Doug Kennedy Announces Next Topic In His Webcast Training Series: Quoting Higher Rates And Overcoming Objections To Rate/Availability Restrictions — Source: Kennedy Training Network (KTN)

Sponsored By Travel Outlook, Better Talent, and Track Hospitality Software.

Register your team and participate live, or view the recording, of Doug Kennedy’s next 40-minute training webcast scheduled for Monday, February 19, from Noon – 12:40pm EST. REGISTER HERE

As many resorts, vacation rental companies, and hotels enter the peak booking season, now is a great time to train your reservations team on tactics for successfully selling the higher rates that your revenue managers have most likely rolled out this year, said Kennedy.

Due to today’s highly advanced revenue management and pricing systems, today’s reservations and even hotel sales staff have to explain and defend complex rate fences, restrictions, rate variance, and mid-stay rate changes. While questions usually come up before booking, sometimes guest services staff even have to defend them after booking or upon arrival. 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.

Doug’s monthly webcast training events rotate each month, covering 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 learns” 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 dates for additional topics scheduled so far.

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.

Reservations Sales Agents: It Is NOT Our Job To Tell Them What’s Available; It IS Our Job To Help Them Decide!

Friday, May 17 (Noon EDT)


Doug created this month’s topic in response to a trend our KTN team sees when conducting pre-training mystery shopping for our clients. Too often, when agents determine the caller has not stayed before and does not have an accommodation in mind, they immediately list the available options and rates for rooms, rental homes, or suites. Some agents even offer to email the whole list, which may seem kind but is definitely not helpful. Doug refers to this as providing “website search helpdesk support,” and reminds everyone that if that’s all we do, our jobs can immediately be replaced by IVR, AI, and ChatGPT. Instead, participants learn how to lead conversations that may lead to an immediate booking, or at least help the caller narrow down their choices.

  • Understanding the concepts of “choice overload” that travel planners are experiencing when they search online and how that leads to FOMO, which is truly a psychological disorder many of us feel these days.
  • Using investigative questions to discover “the story” behind the caller’s plans, gaining their confidence, while also controlling the call flow to minimize talk time.
  • Using needs-based recommendations and suggestions that refer back to the caller’s needs and therefore have a greater impact.
  • As callers start to decide, endorsing their choice as being a good option for them.

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)