped.

  • When fielding complaints, there are two components. First, is the issue driving the complaint, and then perhaps more importantly, is the guest’s emotional reaction to the issue.
  • Using KTN’s EARS method of service recovery.
  • The importance of notating comments made during the booking and prearrival correspondence that present as “red flags.”
  • Documenting the details of special requests, especially when the staff has had to say no or that it is requested but not guaranteed.
  • Recording timelines of requests and complaints, along with the response times and action steps taken.
  • Standing up to bullies when necessary, documenting their argumentative or threatening remarks.
  • The importance of not caving to threats. (They will probably do that bad review anyway, even if you do cave!)
  • Defending your brand when responding to unjust online guest reviews.

For additional details, contact KTN at [email protected] or by phone (01) 954.533.9130

About Kennedy Training Network Inc.

KTN is the lodging and hospitality industry's best source for hotel training programs and supportive services in topic areas of hotel sales, catering/event sales, hotel reservations sales, and hospitality & guest service excellence. KTN President Doug Kennedy has been a fixture on the lodging and tourism conference speaking circuit for decades. Hoteliers worldwide read his monthly hotel, tourism and hospitality industry sales training articles in this publication and elsewhere. Visit or call (01) 954-533-9130.

Doug Kennedy
Kennedy Training Network (KTN)