While I would absolutely love to write full time, I have been in the hospitality world for a while now (okay, 7 years is more than a while) and I work for a major hotel chain. This can actually be a benefit for you guys because I have the inside scoop on ways to negotiate a better hotel room rate without sounding stupid or silly! Trust me, the calls that I get on a daily basis are pretty wacky but with the following list of ways to negotiate a better hotel room rate, I'm absolutely sure you'll be able to get a better deal on that chic hotel!
1. Keep Calm
For those of you who have worked in customer service, you know all about the reasoning behind this one: a person is more than willing to bend over backwards for someone who is nice, calm and collected. Personally, when I get the brides who want every single thing for free and are extremely rude, I would much rather see them book somewhere else, but for those people who are super nice to me, I'll typically give them a better deal. So keep your temper in check and be polite, sometimes all it takes is a little kindness for you to get a better deal on a hotel room!
2. Do Your Research
Believe me, I talk to a ton of people a day who have come prepared to get a lower rate and most of the time, if they have the research to back it up, it works! One question that we are actually scored on at work (which I probably shouldn't be telling you but hey, that's the benefit of having me on the inside right?) revolves around asking about the competition. So if you are looking for one surefire way to negotiate a better hotel room rate, why not bring up the rate you are getting at a competing hotel?
3. Compare Hotels
Believe it or not, a lot of the time, people will take the first hotel that they call because the rate sounds good. How do you know the rate sounds good if you haven't compared it to the other hotels in the area? This will definitely give you leverage over the other hotels and maybe you can even negotiate your way into a better rate simply because the competition has a better rate. This works at least 8 out of 10 times because hotels are competitive and if the hotel really needs your business, they will typically lower their rate or match the competition.
4. Don't Settle
While I hate the people who call and won't believe me when I say that this is the very best rate that I can give them, remember, the more that you push, the better your chances of getting a great discount. There are some limits around this one though. You want to make sure that you are not completely turning off the person who is helping you by being extremely difficult. Just ask the question: “Is this the very best rate that you can give me?“ and you'll be surprised by the answer!
5. Speak with Management
While there are tons of ways to negotiate a better hotel room rate, a simple call to a manager can actually do wonders. Let's say that you have a funeral to go to and you are looking to save your family some money. Just a call to the front office manager can typically get you a special funeral rate. How would you ever know about that without asking though? It all boils down to asking the question and seeing what happens. Don't be scared!
6. Use Your Discounts
While my ways are not surefire ways to get a better room rate on your hotel, how about you try some of the discounts that you have laying around? Did you know that AAA actually has hotel discounts at every single hotel chain? Or what about AARP? Or maybe even some of the credit card companies that you use? These are all discounts that are right at your fingertips and you won't even have to use some of these ways to negotiate a better hotel room rate because you're already eligible for the discounts!
7. Try Priceline
Finally, if all of this fails and you are still not getting anywhere with your room rate, why not book online via one of the travel websites? Just like the Hotwire commercial says, when the hotel is low on occupancy, they will give up some of their rooms for up to 50% off! Seriously guys, I use these websites when my discount isn't available and I have gotten some great deals, so don't worry if you are not comfortable with some of these ways to negotiate a better rate, just log online and see what happens!
So while it might be a little uncomfortable in the beginning when you are learning ways to negotiate a better hotel room rate, try it. Trust me on this, I talk to people all day who are just looking to save a little cash and as long as you are nice, have a sense of humor and a good personality, I'll give you a good deal! So what other tips and tricks do you guys have for me? Come on, I want to see if you can maybe teach someone on the inside a few tricks or maybe some tricks that I should watch out for when I am talking to all those people booking hotel rooms!
Top Photo Credit: ideen-scout.de